Part of the fun of Single-Origin Single Cultivar teas is that every harvest has their own unique attributes that make them beautiful. Add the fact that the White Leaf Tea is a new cultivar created by skilled Farmer Takaki, and it becomes all the more fun. Comparing the 2023 harvest with our 2022 and 2021 harvests, you can tell they are the same tea but with very different essences highlighted. Where the 2022 had more of a rich seafood umami very upfront, with a cucumber sweetest lingering, the 2023 harvest is the one more like a multi-layered umami Sencha with steady floavor and layer performance through out the entire 3-4 brews.
With notes of asparagus , cucumber and the hint of pine, this sencha is a full-bodied savory wonderland – which makes sense given how Takaki is famed for his Gyokuro teas. Even then it’s hard to believe this is a sencha. Like last year’s harvest, this is still one of the few senchas we have had that can be brewed all the way up to 100C, which allows to enjoy this tea well into 4/5 brews, the latter of which still has the cucumber sweetness found in the 2021 harvest.
White tea, Hakuyoucha (白葉茶, white leaf tea), it’s an uncommon green tea made with leaves that have a color ranging from very pale green to yellow to even white.
Hakusei is an original white leaf tea that was a result of careful breeding from naturally mutated seedlings hat turned the colour of the leaves into a very pale shade of green. The name “white leaf” refers to the pale colour of the leaves prior to harvest. It is not white tea as we often see in China (which is more of a production method), but rather a very special type of sencha.
Mr.Takaki started planting the seedlings 5 years ago, but even now it is still rare as the production amount is still very low in Japan. We are so lucky and excited to share this tea with you all.
The combination of this special cultivar and the shading before harvest lead to high amounts of L-theanine, which is one of the many amino acids found in tea, and it is the substance responsible for a sense of relaxation when drinking green tea. This tea is also rich in arginine – another essential amino acid which helps with immune system and blood pressure regulation.
This tea is extra special to us in that it is one of the few Japanese teas we have tried that can handle Gong Fu style brewing. The structure of the tea does not break under the 100C water, and the quick brews helps spread the umami across multiple steeps while also highlighting the floral notes.
When drinking this White leaf sencha, not only do you feel its invigorating and uplifting energy, but this tea also settles you with vegetal umami and green melon sweetness that’s reminiscent of the sweet coastal air at the seaside farm.