This organic Tencha green tea was made by Shutaro Hayashi, 5th generation of this family that are true pioneers of cultivating on Kirishima Mountain (Misty Mountain) in Kagoshima. Mr. Hayashi produces all three of our different grades of matcha we have on offer, as well as numerous other delicious green teas we stock. We asked him to set aside some of the Tencha that he uses to make our Ceremonial Grade Matcha, meaning that this Tencha was made with the Okumidori cultivar.
Tencha is actually the raw material used to make Matcha. They are the very same shade-grown leaves used to make gyokuro tea. The difference is that to make Gyokuro the leaves must be processed by rolling them and to make Tencha for Matcha, the leaves must be de-veined to make for a finer Matcha powder. You can enjoy Tencha by preparing it the same way you would gyokuro.
The leaves have a beautiful appearance and a very full, sweet creaminess that is rich in umami. The tea’s infusion is a brilliant green with a very deep, sweet taste that stays strong though numerous infusions.
To produce tencha tea it is necessary to cover and shade the plants for the last 20-30 days before harvesting. Tencha leaves become more tender as they are not exposed to direct sunlight. This shading process also inhibits photosynthesis, sot he plant must survive on its own nutrients. This changes the chemical composition of the leaves, reducing catechin (responsible for bitterness) and extracting L-Theanine, which improves its sweetness and aromatic properties.
Origin: Makizono, Kirishima, Kyushu, Japan
Harvest: First week May, 2020
Color of liquor: phosphorescent green
Aroma: creamy, biscuits, bread
Flavor: sweet, silky, creamy, refreshing
Temperature: 55º c
Steeping time: 3min; 1min; 4min