Top-quality green tea combines with jasmine to yield a tea with lush fragrance and silky mouth feel. These rare pearls are made of tender, young green tea leaves which are plucked and rolled into perfect pearls with beautiful downy strips. They are then stored until the jasmine is plucked in the summer. The fresh jasmine blooms are then layered with the pearls overnight and removed after imparting their fragrance; the process of layering can be repeated up to seven times.
This tea makes a wonderfully generous gift on special occasions, not only because of its delicate fragrance and taste, but also because of the magic unfurling of the pearls as the tea steeps. Each pearl is rolled with two young leaf and bud tips. Inhaling the jasmine-sweet aroma and taking the first sip of the infusion draws you into the warmth of a calm oasis: time stops and nothing matters but the seductive flavors of each sip. This tea can be re-steeped several times.
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.