"Nanadan" Organic Asamushi Okumidori Sencha is a Yunomi collaboration with one of our oldest, most trusted customers, Macha Tea Company in Madison, Wisconsin. We tested dozens of candidates from our extensive supplier network to finally find this delicious, lightly steamed, beautifully shaped premium sencha.
This sencha uses an extra early April harvest of tea leaves shaded for a few days for a splash of umami, and is lightly steamed to preserve the delicate needle shape that can be obtained only from leaves as young as these.
The okumidori cultivar has come under the spotlight recently among Japanese tea experts here in Japan and abroad. It produces a deep green color and a naturally sweet flavor.
The name, Nanadan
Our partner, Macha Tea Company, submitted this tea leaf in 2016 to the North American Tea Championships where it won 3rd place in the Sencha Origin Authentic category despite being a lightly steamed, therefore light-bodied tea. As a challenger in this field, and because the cultivation origin of the leaves, Kirishima, Kagoshima, is a rising star in the Japanese tea industry, we have named this tea "Nanadan" or "7th rank".
The name is taken from the character "Otake Nanadan" ("the 7th rank Otake"), the challenger in Nobel Prize winning novelist Kawabata Yasunari's masterpiece, The Master of Go (Meijin in Japanese), depicting the epic 6-month match between the unbeaten Igo (a Japanese board game) master Honinbo Shusai, and Otake Nanadan, the rising star in the world of Igo.
Steep to enjoy the umami (First steeping)
Tea: 3 grams. Time: 2-3 minutes. Water: 50˚C/122˚F degrees. 60 ml. If enjoying with several people, added 3 grams / 60 ml per person. Adjustment to this recipe may be needed depending on your water. For those who know, this is the typical way to enjoy gyokuro. The buttery umami flavor will be lighter than gyokuro, but delicious!
If you prefer a stronger flavor, use 5 grams of tea leaves.
Steep again to enjoy a refined sencha (Second and subsequent steepings)
Time: 15-20 seconds. Water: 75˚C/166˚F degrees, 200 ml. The tea is primed after your first umami steeping. A quick steep here should give you a delicious sencha flavor--still very delicate due to the light steaming, but more bitter due to the hotter temperature. Depending on how strong you like your sencha, you should be able to get a third steep out of the leaves with a longer steeping time (45-60 seconds).
Ingredients: Certified organic green tea (however, our final retail package is not certified organic).
Region: Harvested from a single estate, single field in Kirishima, Kagoshima. Processed in one batch at the farm, and refined at by Uji, Kyoto, tea refinement specialists.
Notes: Lightly steamed (asamushi) to preserve the delicate shape. Shaded approximately 1 week for before harvest for extra umami flavor.
Storage: We recommend room temperature storage in an airtight container. If you only plan to use occasionally and have a odorless refrigerator dedicated for tea, you may store in the refrigerator (remember to allow the package one day for the temperature inside and outside to become similar or condensation may form on the inside ruining the tea leaves). Otherwise, avoid refrigeration to avoid odor absorption.