This fine tea is a type of natural gyokuro, meaning that it has the kind of inherent sweetness that is typically achieved by shading the plants. The plants used to produce this tea has leaves that are delicate, tender and very sweet.
This tea was made by a small but very professional family business in Kirishima which has been producing tea since 1897. They switched to organic farming practices in 1993, run a slick operation and use very modern machines. The combination of cultivar and shading for a short time has produced a tea that is incredibly sweet, aromatic and buttery smooth.
When a tea is described as a tennen gyokuro it is considered to have the same flavour characteristics as the traditionally produced gyokuro – extremely sweet and a lot of umami. With traditional gyokuro the sweetness comes from the long period of shading that the plants are subjected to prior to harvest, whereas the depth of umami comes more from the type of plant used. There is no rule as to which varietals of the tea plant are used to make gyokuro, as what makes a tea a gyokuro as opposed to a just a shaded tea („Kabusecha”) comes down to the method of production.
Connoisseurs of Japanese teas will know that the differences between high quality teas are subtle and while it sometimes takes a trained palette to appreciate them, the “training” is a lot of fun. We invite you to try this tea and compare it with e.g. the popular Kirishima Sencha Oku-Kirishima. Doing so presents a wonderful opportunity to explore two similar but yet different teas side by side. While both teas of course display the intense sweetness associated with a tennen gyokuro, their other characteristics are quite different.
OriginKirishima, Kagoshima, Japan
FlavoursSweet, fruity, buttery
Temperature50 - 60 °C
From controlled organic cultivation