Country of Origin: China
Region: Hunan Province
Shipping Port: Shanghai
Grade: Japan Sencha style
Altitude: about 2500 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Pan fired green tea
Cup Characteristics: The tea tends light liquoring, fresh and smooth with reasonable depth and body. The cherry flavoring and subtle rose hints give the tea a wonderful exotic character
Infusion: Pale yellow green
Hunan Province produces some excellent Japanese style green teas. Early in the new season the tea is a bright emerald green and has the best flavor noted by a spring fresh character with pungency and body. [In Hunan the tea starts growing about March 15th, and between then and the end of April the quality is very good. Once you pass April, the quality plummets on account of the volume of leaf taken in and the bushes growing too quickly. Our policy is that we only buy our China tea requirements from tea grown between March 15 and April 15 - you will taste our quality and dedication to better tea when you compare our tea with similarly graded teas]. Sencha is commonly used in Japanese tea ceremonies marking events of personal importance. In this type of ceremony it is the ritual that is of paramount importance as the individual is being acknowledged. Flavored tea is a relatively new phenomena and combining flavors with roses and Japanese style green tea is almost considered 'avant garde' by our Japanese friends.
Kyoto is the cultural centre of Japan. Several centuries ago Kyoto was the religious capital of Japan. The relics of this past are evident throughout the city. Beside the multitude of temples that dot the city, and the wonderful parks where religious scholars once walked, the city has more the 1000 Torjii - those typical gate/arch structures that one associates with Japan. The Torjii are large with the top shaped like a curved samurai sword (respect) and the two pillars are solid and stately (well being). During the spring time this area of Japan is ablaze with the new season cherry blossoms and the air is filled with sweet aroma. (The rose petals in this blend are intended to simulate these delicate cherry blossoms and the flavor is reminiscent of the beautiful smells waft on the springtime breezes.) It is little wonder that this ancient city has a very high ratio of tea rooms and this tea was created to honor (very important in Japan) this wonderful time of the year.
Hot tea brewing method: When preparing by the cup, this tea can be used repeatedly - about 3 times. The secret is to use water that is about 180�F or 90�C. Place 1 teaspoon in your cup, let the tea steep for about 3 minutes and then begin enjoying a cup of enchantment - do not remove the leaves from the cup. Once the water level is low - add more water, and so on and so on - until the flavor of the tea is exhausted. Look at the pattern of the leaves, they foretell your fortune.
Alternatively as with all top quality teas, scoop 2-4 teaspoons of tea into the teapot, pour in boiling water that has been freshly drawn (previously boiled water has lost most of its oxygen and therefore tends to be flat tasting), steep for 2-4 minutes (to taste), stir (virtually all the leaves will sink), pour into your cup but do not add milk or sugar since green tea is enjoyed 'straight-up'.
Iced tea brewing method (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water.]