Fascinating Yakushima Shincha 2013
Every year since memory serves we have really enjoyed shincha from an organic plantation in Yakushima Island and every year we never quite seem to get around to contacting the grower to ask about the availability of his tea. This year however we did, and we are happy to say he was keen for us to purvey his tea for him to our customers.
If you don’t know Yakushima Island it’s time to get to know! It’s on the UNESCO World Heritage list, located south of Kyushu Island under the southernmost tip of Kagoshima. It’s very famous for its protected ancient forests (Jomon Sugi). For more information about Yakushima go here.
As far as we know there is only this grower, and perhaps one other grower, making certified organic tea on Yakushima Island. This grower has a small plantation on the east side of Yakushima where he is cultivating various cultivars of tea bushes. One of the most interesting is Kuritawase cultivar which is the main cultivar used in this shincha along with Yabukita.
The natural fragrance of Kuritawase cultivar is very distinct (exotic springs to mind). The grower has done justice to it by leaving it totally intact and not doing excessive roasting on the leaves during the final stage of processing. Hence, the aromatics of this shincha are really wonderful during shincha season.
It’s futsumushi which means it’s been normal steamed, a far cry from the deep steamed teas of most of mainland Kagoshima. If we had to say it reminds us of something from there then perhaps it’s a little reminiscent of some of the organic lighter steamed teas that come from the elevated areas of the Kirishima region.
Dried leaf is, as mentioned above, exotic and highly fragrant. The leaves are small yet intact. No real dust in the packet.
Prepared pitcher style for full viewing pleasure. One of the nicest ways to enjoy shincha!
Aroma, totally in the tropics! Taste is full and strong on the palate, not sweet, but strongly fragrant with clean astringency that gives a lasting impression in the mouth. It’s an exotic taste. Color of the liquor is pretty clear yellow-green, yet mainly yellow under most lighting conditions.
This organic shincha is not like any other that we regularly drink and is wonderfully priced. It’s now in stock at our store and is our very first shincha of 2013 available for shipping! It’s available in very limited amounts here: 2013 Organic Yakushima Shincha