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SHOP YOUR FAVORITE TEAS

Category: Red Tea

Origin: JAPAN, Kagoshima Prefecture, Yakushima Island.

Cultivar: Yutaka Midori

Quantity: 30g per pack

Harvest: Spring Harvest (March)

Other: Organic

 

Location:

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.

 

Description:

This Yakushima organic Wakocha is coming from a well-protected tea garden in the northeast of the island. As for the Sencha, we selected the specific Yutaka Midori (rich green) cultivar which when oxidized transforms into a wonderful product being in our humble opinion one of the best Wakocha produced in Japan.

 

Mandaracha has defined and requested a specific timing in the manufacturing process of this tea which makes this product different from any other Wakocha even in Yakushima itself. This modification in one of the steps of the process results in a deeper aroma and makes this tea reach its full potential.

 

With a medium body, a light amber colour, the Yakushima Wakocha is a tea full of flavour with floral notes and a sweet taste. It remains consistent throughout several brews and is one of the preferred afternoon teas by the patrons of Mandaracha Tea House. 

 

Preparation:

4g (0.14oz) of leaves per serving

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

First brew: 60 seconds

Subsequent brews: 60 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.

KAGOSHIMA YAKUSHIMA WAKOCHA

¥1,000Price