LIMITED TIME OFFERING: We offer this tea as part of our effort to showcase teas produced only in very small batches and/or teas considered to be extremely rare or unique in their category.
Asanoka Sencha is a deep-steamed (Fukamushi) first-flush organic sencha grown in Kagoshima, Japan. From a single estate, this is also a single cultivar tea, specifically the Asanoka cultivar of the Camellia Sinensis (tea plant).
Grown only in Kagoshima, the name of this tea translates to "morning aroma" and is sometimes referred to as Senkou Ka, meaning "incense stick aroma." The liquor has a unique fragrance reminiscent of Thai basil and honeysuckle with a hint of brine. The area in which it is grown experiences a high temperature differential between night and day helping the tea to develop a deeper flavor that is vegetal, with umami and a delicate sweetness. The taste comes out brothy and herbaceous while the finish is lightly floral with a mild astringency.
One of the fairly unique characteristics of this tea is how the leaf was handled post harvest. In order for a green tea to maintain its "greenness" regardless of where it comes from, the leaf must undergo a brief heating process within just a couple of hours of harvest in order to "de-enzyme" the leaf or prevent oxidation. Generally, the leaf is heated to the point of reaching about 150 degrees Fahrenheit before the next steps take place, namely shaping and final drying. In the case of this Asanoka Sencha, the fresh leaf was heated in traditional Japanese fashion using steam. (Other cultures often pan-fire or oven-bake harvested leaves to de-enzyme.) And more specifically, rather than undergoing the more common light steaming method (Asamushi) of about 30-40 seconds under steam, the fresh leaves in this case underwent the more lengthy Fukamushi steaming process lasting over a minute. While the leaf becomes more delicate and prone to fragmenting following the deep steam process, the resulting liquor comes out notably more creamy in texture and more deeply rich in color and flavor than those undergoing a less lengthy steaming process.
- Steeping Instructions::
- Steep using 160-175 deg F filtered water for 30 seconds. Multiple re-steeps may be achieved.