This tea is made from a special blend of Benifuuki, Zairai, Yabukita and Surugawase cultivars and processed by a method called 'microorganism-controlled fermentation', which results in this tea being one of the rarest among Japanese teas. The process is quite similar to the sake production method and includes crushing the tea leaves, mixing them with water, heating them, and then fermentation in a heat-controlled environment for several days inoculating those leaves with koji (Aspergillus oryzae) mould. By the end of this step, the tea leaves are oxidised for 7-8 hours and heated to kill bacteria. The result is a very unique tea due to its original taste and beneficial properties.
There is no other tea that can be compared with this one. Yamabuki Nadeshiko has a very intense and complex flavour. The dry tea leaves have notes of berries, wood, and cider with some hints of seaweed in the background. If you keep it in a warmed-up teapot, the aroma will develop into baked fruits with notes of pickles. The taste is deep and thick with notes of port wine, plum, tobacco, and sun-dried tomatoes. A spicy long-lasting aftertaste. I have a few 2-3 years samples and can assure you that this tea gets better with time, becoming smoother and deeper.