Kawane Zairai Sencha
Kawane Zairai Sencha is a light-steamed Sencha (Asamushi Sencha). It is produced in Kawane. Kawane is located at the upper stream of Oui River (大井川) which is also a tea production area. It is as famous as Hon Yama (本山) where is located along the Abe River (安倍川).
The color of Zairai Sencha is as light as white wine, yet it gives depth and thickness in taste.
The biased judgment on the quality criteria of Japanese tea industry gives us an advantage in selection. We managed to pick up a good quality tea with lower price.
The distinctive characteristic of this Sencha is that it is 100% made of Zairai cultivar. Zairai in Japanese language means “existed for a long time” or “native”. The Kawane Zairai has reminiscent of Oolong cultivar. Its fresh tea leaf gives a flowery aroma that is similar to fragrance of orchid. When visiting tea garden right after plucking is carried out, it was like standing amidst in a flower garden.
One of the characters of Zairai cultivar is that it produces much longer root compared to conventional cultivar. Hence the longer root absorbs more minerals and tends to produce tea that gives richer taste and flavor. The richness of tea does not mean strong bitterness or astringency, but the depth of taste. In fact, it gives a very refreshing taste just like white wine and it lingers in our throat for some time.
Usually the older the tree, the better the quality of leaf it produced. This is due to the length of root and surface area. Tea tree that produces tea leaf for Kawane Zairai Sencha is at 50 years old on average. It is not considered very old. However, it is considered as the oldest Zairai in Kawane area.
For more info: http://www.hojotea.com/item_e/g23e.htm