[FEB 2019] - Okumidori Wakocha
This tea was part of The Tea Crane Subscription ed. February 2019 package.
Availability is limited.
I find Azuma’s approach to black tea a wonderfully great idea. Azuma harvests only once for matcha to maintain the vitality of the tea bushes. However, some bushes are vital enough to provide a second harvest, and instead of using those leaves for the manufacturing of a lower graded matcha, Azuma maintains the quality of their overall matcha brand by limiting it to only the first harvest, and employing this later leaf to experiment with other tea varieties.
Although black tea may not be considered as the most obvious choice, I do feel that later harvests, especially summer and autumn harvests are suited for black tea production as the leaf is coarser, and will have become comparatively bitterer than the first harvest. Therefore to produce green tea with the first harvest, and black tea with the second, almost seems as the logical approach to take.
About the tea
・Origin: Wazuka, Kyoto, Japan (single estate).
・Farmer: Teruko Azuma.
・Harvest: July 17, 2018.
・Tea bush age: 40 years.
・Type: Organic black tea / loose leaf.
About the tea garden
・Name: Ipponmatsu (一本松)
・Area: 40 ares
・Category: Tea mountain
・Soil type: Slate geology; slightly clay soil
・Direction an angle: 30 degrees westward
・Ridge direction and shape: South to north alongside the mountain contours
・Other specifications of the tea garden and cultivation: The bushes on this garden are slightly older. To keep them vital the trees are often cut down halfway after the first harvest.
About the climate
・Climate: Cold. The farm is situated on the peak of a mountain.
・Surroundings and environmental circumstances: Summers are comparatively cool at the farm. Temperature differences between morning and evening are large in spring. Almost no bugs reach the farm.
・Amount of tea ：4~5g
・Steep duration：60~90 sec.
Suggested no. of infusions: [2~3]
A shorter first brew may aid to suppress the amount of astringency released.
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