The golden field you see in the photos is a proprietary cultivar named Horai Kincha (蓬莱錦茶); Horai refers to an island in Chinese and Japanese mythology while "Kin" refers to a type of weaving called nishiki (famous in Kyoto) in which golden threads are interwoven with other colors.
The Horai Kincha is an extremely rare single-cultivar tea from the Yoshino Tea Garden. The tea fields of this cultivar will have a golden luminous shine for a temporary period of time once a year in May (this is when the new leaves are harvested). A special only one cultivar that is found at the Yoshino Tea Garden. This golden sencha is known to have a naturally abundant level of amino acids giving it a rather savory fruity umami flavor (almost like gyokuro) despite no shading. But be warned, this is a tea for connoisseurs!
Tea: 5 grams. Time: 60 sec. Water: 70C/175F, 200 ml.
Steep immediately upon second steep, and 30-60 seconds for the third steep.
- Ingredients: Green tea
- Cultivar: Horai Kincha 蓬莱錦茶
- Harvest: Spring
- Region: Hidaka City (Sayama), Saitama
- Name: Yoshino Tea Garden
- Type: Family business, farm
The Yoshino family has been farming tea in Sayama, Saitama, for at least 7 generations, and while many farmers cultivate many different cultivars, the current head, Seiichi Yoshino, has made an effort to offer single cultivar sencha to the public. He has also worked on developing his own cultivars, Horai Kincha and Murasaki Kifujin.
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