**This is a new tea that arrived this winter. Our rush delivery sold out in record time, so this tea will be available again once the main shipment arrives, in late February**
For all of you Japanese green tea lovers I am so happy to finally offer this tea! This is a tea I was first introduced to a few years ago while visiting Kagoshima in October. Not only are the brothers who make this tea crafting extraordinary teas, they are also avid motorcycle enthusiasts, so we have a lot in common.
This is an award winning tea that is unusual in that it is harvested as a shincha in the spring, but not finished until the fall. The leaves are harvested from first flush Saemidori cultivars and roughly processed in April. They are then stored under refrigeration until October, where they are brought back out and undergo another round of heating and sorting. This resting period allows the tea to soften some of the tannins and also develop a deeper flavor.
The aroma of the dry leaf is intoxicating and refreshing. Steeped, the tea slides into your mouth coating it with a rich, brothy soup that intensifies as it reaches your throat. The flavor notes fill the spectrum between earthy and astringent without touching either. A thick umami lays the base with tones of kombu and a soft hint of sea mist. The flavor lingers and cools the palate and throat with each breath.
This tea can be steeped 4-5 times. The second and third steeps should only be 10 seconds, and after that can go up to 30 seconds. After steeping 5 times you can pour dashi or soy sauce on the leaves and eat them
Origin: Kagoshima, Japan
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.
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.
Here is an intriguing offer for the adventurous oolong lover. This oolong is made in Kagoshima, Japan from the second flush benifuki cultivar. Known for its astringency and bold flavor, benifuki softens a bit in the summer, and makes an interesting starting point for producing an oolong. Best flash-steeped in a gaiwan, this oolong has similar characteristics as a baozhong, but with more umph. Sweet and floral at the start, with a lingering dryness that keeps you wanting more.