One day, when the refreshing moments of spring have long passed, a young monk approached Lao Cha:
— Sensei, I often reminisce on those lovely spring days sitting under the blooming cherry trees. Those days when we would enjoy sweet rice cakes and hot tea, savoring the aroma of the sakura petals dancing around us.
— Take a sip of my latest creation.
Koucha is the Japanese word used for Japanese black tea. Like hong cha, koucha translates as red tea, referred to as black tea in the West. Wakoucha is specifically black tea produced in Japan, "Wa" referring to Japan in this context. The properties of Japanese black tea are akin to hong cha. Still, the unique Japanese cultivars create this tea's distinctive, mild character and softer taste.
Our Award-winning Organic Sakura Wakoucha is grown in Yame, Fukuoka prefecture. There is but a small number of farms producing limited amounts of koucha throughout Japan. In fact, most tea grown in Japan is green tea, with most black teas imported from abroad. And wakoucha, being a local tea, is enjoyed almost exclusively by Japanese tea enthusiasts.
The taste of Japanese black tea is spectacular. Taking a sip of our Sakura Wakoucha, you will submerge in a juicy sweetness, void of astringency. A lingering, slightly floral taste will remain on the palate. Notes of succulent cherries and honey will follow, subsiding in a superb, long-lasting finish. The color of the liquor is a comforting apricot-orange hue. Our Japanese Sakura Black Tea makes a perfect afternoon drink and pairs well with desserts.
Wakoucha is a fully oxidized tea. The leaves undergo a long process of withering (up to 20 hours). The next step is rolling, where the leaves are pressed in a circular motion. It helps release the inner moisture and further oxidize the leaves. The leaves are then put into large sieves and shaken up and down to avoid entanglement during the filtering stage. Repeated kneading comes next that further breaks the cell walls, followed by another oxidation for 2-3 hours. After that, farmers dry the leaves with hot air in the drying phase. The result is a delicate, honey-flowery tea with fruity notes and higher sweetness that overflows in the mouth and leaves a lasting impression for hours ahead.
Produced by tea farmer Harashima-san, this tea won the prestigious Nihoncha Award in 2017.
195℉ / 90℃ for the first infusion; Keep raising water temperature for subsequent infusions
1g per 60ml
2min for the first infusion; then 30sec; +15 for each subsequent infusion