We were able to acquire an extremely limited amount of this pre-Qing Ming Longjing. The pre-Qing Ming plucking period falls right before the spring rains come, when the flavor is concentrated in the leaf after months of winter dormancy. Organically grown in Shi Feng, this is the highest grade Dragonwell of the year. The leaves are expertly plucked and pan fired to perfection. Each tip is tenderly cared for with very little breakage at all. The tea steeps mellow but thick, with a silky viscosity that coats your mouth and throat and allows the flavor to linger long after each sip. Steamed, the leaves give off notes of warm hazelnuts and oat straw. The tea soup is refined and has a perfect balance of sweet, buttery, toasty and vegetal.
Only 4 canisters are available online, and the remaining 4 are available in our shop for locals.
Region: Zhejiang, China
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
Note: Due to closures of international shipping avenues during the COVID-19 crisis, we had to use alternative shipping methods this year. Unfortunately this has resulted in a substantial cost increase for us and we have had to increase our prices accordingly.
*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.