It has been several years since we had tea from Tak Aoki and his family, who produce tea and oranges in Kitsuki in Oita prefecture on the southern island of Kyushu. Previously he produced a lovely sencha for us which was a favourite with customers, but more recently he has completely switched to producing an outstanding tamaryokucha (meaning 'curved jewel green tea') a famous tea style found almost exclusively in Kyushu. The leaves, instead of being straight like a sencha, are curly giving this tea its other name: guricha, meaning 'curly tea'.
We have secured just 6kg in total of the small production that Tak Aoki made in 2018. The dry leaf is small and coiled, with a sweet grape aroma which comes across in the first infusion with notes of fresh grass and hazelnuts. Subsequent infusions lose the toasted taste and become milder and sweeter with an acidic tang.
Best brewed with 80°C water and around 3-4g of tea per 150ml cup.
Aoki Family, Kitsuki, Oita, Japan
SIZE OF FARM
PLANTS AND PROCESSING
Camellia Sinensis Sinensis. Ichibancha, harvested Spring 2018.
80°C, 3-4g per cup. 3 infusions.