Japanese green teas stand out from other green teas because of the way it is grown and prepared. Japanese green teas are steamed to stop the oxidation process and preserve the chlorophyll in the leaves and then roasted for flavor. Many Japanese green teas also grow in marine climates, where it is moist and cloudy, which makes the leaves on the tea plant greener. As a result, Japanese green teas are not only more delicious, but also healthier.
Our Shizouka Zencha is picked in the early spring, and is traditionally lightly brewed to have rich creamy and gentle vegetal notes, but can also be brewed longer to extract more intense flavors. Early season pickings of sencha tend to have more flavor, since the tea plant is dormant during the winter.
Our Kirishima Bancha is picked in the later summer and early fall because it is a more mature leaf compared to sencha. This gives the tea a more woody and robust taste that is very pleasant.
Genmaicha is our early spring sencha blended with roasted sticky rice. Traditionally, Zen Buddhists often cooked rice and boiled their tea water in the same vessel. When villagers drank tea at the monastery, they noticed a distinct roasted flavor in the green tea. They later discovered that overcooked rice was stuck on the bottom of the water vessel, which added flavor to the tea. Villagers enjoyed the flavor and later began to add roasted sticky rice to their tea to recreate the spiritual experience they had in the monastery.