This is a special kabusecha that is made in the fukamushi (深蒸し) style – a deep steamed processing method.
Kabusecha is a type of tea of which plants are shaded for about a week before tea leaves are picked. The word “kabuse” in Japanese means to cover. Our Asuka is shaded for 7-10 days prior to plucking. This process increases levels of chlorophyll, the amino acid theanine (a psychoactive mind relaxant) as well as caffeine.
Shortly after picking, the leaf is heated in using steam to stop oxidation. Chiran Farm applies the Fukamushi method to steam the leaf for a full minute or longer, rather than lightly steaming (called asamushi, 浅蒸し), which is often steamed less than 30 seconds. This softens the tea leaves significantly and shapes a different taste – it reduces any raw grassy taste or astringency in the finished tea, for a richer and sweeter cup with greater body, robust taste, smoother mouthfeel and a beautiful deeper emerald green color in its liquor.
Generally, it is not easy to find good Fukamushi Kabuse that is also ORGANIC. This tea from the organic Chiran farm, which was first founded by Shizuji in the early Taisho era. With fiver generations of tea growing experience, the family shifted to organic farming in 1998. They specialize in the production of tea without using chemical pesticides or fertilizers, through their homemade fermented fertilizers made from live bacteria. They also utilize insects for natural propagation and birds as for pest eating pests.
When drinking this tea, you feel the deep steamed tea leaf boldly unfolds its nutty and woody umami taste. You can feel the nourishment of the organic farm land, where the cycle of nature, from microbe to birds, have contributed to it’s making.