Master Akiyama’s Fuji Aracha
A mild, rustic sencha from Master Akiyama’s farm on the slopes of Mount Fuji in Shizuoka, Japan. Akiyama-san’s teas have won many prizes, including the top gold prize at The World Green Tea Contest, and he is recognised as one of Japan’s leading tea pioneers for his experimental work on different Japanese tea cultivars.
We tried this tea on a visit to Akiyama-san’s farm earlier this year and were surprised at how good it was in an unfinished state. ‘Aracha’ literally means ‘crude’ or ‘rough’ tea and uses the whole leaf, including the leaf blade and stem, without going through the final ‘hi-ire’ sorting process. The result is a tea dense in flavour with a thick, smooth texture and a surprising amount of sweetness. Although not as complex or as rich as the ‘finished’ Fuji Sencha this is a great tea for everyday drinking and certainly one of the best we have found from our producers at this price point.
To make this tea use freshly boiled water that has been cooled to 80°C and 3-4g of tea per cup.
Master Akiyama’s Farm, Fuji City, Mt Fuji, Shizuoka, Japan
SIZE OF FARM
PLANTS AND PROCESSING
Camellia Sinensis Sinensis, Yabukita cultivar. Light steaming (~30 sec). Ichibancha, harvested Spring 2018.
80°C, 3-4g per cup or 60°C and 5-6g per cup. 3 infusions.
These are the first leaves of the year at Master Tea Maker Akiyama’s estate which has won many prizes including the top gold prize at the international World Green Tea Contest in 2008. In April 2010 on his small estate which is less than 10 acres, he explained that he has 30 different varietals from classic Japanese cultivars to oolong varieties from China and Taiwan. He even has some Assam jat tea bushes tucked away at the side of one of his fields for his experimentations with producing black tea. For his future tea trees, Mr Akiyama grows from seed and then selects which trees to take cuttings from. The tea world needs more farmers like Mr Akiyama to compete with the tea research stations’ vision of the future.