– Shifu, a dignified monk from Japan will visit our temple tomorrow, and we're out of tea! How are we going to show respect to our guest?
– Do not worry, my boy. I have just the right gift for our guest. A tea, conceived in China and produced in Japan. What better way to show our goodwill and create a friendship?
A true innovation, "Subtle Elegance" Yamabuki Nadeshiko is the first Japanese addition to our Hei Cha collection. It is a one-of-a-kind, post-fermented tea made with a Japanese fermentation starter.
Mr. Denbei Kawamura, called the "Father of Shizuoka Yeast", developed the processing behind "Subtle Elegance" Yamabuki Nadeshiko Japanese Hei Cha. Mr. Kawamura is a respected figure in Japan. He has dedicated most of his life to researching Japanese Sake yeasts. Kawamura san has used a "Kuro-koji-kin" for fermenting Yamabuki Nadeshiko Hei Cha. Kuro-koji-kin, or Aspergillus Oryzae, is the black Koji mold used for centuries in Japan to ferment traditional foods and drinks. It is the usual fermentation starter for soy sauce, sake, and miso. This Japanese Hei Cha is the first tea fermented with this mold.
In traditional Pu-erh tea processing, farmers sprinkle tea leaves with water. That allows the molds found naturally in the air to grow and ferment the tea leaves. What makes Yamabuki Nadeshiko different from other Hei Cha, like Pu-erh, is that the fermentation takes place in a sterilized room and only uses patented black Koji mold. It creates a unique processing ﬂow with a Japanese origin.
The raw material for this tea comes from the Isagawa Green Tea Production Cooperative. It is an organic green tea cooperative in Shizuoka Prefecture with decades of experience in growing organic tea. The green tea from Isagawa has won numerous awards in the Green tea category. It was the tea of choice for the production of Yamabuki Nadeshiko. This way, we support organic farming in the area while obtaining a clean, safe, and healthy tea with a unique character.
The "Subtle Elegance" Yamabuki Nadeshiko Japanese Hei Cha produces a tea soup with an invigorating orange color. It has a viscous, coating mouthfeel that melts into a sweet, roasted taste with slightly sour accents. A raspberry jam aroma completes the tea experience.
The name of the tea derives from two flowers: Yamabuki, the yellow Japanese rose, and Nadeshiko, a delicate frilled pink carnation. Nadeshiko is a Japanese term that implies the ideal Japanese woman, or the epitome of pure, feminine beauty. Subtle and elegant, just like this tea.
We suggest using boiling water to get the best out of this unique tea. Proceed with quick, Gong Fu style infusions, or steep for 4 min for an even more intense tea experience.
- Place of Origin: Isagawa, Shizuoka, Japan
- Altitude: 350-500m
- Harvest Time: June 2022
- Picking Standard: One bud with two leaves
- Aroma: Raspberry jam
- Taste: sweet, roasted taste, with subtle sour notes; viscous, coating mouthfeel
- Cultivar: Benifuuki, Yabukita, Surugawase
212℉ / 100℃
1g per 60ml
4min for the first infusion; +30sec for each subsequent infusion
I typically drink ripe pu-erh b/c I love that earthy, mellow flavor but I thought I'd try out this Japanese hei cha. It's pretty different from the ripe pu-erh I'm used to, not earthy but it's still really good. It has a sweet, roasted flavor with some pleasant tartness. My friend from Japan who's here in the US for college said he really likes it too and it reminds him of hojicha.