Harvested a few days after organic tea farmer Yoshimitsu Masuda's best sencha (Imperial Grade), the Premium Grade Daichi no Meicha 大地の命茶 ("Tea [made from] the life of the earth"), has both the delicate sweetness of top grade sencha and a perfect touch of astringency for body.
This tea is a deep-steamed sencha or fukamushicha that produces a deep green tea with a rich umami flavor. The leaves for this level are picked in late April while still young and tender.
Ingredients: Green tea
Harvest: Late April
Region: Shimada, Shizuoka
Steaming: Deep steamed (fukamushicha)
Yoshimitsu Masuda spent the first part of his adult life working in a major farming cooperative where he learned firsthand about the danger of food additives and pesticides. Returning to the family tea farm in 1992 to learn tea making from his father and fellow tea farmers in Shimada, Shizuoka, he was deeply surprised at the amount of pesticides used in tea farming.
Switching to organic farming was not an easy task; insects and disease plagued the first field he was given charge of, crop yield and leaf quality dropped, and he faced criticism from both family and other tea professionals. But he felt it was important to create tea that was safe for his own family to drink first. (Read more about Masuda-san's story here.)
Today, built upon 25+ years of organic farming experience, Masuda-san produces tea that he is proud to call both safe and delicious and is passing his tea-making skills on to his children.