NAGASAKI SONOGI TAMARYOKUCHA
Category: Green Tea
Origin: JAPAN, Nagasaki Prefecture, Higashi Sonogi area.
Cultivar: Saemodori and Tsuyuhikari (Mandaracha’s blend)
Quantity: 30g per pack
Harvest: Spring (April)
Kyushu is believed to be the first place in Japan where tea seeds from China were planted in 1191 by the Zen monk Eisai, who is generally credited for popularizing tea in Japan. Then the tea quickly followed in the Capital Area in Kyoto and Uji where it became notorious.
Since then, tea has been grown in the Nagasaki area and more generally in Kyushu island for more than 300 years.
Sonogi is the cousin of the nearby Ureshino Tea which is more renowned and more ancient. For some time, the Sonogi tea farming area was the extension of Ureshino. The main difference is that Sonogi is facing the Omura Bay on the sea side, resulting in a slightly milder climate than Ureshino.
Tamaryokucha (coiled or curly tea) are typical for Nagasaki and Saga areas. Contrary to Sencha that are rolled into needle or straight shapes, the Tamaryokucha are rolled into a curly one, called a “comma” shape.
This results in a richer/deeper taste which is very appreciable for drinker who are looking for teas with more body.
This particular Tamaryokucha is composed of a blend of two cultivars prepared by MANDARACHA. The Saemidori is a classic from Kyushu that brings a beautiful color and a higher amino-acid concentration. Tsuyuhikari brings sweetness, body and flavor.
While some Tamaryokucha can be fully or partially pan-fired, this one is fully steamed.
Note the variation in colors for the different brews.
4g (0.14oz) of leaves per serving
80ml of water at 70°C (158°F) per serving
First brew: 60 seconds
Subsequent brews: 10 seconds