Asamiya, Shiga, Japan.
Native seed-grown cultivar.
Over 80 years old.
Pesticide-free, natural Sencha.
This tea is produced in one of the oldest tea regions in Japan, in the mountains on the south side of Japan’s famous lake Biwa. The Asamiya region is particularly suited to the cultivation of fragrant, healthy, natural tea.
The high altitudes and low temperatures aid the bushes in growing strong and vital. Harvest is conducted only twice a year, and once every few years the manufacturer lowers his bushes down to the base after first harvest. This helps them to regrow healthy, fresh branches.
The only fertilisation used are natural plant based substances, some of which (straw, pampas grass, etc.) are applied to obstruct the growth of weeds. When these substances decompose they become nourishment for the bushes.
Due to the minimal amount of fertilisation the leaf grows rather thin. In addition, tea grown in mountain valleys receive less sunlight than in flat areas. These traits contribute to the production of a soft and fragile leaf, which needs to be handled with care during steaming and kneading.
The producer applies an asamushi (brief steaming) approach and takes his time to carefully kneed the tea-leaf into long needle shapes. This produces a tea that can be enjoyed throughout multiple infusions.
About the production process
- Fixing (steaming): Brief steaming / Asamushi
- Initial beating
- Drying: Regular branding.
Visit the manufacturer with me
About the manufacturer
7th heir to the Katagi family tea farm in Asamiya, Shiga prefecture. Since his father converted the farm to exclusively organic cultivation methods in 1975, the Katagi family has been producing a delicious, natural, healthy tea.
About the tea garden
The farm is situated in the Asamiya region in Shiga prefecture. A mountainous region on the south side of the prefecture’s well renowned lake Biwa. It is one of the 5 main traditional tea manufacturing regions of Japan, and according to some it is the area in which tea cultivation happened most early in Japanese history.
Direction and angle:
Ridge direction and shape:
Vertical rows of bushes.
About the climate
In the valleys mist passes over the tea gardens invigorating the bushes with fresh humidity and air.
Surroundings and environmental circumstances:
Sometimes wild boars lay waste to the farm as they seek out the delicious earthworms in this natural environment.
Suggested measurements for 1 portion.
Suggested no. of infusions: 
Gradually increase the temperature and steeping duration over successive brews.
Brew at a higher temperature to enjoy the delicious aromas of this natural tea.
Watch my introduction of this tea:
Liquid Jade Sencha no.3 – Asamiya