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Category: Red Tea

Origin: JAPAN, Kumamoto Prefecture, Ashikita District

Cultivar: Zairai

Quantity: 30g per pack

Harvest: Spring Harvest (April-May)

Other: Natural farming



The Kumamoto prefecture is located in the island of Kyushu, southern part of Japan.

Surrounded by other famous major tea producing regions like Kagoshima, Fukuoka and Miyazaki, Kumamoto tea often goes unnoticed despite constantly being in the top 10 producing regions of Japan.

It is also famous for the “Bushi no cha” 武士の茶, translated as “the tea of the warrior”.

The Tea Ceremony of the Samurai known as Higo Koryu meaning “old school of Higo” finds its connections back to Sen no Rikkyu through his seven disciples.


Main teas produced in Kumamoto are Sencha and Tamaryokucha, followed by Kamairicha. A tiny proportion is used recently to produce fully oxidized red teas. While this is usually done with summer harvests, it occasionally happens with with spring harvests of rare cultivars.


The Ashikita district is located West of Hitoyoshi and isolated from plantations of the main producing area. As such, this tea is grown in parts of the forest and is free from any chemicals.



This red tea is made in a traditional Chinese way and its crafts reminds us the beautiful shapes of zhengshan xiaozhong (aka Lapsang Souchong), but of course, without the smokey character of the latter.

Zairai is the result of tea trees grown from seeds, not cuttings, thus having different characteristics and properties. Those trees usually grow and propagate naturally without maintenance and we can find them in some areas of the forest. They are strong, resistant and this is why we called it Wild Wakocha.

In opposition to the Izumi type, this Zairai red tea is darker and has more power. The taste is sweet, slightly fruity and comes with depth. It is perfect to accompany desserts and dark chocolate.



4g (0.14oz) of leaves per serving

80ml of water at 90°C (194°F) per serving

First brew: 45 seconds

Subsequent brews: more than 30 seconds