Some time ago I decided to try Kama-iricha Japanese tea. I bought it from excellent Yuuki-Cha Japanese web store. It was Organic Miyazaki Kamairicha Okumidori.
Kamairicha shouldn’t undergo steaming process, instead it is traditionally pan-fired after short withering. Leaves are rolled, so basically it’s similar to Chinese tradition of green tea processing. As a result, this tea is less astringent then sencha. The infusion should be more clear, because the leaves are less pressed and less debris originates.
This tea is coming from artisan farmers, who produce their traditional tea organically, like their forefathers did. It is first harvest leaves from Gokase town in Miyazaki prefecture, eastern coast of the island of Kyushu, Japan’s South-East.
The taste is surely less bitter then senchas, more yellowish, and sweeter. True inspiration. I started from 70° C and came to 90 in 4 steeps. Even over-brewing doesn’t give too much astringency. Aroma is great and taste is vegetal and a little bit fruity, with aromas of seaweed mellow basis. In fact I was so excited, that this time I have used my D5000 instead of iPhone to make better pictures, so here’s the gallery
Needless to say, I feel a very deep love to Japanese tea and pottery. It’s just because of them I started to drink tea again. Japanese people had developed such a distinct tea tradition, that I can’t allow myself not to dig into that. I believe they succeed to preserve very ancient original Chinese tea practices and had also developed them to a modern tea industry. I think because of their Communist revolution, Chinese probably had loose some part of their tradition, at least tea industry was partly nationalized and teared up.
I’ll taste more Kama-iri teas. They are excellent.