JAPANESE TEA: AN ANCIENT CUSTOM IN MODERN TIMES
THOUGH SEPARATED BY 10,000 LEAGUES OF CLOUDS AND WAVES, OUR TERRITORIES ARE, AS IT WERE, CLOSE TO EACH OTHER” - SHOGUN TOKUGAWA LEYASU IN A LETTER TO KING JAMES I
The East India Company merchants and adventurers set sail aboard The Clove, racing the waves for days and nights in the hopes of reaching Japan. In 1613, they were welcomed in Hirado, whereupon they exchanged gifts with their hosts and initiated the first trade agreements. So began a history of trade between the two islands.
Today, we continue to build close relations with Japanese Tea Producers through our Tea Master who communicates with them directly to understand their picking and cultivation methods. Our shared passion and dedication has resulted in the refined characteristics of our vibrant Japanese green tea collection.
JAPANESE TEA COLLECTION
The full range includes: Sencha Sakura, Sencha Miyabi, Gyokuro, Genmai-Cha, Houji-Cha, and Matcha. Each blend of green tea has its own definite character and taste with a different preparation mechanism to highlight its individuality. Our attention to detail from growing to preparation of the various brews honours the very nature of Japanese tea tradition.
Experience for yourself the subtle variety of these time-honoured teas and enjoy an ancient custom in our modern times.
In mid-April, tea bushes are covered with a red screen to counter the direct sunlight. The resulting thin, bright green leaves with a larger amount of chlorophyll, are then hand-picked. The flavour is mild with a full-bodied character. Gyokuro, Japan’s most expensive tea, is often referred to as the most precious Japanese tea and the leaves are rigorously checked and selected to use only the finest from bushes which are kept under 90% shade for over two weeks prior to harvest.
An after dinner favourite with a distinctive nutty flavour. Unpolished rice is mixed with Sencha leaves, which also tastes great served iced. Refreshing and vitalising – a result of steaming, rolling, drying, sorting and finally blending. Tea devotees will savour each sip of this complex blend of Sencha green tea combined with roasted brown rice.
In the case of this blend, the tea is plucked and sent into a steamer as soon as possible, spread evenly and dried with hot air. A further drying process brings out a more pronounced aroma and finally the product is ground with a millstone machine. Matcha is nutrient-rich and the resultant drink, emerald green with a grassy flavour.
In honour of the Japanese festival of Hanami, our Tea Master created an ambrosial blend of Japanese Sakura Sencha green tea that is perfectly refreshing brewed hot or cold. The smooth, mellow and aromatic base of the Sencha perfectly complements the floral notes of the tender Sakura petals that have been sprinkled into the tea.
Fresh and light with hints of grass, Sencha provides a delicate introduction to the delights of green tea. This Sencha Miyabe comes from a family run estate in central Japan, and is grown with a level of care that comes through with each sip.
A blend of roasted Bancha and Sencha, the Houji-Cha has a distinctly toasted taste. Excellent after meals, this premium green tea is a superb choice for those who enjoy the unique, aromatic flavour of roasted teas.
TEA MASTERS BREWING TIPS FOR GREEN TEAS
The Cold Brew process is the best way to make cold Japanese green tea. Just use cold water and steep the tea for 45 to 60 minutes. By cold brewing this way, a lighter-bodied tea is produced with less astringency and bitterness as this method draws out a fewer tannic compounds, perfect for a mellow, even sweet, cold tea.
The Four Simple Steps for Cold-brewing the Perfect Batch:
4 - 6 TEASPOONS
Measure four to six teaspoons of loose tea and give them a quick rinse (to remove dust and impurities)
750ML OF WATER
Put the tea into a drinking bottle or jar (ideally 750ml) and fill to the top with cold water
45 - 60 MINS BREWING TIME
Cover and refrigerate for 45 to 60 minutes. Strain the tea leaves before storing or drinking