Despite not being able to visit the Watanabe Family as we would have liked this year we are so pleased to have secured a limited quantity of this beautiful 2021 spring harvested organic kuritawase sencha for the Australian market.
This beautiful shincha is fragrant with notes of freshly cut grass and a unique floral bouquet. Whilst refined it produces a full-bodied liquor that is savoury and so well-balanced in both bitterness and astringency.
Our tea comes from the Watanabe family tea garden. At times there is a direct tradeoff between organic and conventional teas in terms of aroma and flavour and we have been working hard to find a source of organic tea from Japan that we believe embodies all the wonderful characteristics of Japanese green tea. We selected this garden as the Watanabe family grow and produce all of the tea themselves and they have an ethos and belief in sustainable and natural farming practices. We loved them even more when they told that us that “weeding is performed by hand with our warm heart”.
Read more about the Watanabe family here.
Origin: Yakushima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan
Flavour profile: Umami | Fresh cut grass | Floral
Processing highlights: To produce our Kuritawase sencha the tea bushes are shaded 9 days prior to harvest. The Kuritawase cultivar is considered a super early Spring cultivar, a specialty of this region, revered for producing Japan’s first spring teas. The Kuritawase cultivar can be found in warm areas of Japan such as Yakushima island and Tenegashima Island both parts of the Kagoshima prefecture.
Harvest: Spring 2021
Tea Master: Watanabe family
Yakushima is located in the southernmost part of Japan. It benefits from a warm geographical location and high rainfall. It produces Japan’s earliest high-quality shincha. Located in the Kagoshima prefecture, 90% of the island is covered in forest and in 1993 approximately 21% of the island was declared a UNESCO world heritage site.
An invigorating green tea that is clean and pure. The liquor is rich and has a harmonious balance of umami, sweetness and fresh cut grass flavours.
Umami is the name for the fifth basic taste, after sweet, sour, bitter and salty that describes a ‘pleasant savouriness’.
Kuritawase Sencha pairs well with seafood, rice, egg dishes, raw and lightly cooked vegetables. It also works well with other dishes that exhibit umami properties including soy sauce and shitake mushrooms.
These beautiful tea leaves make for a delicious salad once you have brewed them. Pour a small amount of ponzu sauce on them and enjoy them as they are or mix them through rice as a seasoning.
Leaf appearance: Needle-like jade green leaves
Aroma: Highly aromatic notes of fresh cut grass and a floral bouquet combine to deliver a sweet aroma
Liquor colour: Brilliant yellow-green