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Category: Green Tea

Origin: JAPAN, Kagoshima Prefecture, Yakushima Island.

Cultivar: Kuritawase

Quantity: 30g per pack

Harvest: Spring Harvest (March)

Other: Organic



Yakushima is a subtropical island part of the Kagoshima Prefecture and is located about 60km South of Kyushu peninsula. With a population of about 13,000 people, Yakushima is a little paradise. It is covered by a huge cedar forest that hosts some of Japan's oldest trees. Yakusugi are Yakushima Cedar trees of more than 1000 years old while the oldest has been estimated to be possibly over 7,000 years old. Yakushima forest inspired the world of Hayao Miyazaki’s animated masterpiece “Princess Mononoke”.


With high mountains nearly as high as 2,000 metres (6,500ft), Yakushima has a microclimate characterized by lots of rainfall around the year, especially in the mountainous interior, although the rain can be light and short. Despite short distances, the climate in the north and in the south is different. The temperature variation between day and night is also considerable, which is recognized as a good condition for tea cultivation. Due to the climate and the southern location, Yakushima tea benefits from an early harvest in March making it the first new tea every year.


If the cultivation of tea in the Kagoshima region is said to have started during the Ashikaga period (1336-1573), it is a bit unclear when tea first arrived in Yakushima. When talking with locals of the island, there is a story that tea was first brought during the Sengoku period when some people of the defeated clan of Shimazu retreated to Yakushima. I could visit an old private secret tea garden made from seeds where the villagers were producing small quantities of 釜炒り“kamairi” (pan-fired method) for their personal use. According to them, it has been there for 3 generations at least. It is however after 1980 that new commercial plantations were introduced using cultivars from Kagoshima.


MANDARACHA selected teas from fully organic plantations that are typically located in forest clearings, enjoying clear air and being protected from strong winds.


Main teas produced are Sencha made from a variety of 7 types of cultivars. However, recently Wakocha (red tea) is getting also popular and growing. Because the island is remote from the mainland, the air and the soil are not contaminated with pesticides or chemicals, making it easier to cultivate naturally.



This Yakushima organic Sencha is coming from a beautiful tea garden on the east of Yakushima. Mandaracha selected the Kuritawase cultivar that is characteristic of Kagoshima, and expresses itself beautifully in this environment.

The Yutaka Midori is indeed suitable for the warm climate of southern Kyushu and does not survive in cold areas. It has a dark green colour and is appreciated for its rich flavor.


With a full body, the herbal notes are pronounced and come with a light acidity. The following brews are also powerful and it is recommended to steep the tea for short time to reduce the astringency.



4g (0.14oz) of leaves per serving

80ml of water at 70°C (158°F) per serving

First brew: 60 seconds

Subsequent brews: 10-15 seconds 


Cold brew: 10g of leaves for 1L of cold water. Brew for 12-15 hours in the fridge at 5°C. Filter the liquor in another bottle and keep it in the fridge. You may re-brew the spent leaves a second time as you like.