Kajihara Tea Garden’s best selling tea, "Densho" (meaning "tradition" in Japanese). This original kamairicha is produced from 60-year old tea bushes grown from seed (zairai) and then blended with okuyataka and yabukita cultivar tea leaves.
Because the main zairai tea bushes are located on a steep slope (at least 30 degrees), the tea is made with a lot of care and effort. Yes, the tea work on this farm can even be dangerous at times! Made through the traditional kamairicha producing method, this tea has a relatively strong scent but is refreshing to drink.
Kamairicha (literally pan-fired tea) is a type of tea processing method that was brought from China in the 15th-16th century. Instead of steaming the leaf to stop oxidization, a processor will instead lightly heat the leaf in a pan to stop oxidization. It is then rolled while drying. Kamairicha products are mostly made in the Kyushu region.
Ingredients: Green tea
- Cultivar(s): Zairai main with Okuyutaka and Yabukita
- Harvest: Spring
- Region: Tsuge village, Ashikita town, Kumamoto
- Note(s): pan-fired instead of steamed
Steeping Recommendation from Kajihara-san
Tea: 3 grams
- Time: 60-90 sec (10-15 sec, on 2nd; 30-60 sec on 3rd steeping)
- Water: 80C/176F, 200 ml
Notes: To steep kamairicha, it is best to steep in a higher temperature of about 80 degrees Celsius. This will ensure producing the richness of kamairicha. In general, teas give out "umami" with lower temperatures and scent and "shibumi" (astringency) can be achieved through higher temperatures. Kajihara-san suggests experimenting day-to-day depending on your state of being (mood, health, etc).
About the Tea Farmer
- Name: Toshihiro Kajihara
- Vendor Type: Family farm (Kajihara Tea Garden)
- Location: Ashikita, Ashikita-gun, Kumamoto 869-6303, Japan
The Kajihara Tea Garden is cultivated by Toshihiro Kajihara, a 3rd generation tea farmer based in the 9-family hamlet of Tsuge in Ashikita Village, Kumamoto. Being first born in his family, he was expected to continue the family business and so specialized in tea during his studies in the Public Agricultural University in Kumamoto prefecture. At the age of 20, he returned home to start his tea career.
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