Kamairicha is a tea that is produced not by steaming the fresh leaves, but by heating them directly in a large frying pan. This tea is characterised by a clear and vivid yellow-green liquor and a fresh aftertaste with a sweet aroma. Today, this tradition is only practiced and continued in a small part of Kyushu.
At this farm, the producer cares strongly about the environment and their consumer’s health. Therefore, within the premises of these farms and gardens no chemicals such as pesticides are allowed.
The name of this tea is “Denshō” and refers to the tradition and folklore that is expressed through the age of the native tea bush used to create this tea. The garden was planted 60 years ago at the foundation of this farm, using solely native seeds as a means of reproduction.
About the tea
・Origin: Ashikita, Kumamoto, Japan (single estate).
・Farmer: Toshihiro Kajihara.
・Type: Green tea – Kamairi-cha.
・Cultivar: Native cultivar.
・Harvest: May 3, 2019.
・Tea bush age: 80 years.
・Additional impressions: Corn sweetness lingering at the back of the nose; Fresh grassy; Slightly mineral; Fiery taste; Chicory in the aftertaste; Jasmine sweet; Sunflower.
About the tea garden
・Name: Tengetsu (天月).
・Area: 60 ares.
・Category: Non-refurbished mountain flank.
・Soil type: Sand soil.
・Direction an angle: Northwest 10~30 degrees.
・Ridge direction and shape: South to North alongside the mountain contours.
About the climate
・Surroundings and environmental circumstances: The Tsuge district is a small settlement in the mountains of Ashikita village in the south of Kumamoto prefecture. The area is known for regular fog occurrences due to large differences in temperature between the coolest and hottest of the day. Throughout the mountains and valleys wild tea bushes continue to grow at a variety of locations, indicating it truly is a blessed environment for the cultivation of tea bushes. Since most tea producers in this area began by harvesting and tending to these wild tea bushes, it is commonly referred to that the origin of Tsuge tea – and this particular tea farm as well – lies with these wild tea bushes.
Comment from the manufacturer about the 2019 harvest
This year was an especially tough year for the tea bushes. At first, due to the fierce heat and immense drought the tea bushes were severely damaged during last summer. Consequently, the leaf surface during autumn harvest remained shallow and the buds grew small.
Winter was comparatively warm, due to which the buds started growth prematurely. This made them vulnerable to late spring frosts. Hereafter, a series of weeks with low temperature and insufficient rainfall obstructed the healthy development of vigorous buds and leaves. As a result, the leaf grew stiff rather early on. in addition, these events made it so that this year’s size of harvest was minimal.
Regarding manufacturing, we had to pay specific attention to the vulnerability of this year’s leaf during processing and change our approach for weak and soft leaves to stiffened coarser leaf treatment.
Measurements per portion.
・Amount of tea ：4~5g
・Steep duration：40 sec
Suggested no. of infusions: [3~]
Even brewing at 98℃ doesn’t allow for much bitterness. For three steeps at least the intensity of flavor and aroma stays steady.