Ishizuchi Kurocha - Fermented Dark Tea from Ehime Prefecture - EH001


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JPY ¥1,500

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Description

Research has shown that ishizuchi kurocha is rich in lactobacillus plantarum (post fermentation and before sundrying, 100,000 count per gram was measured).

Steeping Notes

  • The recommend steeping parameters are: 1.5g / 1-2 min / 95C (203F) / 300 ml.
  • More traditionally, it is actually brewed: 1.5g / boil for 10 min in 1 liter of water.

Flavor

This tea has a hearty and warm flavor with brisk berry like notes. There is a lingering warm sweetness, reminiscent of dried plums, in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is light, which together with the nuanced but still bright flavor make it a cozy yet refreshing drink. 

History

Historical records do not show exactly when the tea was first grown and produced in the regions surround Mt. Ishizuchi, but the book Honchochokan (本朝食鑑) in 1697 and Saijoshi (西條誌) in 1842 mention it as a regional tea. It was more widely produced for locals during up to the Taisho period (1911-25) but slowly died out during the Showa period (1926-1989) as changes to agriculture economy swept the region.

Today, this rare tea is made by the Ishizuchi Kurocha Satsukikai, a preservation society dedicated to maintaining the production of this folk tea. The society was established because in 1996, only 1 person was left who knew how to produce the tea.

How is Ishizuchi Kurocha Produced?

  1. Step 1: In July each year, branches with mature leaves are harvested by hand
    Step 1: In July each year, branches with mature leaves are harvested by hand
  2. Step 2: Leaves are removed and washed thoroughly in flowing water.
    Step 2: Leaves are removed and washed thoroughly in flowing water.
  3. Step 3: Leaves are steamed for about an hour
    Step 3: Leaves are steamed for about an hour
  4. Step 4: Leaves softend by steaming are packed into a barrel and left to ferment
    Step 4: Leaves softend by steaming are packed into a barrel and left to ferment
  5. Step 5: Removed from fermentation, you can see the mold that has formed on the leaves.
    Step 5: Removed from fermentation, you can see the mold that has formed on the leaves.
  6. Step 6: Fermented leaves are rolled by hand.
    Step 6: Fermented leaves are rolled by hand.
  7. Step 7: Leaves stored in containers again for lacto fermentation
    Step 7: Leaves stored in containers again for lacto fermentation
  8. Step 8: Leaves are removed sundried for 2 days
    Step 8: Leaves are removed sundried for 2 days
  9. Step 9: Finished dried leaf after two months of processing from harvest!
    Step 9: Finished dried leaf after two months of processing from harvest!

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