Kunitomo: Riguricha Yotanbo - Tea Drunk - Handpicked Kamairicha

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Kunitomo Tea Garden

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Only the first bud and two leaves are plucked in the spring from tea plants grown from the seeds of wild plants, then hand processed by pan-firing to create this Kamairicha.

In the dialect of Tosa (the old name for the region that is now Kochi Prefecture) "yotanbo" means to get drunk. In actuality, the Kunitomo family named this tea not with the meaning that you would get drunk off the flavor, but that the strong bodied flavor is sure to sober up someone who is drunk; a tea they often drink after a night out...

小倉山の雑木林に自生する実生の山茶を自然栽培し、その中でも日の良く当たる茶木の新芽を一芯二葉手摘みにし、釜炒りに仕上げました。挿し木の栽培種と異なり岩の間へと深く根を張り、2億年前ともいわれる古生層の岩の成分を吸収した独自の深い澄んだ味わいと、鼻腔から再び戻って香る岩韻とも言われる戻り香をお楽しみ頂けます。森の落葉樹の養分や岩質のミネラル分をたっぷりと吸収し、土佐の山の春の日差しを大らかに受けた茶葉の味は滋味深く野生の茶の渋味、苦味を重厚に残しながらも、水質に滑らかになじむ濁りのない際立った味を示してくれます。よたんぼとは土佐弁で酔っ払いのことです。酔った人もはっとする程しっかりと強い味がすることを意味していると共に、お酒の後にもお勧めの心地よいお茶です。

Tea garden owner Akika Kunitomo's father operated a landscaping company in Kochi Prefecture and in the 1990s discovered wild tea plants on an isolated mountainside during the course of his work. He began caring for the plants by clearing away the under brush and but allowing the plants to grow naturally as they had been.

Seeking to return to the roots of tea making in the Kochi region, Kunitomo-san built a small processing factory that focuses on pan-firing tea leaves. Akika took over the project when her father passed away, expanding by using seeds from the original wild plants and creating a managed tea field while continuing to adhere to the philosophy of zero use of pesticides and fertilizer.

 

  • Ingredients: Green tea
  • Cultivar: Yamacha (zairai, non-specific cultivar)
  • Harvest: Spring, harvested by hand
  • Production method: Handprocessed pan firing
  • Region: Ino Village, Kochi, Japan

Steeping Recommendation

  • Tea: 3 grams
  • Water Temperature: 80C/176F degrees
  • Water Amount: 200 ml
  • Time: 3-4 minutes
  • Resteep 3-4 times (total 3-4 cups per 3 grams)

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