(Green Tea with natural flavors)
Country of Origin: Japan
Region: Shizuoka Prefecture
Shipping Port: Yokohama
Altitude: below 1500 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Orthodox
Cup Characteristics: Tending light liquoring, smooth with reasonable depth and body
Infusion: Pale yellow green
Ingredients: Premium green tea
Japan produces some of the best green teas in the world. The primary producing area in Japan is the Shizuoka prefecture, which is west south west of Tokyo. The famous bullet train zooms through the tea growing area about 25 minutes after leaving Shinjuku station on its way to Osaka. The efficiency of Japan’s tea production is amongst the highest in the world reaching yields of 1500 pounds per acre. Despite the fact that mechanical plucking is used, the tea made is generally considered the best green tea in the world. Interestingly, due to its northern latitude all the tea fields have large fans covering the whole acreage. The fans are turned on during cold snaps to circulate the air and protect the tea bush from freezing. ese style green tea is almost considered ‘avant garde’ by our Japanese friends.
Japan only exports about 1-2 percent of its total production and recently has become a leading importer of the finest teas in the world. Over half of the yearly production of Japanese tea comes from Shizuoka. The production of green tea entails the steaming of the green leaf and hand or machine rubbing. The teas are then pan-fried or basket fired which gives them a distinctive appearance and glossy look and feel. These methods give a taste that is light in color but rich and full in the cup.
Sencha is commonly used in Japanese tea ceremonies marking events of personal importance. In this type of ceremony it is the ritual that is of paramount importance as the individual is being acknowledged. For ceremonies marking ‘life altering events’, matcha is used. Matcha is a sencha that has been turned into a powder through a painstaking but important ritual.
Hot tea brewing method:
When preparing by the cup, this tea can be used repeatedly - about 3 times. The secret is to use water that is about 180’F or 80’C. Place 1 teaspoon in your cup let the tea steep for about 3 minutes and then begin enjoying a cup of enchantment - do not remove the leaves from the cup. Once the water level is low - add more water, and so on and so on - until the flavor of the tea is exhausted. Look at the pattern of the leaves in the brew, not only do they foretell your fortune but you can see the bud and shoots presenting themselves, looking like they are about to be plucked.
Alternatively as with all top quality teas, scoop 2-4 teaspoons of tea into the teapot, pour in boiling water that has been freshly drawn (previously boiled water has lost most of its oxygen and therefore tends to be flat tasting), steep for 2-4 minutes (to taste), stir (virtually all the leaves will sink), pour into your cup but do not add milk or sugar since green tea is enjoyed ‘straight-up’.
Iced tea-brewing method:
(to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water.]