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 dried in the sun.
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.
This is a limited time offering that is available one month of the year. We only have 40 canisters available this year!
Translating to "Out of the Pot", Tsubokiri matcha is a special form of matcha harvested in the spring and finished in the fall. Historically, the tencha leaves were stored in clay jars which allowed the flavors to soften a bit from the intensity they have in the spring. In the Autumn, they were removed and stone ground. Now, the leaves are not stored in jars, but are still allowed to breathe under refrigeration and develop a different flavor profile. When the tencha is removed and ground in October, the resulting matcha is incredibly smooth with hardly any tannic notes. The tea is smooth and creamy and has a hint of sweetness and slightly toasty aroma. Suitable for usucha (thin tea) or koicha (thick tea). Don't miss this chance to taste this tea, once it's gone, it's gone until next year.
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.
We are so happy to offer this tea to you. Menghai Factory has been creating shou Puerh blends that are mimicked each year with fresh leaf. This blend, called '7572' was made in 2000, and has been wrapped in bamboo and Kunming stored. The '7572' blend is made to be approachable and smooth. It is light and has an aroma reminiscent of fresh baked biscuits. The flavor is gentle and comforting with a soft, sweet finish. The leaves are loosely pressed, making it easy to break apart by hand, and each serving will be good for 5-7 steeps. We were able to secure a small amount of this tea, and once it's gone, its gone.
Origin: Menghai, Yunnan
This small leaf shou puerh is made from a blend of ancient tree leaf material across four districts in Lincang County. Fermented in 2007 and carefully aged in Kunming ever since, this tea straddles the balance between soft and bold. The aroma has notes of earth and raw chocolate and steeps a liquor that is rich burgundy with no murkiness. The initial steep is a soft introduction to the tea, with each steep reaching deeper notes. The mouthfeel is smooth washes down your throat, leaving lingering flavors of clean earth and smooth river rocks. The age of the leaves allows the tea to be steeped upwards of 10 times before losing flavor and has an uplifting effect on the psyche.
If you remember when we had this tea years ago, you will be so happy to see it back. We were able to get in touch with contacts in Lincang who have access to the same leaves we had previously, and it has only gotten better with age.
Origin: Yunnan, China