Gyokuro Karigane is a blend of the leaf stems filtered out during the refinement of Uejima Tea Farm's gyokuro products. This leaf stem tea (kukicha) is given the more refined name of karigane, literally the "sound of geese". Karigane is a term mainly utilised in the Kyoto area of Japan and the term evokes the elegance of Japanese geese carrying a twig as it migrates across the Sea of Japan. When it tires, it places the twig in the water and rests on it... (very poetic!) or so the legend goes.
If you are not too familiar with kukicha, one may wonder why people drink tea made from leaf stalks instead of regular leaf tea. It is because the stalks of green tea are also rich in nutrients, contain umami flavor, and have a pleasant aroma and flavor. In fact, stalks and stems receive less sunlight compared to leaves which result in less production of catechins and more sweet notes (umami) in brewed tea. This karigane from gyokuro leaf stems is definitely worth trying, coming from the famous tea producing region of Wazuka and well-known tea farmer Uejima-san!
- Ingredients: Green tea
- Harvest: Spring
- Region: Kyotanabe & Wazuka Villages, Kyoto Prefecture
About Tea Farmer: Noriyasu Uejima
Noriyasu Uejima is a hard working and humble tea master. In the 90+ year old tea tasting competition held in Kyoto, he is the only winner to ever achieve a perfect score. Cultivating and processing some of Kyoto's finest teas, the Ritz Carlton Hotel of Kyoto features his teas in their line up for guests. He is the 5th generation master farmer carrying on a tradition that dates back to the mid-19th century when his ancestor started the Uejima family as a branch family of an even older main family. The farm also operates the Wazuka Village's Wazuka Cha Cafe.
Please read more about Uejima-san and get to know this amazing tea farmer better through an interview that was posted in February 2021. Enjoy!
Uejima-san below gives a simple introduction about the Wazuka valley
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