In 2018, Ujitawara tea farmer Katsutani Kenji won the to prize at the National Tea Competition, the Minister's Award, for the Kabusecha category. Nishide-san, an expert tea blender & refinement master, has aged this tea for 2 years in deep freeze bringing out the delicate umami flavors.
His story is an interesting one, and I hope we can pursue it in more detail - he started tea farming only in 2009!! (To go from zero to top in the nation in 9 years...unbelievable). Actually, it was his father who started tea farming in the late 2000s as something to do in his retirement. Katsutani-san, helped out a little on weekends, but decided to make the career change from desk to field in 2009 at the age of 35. The tea field his father had was not nearly big enough to earn a living for himself and his family, and his knowledge of tea cultivation and tea processing was cursory. However, he persevered, absorbed as much knowledge as he could with the help from the tea farming community in Ujitawara, and won the Minister's Award in 2018 at the National level.
- Ingredients: Green tea
- Harvest: Spring
- Cultivation & Processing Notes: Shaded for 3 weeks, handpicked specifically for submission to competition.
- Region: Uji, Kyoto Prefecture
- 1st Steeping - Tea: 5 grams. Time: 60 seconds. Water: 60˚C/140˚F, 1 cup.
- 2nd Steeping - Time: 10 seconds. Water: 80˚C/176˚F, 1 cup.
- 3rd Steeping - Time: 45 seconds. Water: 90˚C/194˚F, 1 cup.
- The amounts above are guidelines. Adjust to preference.
- Consider also advanced steeping techniques such as cold or ice steeping (see Steeping Techniques).
- Name: Nishide Tea Factory (Nishide Seichajyo Co., Ltd.)
- Type: Family-owned tea factory
- CEO: Takashi Nishide
- Address: 59 Higashiokutani Zenjyoji, Ujitawara-cho, Tsuzuki-gun, Kyoto 610-0201, Japan
The Nishide Tea Factory is managed by husband and wife team, Takashi and Atsuko Nishide and their family. Established over 140 years ago, the Nishide family buys aracha tea (unrefined leaves) from the tea farms of Kyoto and surrounding prefectures, and refines them further to craft high quality tea leaves that are uniform in color and shape, and of course excellent in flavor.
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