First Harvest Sencha Osumi Santaido
一番摘み煎茶 大隅 三体堂
Producer: Yoshiteru Kosugi
Tea Farm: Suruga Takumi
Soil: Red Soil
Harvest: early May, harvested with scissors
Kirishima City, Kagoshima Prefecture, where the tea garden of this sencha is located, faces Kagoshima Bay and Sakurajima, the most active volcano of Japan. This is a place known for its special “kuroboku” soil. The rich soil is produced over time, as plants grow on top of the volcanic ash spewed out by Sakurajima, wither, and eventually decompose into humus. The repetition of this growth and decay into volcanic ash creates a fertile layer made of up a lot of organic matter, and the ideal conditions for plants to grow and flourish.
The Osumi Santaido tea garden sits at at 1300 ft elevation, at the foot of Mt. Kirishima. The difference in temperate between day and night is drastic here. This, along with the foggy conditions, nurtures the tea plants. Junichi Fukumitsu, the producer that oversees this garden, has been focusing on organic cultivation for a long time, this tea is 100% organically cultivated. This sencha is made of the first buds that appear after a harsh winter, meaning they are concentrated in energy and flavour.
The dry leaves carry a rich, complex perfume – we smell night flowers, river bed, and baked bread. Once you brew this tea you can taste the mineral in it immediately – something like wet rock – making this a deeper and more grounding sencha, with a clearing and resolved finish.
We feel the energy of the leaves in this tea, which perhaps is why it provokes contemplation and inwardness. Despite the flavour and colour of this sencha being quite delicate and akin to other senchas, its mysterious power makes it quite unique. There is some astringency to later infusions, which holds the liquor in the palate for longer, giving texture to the weight of its liquor and contributing to its long and pleasant aftertaste.
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|Steep time||15 - 60 sec|
|No. of infusions||4