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I was lucky enough to be introduced to this Japanese Black Tea by a friend of mine, Anna Stasinska of The Old Brickyard Tea Garden in Melton Mowbray, who brought me some samples back from a recent visit to Japan.
Kanes from Kanaya in Schimada City, Shizuoka Japan produce this wonderful Wa-Koucha black tea and actually freeze the leaves as part of the process.
Although it is clearly a black tea it is made by the Yabukita cultivar that is traditionally used in Shizouka for green tea. The tea we have secured was from the 2nd harvest of 2012, cut by machine and frozen in green leaf form for 2 years.
Naomi Komatsu (one of the Directors of Kanes Tea) recommends that the tea is best drunk as follows:
Infuse 3 grams of Wa Koucha in 150cc of water that is between 90 and 100 degrees centigrade for 2-3 minutes and serve without sugar or milk.
As this tea is rare and only produced in very small volumes I have only been able to procure 750g of this tea, which I will pack into 15 x 50g packs.
I personally found this tea, to taste delightful with a natural fruity flavour and the pronounced thianin characteristics that are found in the Yabukita varietal but make no mistake this is a particularly enjoyable tea, especially when brewed as recommended by Naomi.
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