From the fields of family-operated tea farm, Tomizawa Tea Garden, a shincha shaded for 24 days before early May harvest (making it a gyokuro).
Kumamoto Prefecture is not known for its gyokuro, but it is the largest producer of Tamaryokucha. After the earthquake that hit Tomizawa-san's town, Mashiki, Tomizawa-san took over a tea field for a farmer who decided to give up on tea farming. Instead of simply making tea as with his other fields, he decided to experiment with making gyokuro, something almost unheard of in the region, as a small effort to help revitalize the region. The umami, bitterness, astringency in this tea is representative of the terroir of Mashiki Village, Kumamoto.
Tomizawa-san's actually words for those who want to study tea in Japanese: 玉露を作ろうと思った理由：地震で離農した農家さんの茶畑を引き継ぐことになり、ただ普通に作るのではなく、復興の第一歩になるような取り組みをしたく、今まで熊本では殆ど作られていなかった玉露の栽培に取り組み始めました。さらに、熊本という地域柄、玉緑茶の国内最大の産地であることから、玉緑茶での玉露製造に挑戦しています。旨みや、苦み、渋み、熊本益城の地域、テロワールを感じて頂けると思います。
As a steamed tamaryokucha (or guricha), the leaves are not rolled into straight needles as you would see with sencha, but rather left slightly curled by skipping the last rolling step
- 1st - Tea: 5 grams. Time: 2 minutes. Water: 50C/120F, 50 ml.
- 2nd - Time: 10 sec. Water: 80C/175F, 200 ml.
- 3rd to 4th - Time: 30-60 sec. Water 80C/175F, 200 ml.
- The umami flavor is mostly extracted after the 1st steeping, and you steep at a hotter temperature afterward in order to extract the more bitter flavors (and the last of the umami). We recommend the second steep to be quick -- in and out, since the leaves are primed for extraction.
- In general, use hotter temperature & longer steeping time for a more astringent tea, use cold water or ice steeping for a very sweet tea.
Ingredients: Green tea
- Cultivar: Yabukita
- Harvest: May 14, 2020 (Shaded for 24 days)
- Processing: Regular steaming, last step to straighten leaves skipped (creating a tamaryokucha or more specifically guricha)
- Region: Mashiki, Kumamoto
The Tomizawa Tea Garden has over 85 years of tea farming history in Kumamoto Prefecture, and have received many famous tea awards in Japan. The family grows tea with a lot of sunlight and Kumamoto’s natural ground water famous for its clean and beautiful taste.
In April 2016, Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture affected by the Kumamoto Earthquakes with main shock at magnitude 7.0. The earthquakes have resulted in 48 deaths, 3000 injuries, and nearly 200,000 people evacuated to shelters in the aftermath.
Tomizawa Tea garden also had been affected by this earthquake losing their tea shop. However, they used this opportunity to rebuild their shop in 2018, calling it the Greentea.Lab.
- Name: Tomizawa Tea Garden / Greentea.Lab
- Location: 47 Oyatsu, Mashiki, Kamimashiki-gun, Kumamoto 861-2204
- Established: April 1928
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