Kirishima is a city located in Kagoshima Prefecture located on the island of Kyushu. This is the country's southernmost tea region and it is considered as a first place, where tea plant stated to be cultivated. Kagoshima is one of the biggest tea growing prefectures in Japan. Subtropical mild climate, rich volcanic soil, and high mastery of local farmers creates a high-quality green tea, one of the best in Japan! Kirishima's tea is famous for its very delicate flavour and rich full-bodied 'umami' taste.
Exquisite green tea from Japan, which is considered one of the most unique and refined teas in the world. Due to a special growing, harvesting method, and production process, this tea has a unique flavour that cannot be found in any other green tea. This tea is made from the highest quality spring harvest. Approximately three weeks before plucking, tea bushes are shaded from the sunrays, which reduces the content of alkaloids (theine) in the tea leaf and increases the content of amino acids (theanine), which has a tonic effect on the human body. Carefully hand-plucked, steamed, and traditionally processed, this tea has an intense and rich aroma and taste. This one is made from a special blend of two cultivars, Yabukita and Okumidori, which makes this Gyokuro quite unique.ORGANOLEPTIC
The beautiful glossy whole leaf material looks quite accurate due to the fact that most Japanese teas are broken after a long and complex production process. The aroma of a dry tea leaf is gentle and sweet with grassy and creamy notes. The main note this tea is famous for is 'Umami' - a savoury taste of high-protein substances, considered to be an independent, fifth taste in China, Japan, and other countries of the Far East. The taste is intense and complex. Sweet and creamy, deep and tender with a little bit of bitterness. Full-bodied tea with a long-lasting sweet aftertaste and some menthol sensation.
Japanese prefer to brew these kinds of teas quite strong and powerful, enjoying a deep complex taste. I prefer to brew them lighter to enjoy a sweet and tasty drink. I recommend you try using 70 °C water and infusing tea for about 30-45 seconds each time. You will get a more gentle and sweet drink with enough multifaceted taste to enjoy.GASTRONOMY
This tea is a great aperitif before a meal, a great alternative to wine. It can be brewed with classic or cold-brewing methods. In the second case, tea can be infused with cold water for 1.5-3 hours. The infusion is light, tender, and rich. Its sweet taste and 'Umami' note pair perfectly with light salads, Hiashi Wakame (seaweed), broccoli, green peas, cucumber, and rice. You can experiment with different savoury or sweet food to find your own perfect combination. Due to a complex, intense taste, this tea can fit a lot of different things. You can also add this tea to a sauce, vinegar, or oil and leave it for some time to exchange the flavours.EXPERT'S JUDGEMENT"The traditional Gyokuro is shade during 20 days before the harvest, using bamboo mat on concrete post. The bamboo mat is about 60 cm above the tea trees. This process is good to keep the temperature as low as possible and maintain a few quantity of light which change the chemical properties of the tea trees, more chlorophyll and more L-Theanine that give to the lives more tenderness, deep vegetal notes and umami. Producers don't use any machine to harvest the tea everything is made by hand, each buds and young leaves are picked by hand under the bamboo mat. This is called "Hon" Gyokuro that means real Gyokuro in Japanese. But the production is so ridiculous and small because of the cost it's very difficult to sell it for a good price.Most of the shade used to make Kabuse and Gyokuro nowadays are made using black synthetic fibre covering directly apply on the tea trees. Because of the black color, it warms a little bit the tea trees so Mr. Henta found something new a synthetic fibre covering with reflectors to maintain a low temperature on the tea plant. He is trying to get closest to the traditional Gyokuro.
This tea is made with Saemidori cultivar, a cultivar from Uji, that is a combination of Yabukita and Asanoka. This tea cultivar loves the southern part of Japan because of his low frost resistance. Saemidori give a lot of umami and when it's shade the umami notes are so powerful and you can feel deep vegetal notes of grass and some sea notes close to the taste of mussels."
Florian Aumaire (Les thés sur terre)