A second cutting after the spring harvest, the tea leaves are processed in the sencha style then roasted twice for a deep, rich flavor hojicha by the women-owned Kiroku Tea Garden.
A note about Zairai : Zairai (Japanese: 在来) means “native/indigenous”, and refers to old tea bushes that have no identifiable cultivar. Cultivars are usually vegetatively propagated by rooting and planting a branch of another bush, making them essentially clones with matching DNA. In contrast, with Zairai, each tea bush will have very slightly different traits because it was grown from a seed. Given that, the Zairai is not truly a cultivar but rather a blend of different individuals.
- Ingredients: Green tea
- Cultivar: Zairai (non-cultivar, field grown from seed)
- Harvest: Spring
- Notes: Roasted. No pesticides / synthetic fertilizers used.
- Region: Wazuka Village, Kyoto prefecture
Tea: 5 grams. Time: 1 min. Water: 90C/194F, 200 ml. Resteep up to 3 times.
About the Garden
The 4th generation Kiroku Tea Garden is in the heart of Wazuka, Kyoto prefecture, an area whose mountain tea fields and undulating terraced slopes thick with fog make perfect tea-growing conditions. Founded nearly 100 years ago, before cars and farming machinery were available, their mountain fields were cleared by hand by the Great-Grandfather of sisters Megumi and Ui Hori.
Today, with their mother, the sisters find themselves in the unusual position of being a farm entirely owned and operated by women. After the passing of their father, the three women took over the running of the farm to continue their family’s legacy, one that began in these fields all those years ago. In the male-dominated tea agriculture and production industry, their efforts are a challenge to the status quo. At Yunomi, we are proud to support their dedication. To learn more about the Kiroku Tea Garden, please check out our interview with Ui Hori (posted April 2021).
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