Karigane is the term used in Japan for very high quality kukicha, or leaf stem tea. These leaf stems, filtered after processing from the leaves used to make premium sencha and gyokuro, contain a high level the natural sugars present in tea plants, producing a tea with natural, vegetal sweetness.
Ito Jakuchu's 'Roganzu', 18th century. Source: Wikipedia
The origins of the word Karigane, literally 'the sound of geese', lies in story that elegant migratory geese would rest on branches floating in the sea on their long journey. The leaf stems, resembling these branches, were given this name by Kyoto merchants in ages past.
The Name: Sakura
Perhaps the most widely used symbol of Japan, Sakura is the name for the Japanese cherry blossom, which blooms brilliant for two short weeks signaling the start of spring in Japan. The beauty is one that is brilliant but transient, like life itself...a Buddhist concept ingrained into the Japanese aesthetic.
We chose this name for our Karigane tea because we want you to be reminded of the natural beauty of this tea, and its brief but elegant flavor.