A high-grown kabusecha, half-way between a gyokuro and a sencha, grown at 600m above sea level without artificial fertilisers or pesticides by the Ishikawa family on their small farm in Aichi. It is shaded before harvesting for ten days, rather than the traditional twenty days for a gyokuro, increasing the amino acids and sugars in the plant which would otherwise be converted by photosynthesis. This means that when made at low temperatures much more sweetness and umami is brought out than in a regular sencha.
This is an outstanding kabusecha with a viscous, almost oily texture which coats the mouth. The taste is vegetal and intense with a huge amount of umami and a tropical fruit sweetness. Although this tea is shaded for less time, we would rate it higher than many gyokuros we've had at the same price, along with kabusechas that have unbalanced umami due to overuse of artificial fertilisers.
This is a special treat for any lover of Japanese green tea and we would recommend making it carefully with water cooled to around 60°C and 5g of leaf per 100ml.
Ishikawa Family, Aichi, Japan
SIZE OF FARM
PLANTS AND PROCESSING
Camellia Sinensis Sinensis. Yabukita and Komakage cultivars. 10 days shading before harvesting. Medium steaming (~30 sec). Harvested May 2018.
60°C, 5g per 100ml. 4 infusions.
A father and son team who have been farming naturally without agrochemicals for over 20 years. They harvest their flat fields with an amazing mechanical plucking machine and also sometimes irrigate their fields with a vintage fire engine!
In 2013 their kabusecha placed 29th in the all Japan kabusecha contest, an amazing achievement considering most of the other teas would have been grown with artificial fertilizers to increase the umami flavour in the tea.