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This delicious (and we thought it was very delicious) tamaryokucha was found at Ikeda-ya, a small tea shop in the basement of Shinjuku station. This tea competed at the 69th Annual National Tea Competition.
The term "guri" means "bended" and guricha (ぐり茶) usually refers to tamaryokucha that has been steamed instead of pan-fired (kama-iri, like Chinese green teas).
Tamaryokucha (玉緑茶 literally "ball green tea") is a type of sencha that skips the very last part of the rolling process that extends the leaves into needles. As a result the leaves as they dry will curl slightly. Traditionally, it was this process that was used when export sencha to Russia during the 1930s. At first, this was done in order to imitate Chinese gunpowder green teas, and was a huge hit in Russia, then Morocco where it was drunk with mint (as is done today primarily with Chinese teas).
Name: Competition Grade Guricha
Ingredients: green tea
Net weight: 40 grams
Vendor: Cha no Ikedaya
Location: 1-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0023, JAPAN
Visiting Shinjuku, Tokyo? Stop by Ikedaya!
After exiting the central west ticket gates, head left to the Odakyu lines, it is on the way. Click on map to enlarge.