Kasuga, Gifu prefecture.
Native, seed-grown bushes.
100 to several hundred years old.
Pesticide-free, natural Sencha.
May 10, 2019.
The tea garden is tended to in a natural farming way.
No fertilizer and no agrochemicals are used during cultivation at all.
The tea bushes depend on their environment for nourishment and growth.
This creates the tendency to produce buds at a slower pace, making spring harvest possible several weeks after harvest has already started elsewhere.
The farmers only harvest once a year in spring. This keeps the tea bushes healthy and vigorous.
The most interesting trait of a seed-grown native cultivar tea garden is that if there are 100 tea bushes in the garden, you have 100 different types of tea bushes.
It’s a natural blend.
Harvest is done by hand, but processing is done by a local small-scale sencha processing factory.
This factory is equipped with small-batch processing equipment allowing to process each manufacturer’s tea individually.
When the raw sencha returns from the processing facilities, the manufacturer manually (using bamboo sieves and tweezers) separates the powdery leaf, the good leaf and the coarse leaf. But she aims not to remove the twigs from the tea. She believes that the twigs bring sweetness to the tea, which produces a better overall balance in the finished product.
Visit the manufacturer with me
About the manufacturer
Sayo Nakamura trusts in the vitality of her native tea bushes. With their centuries-old roots they gain vitality and nourishment from the deeper layers of he soil. She feels that to create an authentic tea it is this feature that contributes most to the inherent power and energy of the tea. Unfortunately se says, not many manufacturers, even in this region, realize this vital trait.
About the tea garden
Altitude approx. 200~400 m.
During its 760 year long history, the region has been famed for being the nation’s treasury for medicinal herbs. It produced a lot of the necessary natural ingredients for crude medicine and Chinese herbal medicine. Also its tea has long been favored throughout Japan. Unfortunately, the village is struggling to keep up as more manufacturers are growing older and tea gardens are being abandoned.
Crumbly black topsoil, porous hardened lava.
Direction and angle:
NESW; 20~45 degree slope angle.
Ridge direction and shape:
Mosaic shaped; turtle back motif.
About the climate
Lots of rain; Large temperature differences. On certain days we have morning dew and evening dew. This helps the bushes to absorb the amino acids in the air for more sweetness.
Surroundings and environmental circumstances:
Surrounded by mountains. Different tea fields created from wild tea bushes are spread out over the mountain surface.
Suggested measurements for 1 portion.
Suggested no. of infusions: [4~5]
Begin with a shorter infusion to express the aroma. Gradually increase steeping durations.
Liquid Jade Sencha no.2 – Kasuga