Spring and early summer is a thrilling time for Cultivate, as shipments of fresh harvests continue to arrive from China and Japan.
Look at what we have had the pleasure of unpacking and tasting this week ...
This excellent and gentle shincha comes to us from Yame, Fukuoka, a tea region famous for gyokuro 玉露, with the Hoshino river flowing through it East to West.
This is our first year receiving shincha (fresh sencha) from Hoshino. Their senchas are produced in the same style as gyokuro, offering us a rich and savoury green tea that lies somewhere between categories.
This tea shares some of its vegetal characteristics with gyokuru, but ultimately reads sencha, finishing with a burst of passionfruit that lingers on the palate.
This tea is crafted to showcase the epitome of sencha from Hoshino. Only the youngest and most tender new buds from the best varieties, Saemidori and Yuhikari, are used to make it.
It brews a strikingly clear and sweet liquor, reminding us that with quality in sencha comes simplicity and clarity.
We were amazed by the mouthfeel of this tea: it creates a voluminous, green liquid sphere that feels dense, and somehow wholly intact, in the mouth.
This last tea - a more rustic and wild version of sencha - is close to our hearts, as it comes from the enchanted island of Yakushima.
Zairai 再来 trees have been cultivated here since ancient times and, as we would expect from an indigenous varietal and older trees, yield tea with strong energy.
Sencha is a widely appreciated and highly cultivated tea to many different grades.
To taste this “wild” one is a privilege, as it reveals to us the essential qualities underpinning sencha’s great popularity, and the unique characteristics that Yakushima’s terroir lends to it.