Yet another shincha from Shimizu-san’s own nogi-en (and others), the Shourai blend is unique because it comes from their 八十八夜 (hachijyu-hachiya) harvest. According to the traditional Japanese lunar calendar, hachijyu-hachiya signifies the 88th night after the start of spring and is also used to mark the start of shincha harvesting.
The Shourai blend is a harmonious blend consisting of the aracha (unrefined tea in which stems and leaf fannings are not filtered) of three types of cultivars: fukumidori (plays central role), yumewakaba, and yabukita.
After the tea is harvested, it goes through a process of withering in which the tea leaves are first sun dried, then shaded for about half a day to bring out the aroma. Each cultivar is hand-fired separately using a roe, then blended to complete the Shourai blend. This tea has been served to the Japanese emperor and empress to accompany their desert at Koryo Shrine on September 20, 2017.
- Withering in the sun. After 30 minutes the leaf starts to blacken with enzymatic oxidization creating a floral aroma.
- Sencha processing
- Finishing - sorting out stems and fannings, including green-roasting using an old-style drying machine. The hot air used in to dry out the unrefined tea for long-term storage also adds a little toastiness to the fruity floral aroma.
- Yabukita (Bizenya & Farmers: Takanori Shimada, Yutaka Miyaoka)
- Fukumidori (Bizenya & Farmers: Takanori Shimada)
- Yume Wakaba (Bizenya)
- Harvest: May 2020
- Region: Takahagi, Hidetaka City, Saitama, Japan.
- Production notes: Handpicked, grown without pesticides
Steeping Recommendation from Bizenya
- 1) 70C (158F), 30 sec - Enjoy the fresh aroma and scent
- 2) 70C (158F), 10 sec - Enjoy the curious taste
- 3) 85C (185F), 30 sec - Enjoy the refreshing taste and aroma
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