Monthly Archives: April 2011

Uji Report 2011 Part 1

At the prestigious organic tea gardens in Uji, where our precious organic koicha matcha Tenkei Hana and our top-tier Tenkei Tori are cultivated, tea bushes have been showing bud growth for around two weeks now. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the growth of the buds on Gokou tea bushes on the 15th and 22nd of April:

Gokou - 2 weeks of bud growth

Gokou - 2 weeks of bud growth

And Samidori (not to be confused with Sa*e*midori):

Samidori - 2 weeks growth

Samidori - 2 weeks growth

Below you can see Gokou and Samidori tea gardens on the 22nd of April. The tea bushes are currently under stage one coverage which mainly protects the tea bushes from frost. As you can see the tea bushes are kept in the traditional standing up style (and will be handpicked only).

Pretty much all organic tencha, which is produced at these tea gardens by artisan growers, is reserved by tea masters and buyers in Kyoto. At present, we are able to reserve from the grower around 10kg of organic tencha per year from each tea garden:

Organic Gokou Tea Garden in Uji

22nd April 2011 - Organic Gokou Tea Garden in Uji

Organic Samidori Tea Garden in Uji

22nd April 2011 - Organic Samidori Tea Garden in Uji

Stay tuned for part two…

Organic Spring Bancha

The first taste of Spring 2011 arrived earlier this week! However, not a Shincha, it’s Organic Miyazaki Haru Bancha. It’s made from mature winter leaves (not Spring buds) that are harvested at the end of March. A pan-fired tea, not steamed, with a very distinctive fresh Spring aroma:

Organic Miyazaki Haru Bancha

Organic Miyazaki Haru Bancha

An easy brewer that steeps well at any temperature between 80°C/176°F – 95°C/203°F. To bring out more of that wonderful fresh Spring aroma use a higher water temperature!