Zairai Kamairicha (Organic)


An incredibly rare and special tea - where you can drink Organic Japanese tea as it was in the 15th century.



Tea Profile



Cultivar: Zairai
Origin: Kumamoto Kyusu Island
Producer: 
Takahiro Okaba
Picking: 2021 Spring 1st Flush
Processing: Kamairi, Pan fired
Tasting Notes: white chocolate covered almonds, with high notes of lychee, pineapple, jasmine, hard sugar candy, birch syrup rounded out with a dash of lakeside spring water.
Chá Qì: soothing energy - like a birch wood fire in the morning mist  



Production Method
"Kaimairi" means "pan fry". Tea leaves are panfired in 300 degrees first to stop the oxidation for about 1 minutes, and then fired second time is to get the moisture out.

After pan-frying, these fried tea leaves are rolled in a soft rolling machine for a rough rolling. Then leaves are continually kneaded but in a hard rolling machine - this process equalizes the leaf moisture and breaks up the leaf cells so that the ingredients come out easily.

After this process, the tea leaves are shrunk and unshaped, By further kneading in hot wind for around 30 minuts, the leaves become easy to shape at the fine rolling process. After fine rolling, the leaves are then dried in heat air.

Recommended Brewing*

🌱    3 g
💦    100 ml
🎚    80 ℃
⏱    30 sec

It can be brewed up to 3-4 brews.
For 2nd and 3rd brew, steep for 15 seconds.
For 4th brew, steep for 30 seconds.

* We recommend to preheat the teapot by rinsing it with heated water before you put the tea in.


Price 
€ 18 (50g) | € 31 (100g)



︎︎︎

We are super excited to share with you an incredibly rare and special tea - where you can drink Organic Japanese tea as it was in the 15th century. Not only is the tea processed using the traditional pan roasting technique first utilized in Japan 600 years ago, but the tea itself is from a Zairai native species tea tree.

Zairai tea is an original species of the region and it’s lineage cannot be traced further back.  Zairai tea comes either from wild tea trees or trees planted using seeds, unlike most Japanese tea which are planted using clonal cuttings of other tea bushes. This makes Zairai tea trees more resilient to pests, but yields half that of pesticide laden modern tea bushes. However due to the longer tea tree roots, the tea is richer in amino acids, minerals, and nutrients, producing a richer, higher quality tea.

Kamairicha is made using the original kill green process introduced to Japan during the Ming Dynasty. With less than 5% of tea produced in Japan using this method, it is becoming more rare, in part due to the skilled technique needed. Steaming became popular as it is a consistent way to stop oxidation on the factory line.

The skill in Kamairicha, much like with roasting coffee comes from the nuances. Our farmer says his secret lies in the pan roasting technique - during roasting, he maneuvers the tea so that the steam produced by the tea on the bottom of the pan is used to steam the tea leaves above, leading to a perfect blend of roasted sweet and fresh umami aromatics.




︎ This tea is also part of Curated Set #1 Mountain Breath & #2 Golden Fields.