Kabuse-cha from Ise, Okumidori cultivar
Type of tea: Kabuse-cha
Origin: Suizawa Borough, Yokkaichi City, Mie Prefecture
Harvest: First spring harvest
Mie Prefecture is the little-known third-largest tea producing area in Japan. The teas grown in Mie are known as Ise-cha (tea from Ise). The area’s history of tea growing is as long as Uji’s in Kyoto, and Suizawa in particular has a very ancient tradition. It is especially famous for its kabuse-cha, which, like gyokuro and matcha, is made from leaves grown in shaded plantations. This technique produces tea with a very special sweetness and a fragrance called “ooi-ka.”
This is a typical kabuse-cha, in which the characteristic sweetness is accompanied by a slightly astringent note that gives the liquor a punch. The ooi-ka fragrance is there, adding a tiny touch of acidity. This tea’s flavour is much more complex than it seems at first. Many different steeping methods should be tried!
At an entirely reasonable price, this kabuse-cha is a Japanese tea with a special taste and aroma that should be discovered, halfway between gyokuro and sencha.
Quantity of leaves*: 3g / 1 tsp per person
Quantity of water: 70 ml / 1/4 cup per person
Water temperature: 70°C / 158°F
Steeping time: 1 minute 20s
*If you are making tea for just one person, increase the quantity of leaves slightly.