A delicious, rare, early shincha first flush tea grown on the World Heritage island of Yakushima, this tea steeps with very little shibumi (astringency) and a mysterious taste profile that combines umami savoriness and a slight fruity flavor.
Of course, with Shiobara-san (Yamane-en's owner and tea master) 3+ decades of experience in the Japanese tea industry, there is little wonder that he could acquire such a rare item. Extremely limited, once this tea is gone, it will be unavailable until 2014.
The forest of Yakushima is said to be the setting for Miyazaki Hayao's anime 'Princess Mononoke'. And indeed, the beauty of the island's virgin forest let it to be designated a UNESCO World (Natural) Heritage Site in 1993 (about 21% of the island is designated as the world heritage site). Japanese cedar trees in this forest are often more than 1,000 years old, and called 'Yakusugi'. In the Yakusugi forest lies one of the world's oldest trees, the Jōmon Sugi, estimated to be between 2170 - 7200 years old.