This organic sencha comes from a very experienced tea grower who has been cultivating green tea for over 40 years at a beautiful countryside small-scale tea garden in Shibushi on the east side of Kagoshima. The tea garden is encapsulated by an unblemished natural environment, with pure water, plentiful sunshine, lots of mist, and excellent fertile soil. Please see images below.
The cultivar that the grower uses for this sencha is Yutakamidori which is pretty extensively used to mass produce non-organic sencha throughout Kagoshima tea gardens. However, they are all become heavily reliant on nitrogen heavy chemical fertilizers to obtain an overemphasized and forced umami taste, and use chemical pesticides which, of course, is not what we're looking to offer. Furthermore, it's very rare you even get Kagoshima sencha that has been completely finished and packaged by a grower. Tea manufacturers etc., blend it and roast it, then it goes on to tea shops around the country, then to resellers, so no reseller really knows what they are getting in terms of quality regardless of what they tell you.
This Yutakamidori on the other hand is completely authentic. All steps in the cultivation and processing are managed by the grower himself and he sends us the tea directly. He uses a traditional natural Japanese recipe for fertilizer allowing new growth to develop slower, give nourishment to the soil, and keeps the tea bushes vibrant and healthy which creates a much more pure, clean, delicious and balanced tasting cup of aromatic tea.
The grower's perspective on steaming is not to use the common excessive deep steaming, he prefers to use a method he terms “Kyomushi”, which is strong steam, but shorter than deep steaming. With this steaming method the leaf material remains pretty intact, the infusion is clearer, and the liquor color is a strong bright yellow green. Furthermore, the grower doesn't excessively roast the leaves on the final stage. He only dries the leaves in order to reduce the moisture content which preserves the lovely natural aromas and taste of Yutakamidori.
Shimofuri when brewed, has an aromatic sweet-smelling fragrance with an initial sweetness followed by a mellow, smooth, and rounded mouthfeel that you might sense to be slightly fruity with notes of citrus or even muscat (green variety). The aftertaste is clean and settles on the tongue for a prolonged period of time after drinking. It's very delicious organic sencha that we highly recommend to any Kagoshima tea lover that wants to experience the authentic taste and aroma of Yutaka Midori.
Tea Garden Images...
Shimofuri, the name of this organic sencha, is a reference to the beautiful view of the tea garden from winter to early spring when frost lands on the tea bushes. The frost creates a wonderful marble-like effect on the tea bushes due to the way they are professionally pruned. The first image shows the size of the tea garden. You can see it is a very small-scale tea garden containing only Yutakakmidori tea bushes, a far cry from the many mass-production non-organic Yutakamidori tea fields that swamp Kagoshima:
Also during the tea bushes dormancy, before spring has come, it is possible to capture this stunning view when mist lands on spider's webs that have been spun by the many spiders that live in the tea garden. It is due to being grown in a natural environment with no chemical pesticide usage that we are able to capture such wonderful images.
The following are important images as they show how immaculately the tea bushes have been taken care of by the grower, and also show how each tea bush has been professionally pruned and trained so that less buds will grow per tea bush. This allows each new bud in spring to grow without being obstructed, but most importantly means each bud growth that grows in spring will gather more nutritional content due to there being less buds per tea bush. This is totally unlike mass-production non-organic plantations which prune tea bushes to promote more buds per tea bush and use chemical fertilizers to force nutrition into the mass of buds.
|Origin||Shibushi, Kagoshima, Japan|
|Harvest Date||April 2016|
|Harvest Period||100% Ichibancha (First Harvest)|
|Water Temperature||1st Infusion: 70°C/158°F
2nd Infusion: 75°C/167°F
3rd+ Infusion: Hotter Water
|Infusion Time||1st Infusion: 60 seconds
2nd Infusion: 10-30 seconds
3rd+ Infusion: Longer Steeps