Tea garden owner Akika Kunitomo's father operated a landscaping company in Kochi Prefecture and in the 1990s discovered wild tea plants on an isolated mountainside during the course of his work. He began caring for the plants by clearing away the under brush and but allowing the plants to grow naturally as they had been.
Seeking to return to the roots of tea making in the Kochi region, Kunitomo-san built a small processing factory that focuses on pan-firing tea leaves. Akika took over the project when her father passed away, expanding by using seeds from the original wild plants and creating a managed tea field while continuing to adhere to the philosophy of zero use of pesticides and fertilizer.
Ryu, The Mountain Dragon, is made from the original wild tea plants. Carefully handpicked by the Kunitomo family and their neighbors, and pan-fired by hand as well. Only about 10 kilograms can be harvested each year, making this an extremely limited reserve.
- Ingredients: Green tea
- Cultivar: Yamacha (zairai, non-specific cultivar)
- Harvest: Spring, harvested by hand
- Production method: Handprocessed pan firing
- Region: Ino Village, Kochi, Japan
- Tea: 3 grams
- Water Temperature: 80C/176F degrees
- Water Amount: 200 ml
- Time: 3-4 minutes
- Resteep 3-4 times (total 3-4 cups per 3 grams)
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