Kabusecha, sometimes called Kabuse Sencha, is a tea that is shaded for approximately two weeks. Shading the tea leaves cuts out the sunlight that reaches the plant and forces the plant to retain more L-theanine (creating the savory umami flavor), and reduces catechins (the antioxidant which produces astringency). This results in a balanced tea that is rich and savory.
Kabusecha was most often used as a blender -- combined with sencha to increase the quality of a large volume of sencha, or with gyokuro (tea shaded for approximately 3 weeks) to increase the quantity of gyokuro. Recently, it is sold by itself as more farmers attempt to create unique products for the market.
Tea farmer Shinichi Kihara inherited his farm from his father and follows an agricultural philosophy that prohibits the use of fertilizer and pesticides (synthetic, natural, organic or otherwise). This type of agricultural, called Shumei Natural Agriculture, aims to produce food that is as natural as possible.
- Savoriness (umami): ★★★★
- Sweetness (amami): ★★★★
- Astringency (shibumi): ★★
- Brewed Leaves: After steeping 3-4 times, the used leaves will be soft and can be eaten as a salad.
- Ingredients: Green tea
- Cultivar: Gokou (御香）
- Harvest Season: Spring (May)
- Cultivation Notes: Shaded for 2 weeks before harvesting. Harvested by machine.
- Processing Notes: New spring leaves are steamed, rolled, and dried immediately after harvesting.
- Producer: Shinichi Kihara (farmer, processor)
- Location: Uji City, Kyoto
- Size / # of Fields: 3500 sq meters / 3 fields
- Altitude: Approx 500 meters
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