Plucked from the southernmost tea garden in Yunnan, just above the Vietnam border, this tea has a unique personality. It is harvested a few days before the Lunar New Year, towards the end of winter. The leaves have been dormant all winter long, soaking up nutrients in the soil as they rest. The air is dry and cold this time of year and the leaves pick up a notes of smoke in the air and a dewy sweetness.
When picked, the leaves exude flavors and aromas that range from savory charcoal-smoked veggies to sweet red bean paste. The long winter hibernation has harbored a stamina that will allow this tea to be steeped at least 10 times, each yielding vibrant new notes. The first few steeps offer warm hints of smoke and charcoal, and as each steep reaches deeper within the leaf, it accesses reserves of nectar. Each cup has a healthy amount of body and brings to mind steamed artichoke hearts and summer squash.
Origin: Yunnan, China
The 2021 harvest is on its way here. We expect to see it late July. There was severe weather in Kirishima this year which effected the tea harvest. Because of this, only a limited quantity was available so we will not be able to offer bulk discounts in 2021.
Our top grade sencha from Kirishima. This tea is from the Asatsuyu cultivar of tea and has earned the nickname of "Natural Gyokuro" for good reasons. Although it is not shade-grown, it has a vivid green liquor and deep umami characteristic that is typically associated with gyokuros. The farm it is grown on is completely self-contained, bio-dynamic and the oldest tea farm in the region. The aroma of the dry leaves is compelling and rich and only grows as it is steamed. The resulting tea is out of this world and a gift to any sencha-lover.
Harvest: Spring 2020
Origin: Kagoshima, Japan
*We are currently sold out of this tea. We expect the 2021 harvest to be available in September and will have more after then*
Here's a tea you won't find anywhere else. Awa Bancha is only made in one small prefecture in Japan, and is barely known even in Japan. It goes through a unique lacto-fermentation process that yields a tea like no other.
The uniqueness of this tea starts at the plucking, which takes place in the summer, when the leaves have grown large and hardened. Every leaf is stripped from the branches, so each year the whole plant re-grows and there is only one harvest each year. From there, the leaves are boiled to soften them and make them more pliable. They are then rolled, similar to an oolong, but then packed into fermentation jars, and covered with banana leaves and heavy rocks to soak in their own juices. Because the tea is harvested so late, the leaves have a higher sugar content, which increases the fermenation that occurs. About a month later, the leaves are removed and air-dried.
The result is a drink that is slightly sour, sweet, and tangy depending on how you steep it. It is incredibly versatile and can be boiled over a fire to get the medicinal properties, or steeped more delicately to extract the sweeter notes. Awa Bancha's nickname used to be "peasant's tea" because it was typically boiled and every leaf was used, unlike other teas.
The flavor is best suited for those who love pickles, sauerkraut and all things probiotic. It is great for the gut and the more you drink it, the more your body will crave its effects.
Kinrin is a flavorful matcha that can be used for making Usucha (thin tea) or Koicha (thick tea). The Kinrin whisks to a velvety-smooth bowl of matcha with robust umami flavor and offers rich notes of steamed kombu and a light sweetness. To prepare this as Koicha, use three times as much tea with less water and whisk with a chasen at least 200 times!
Currently all of our ceremonial grade matcha offerings are produced and stone-ground by Marukyu Koyamaen, a family tea business that has been growing and producing tea in Uji for over 300 years.