Kama-iri cha from Takachiho Yamanami cultivar

Tea type
Green Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Bitter, Butter, Chestnut, Cream, Evergreen, Ginger, Herbs, Lemon, Medicinal, Mineral, Peach, Pineapple, Sakura, Spinach, Sweet, Thick
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Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by derk
Average preparation
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  • “Instead of being steamed like modern sencha, kama-iri cha is pan-fried. Very robust taste and feeling in the mouth balanced by a dewy sweetness with a touch of astringency. Cooling evergreen...” Read full tasting note

From Thes du Japon

While kama-iri cha green teas have become very much in the minority in Japan as steamed green teas have gained in popularity, they have survived on the island of Kyûshû, especially in the prefectures of Kumamoto and even more so in Miyazaki. The villages of Gokase and Takachiho, in particular, are the capitals of this type of tea.
Mr. Kai is one of the leading names in this type of tea, and, on land at 350 metres (980 feet) in altitude, he grows a number of rare cultivars dedicated to kama-iri chas, such as Yamanami, which was selected at the Miyazaki Research Centre from seeds from a variety from Hubei in China.

Relatively unusual, the fragrances of this Yamanami are in the range of aromatic, even medicinal, herbs, delivering a sort of menthol, camphor freshness, without being overpowering.
The attack in the mouth is strong, with a touch of astringency. The general impression is rather mineral, while the aromas are still very discreet. This is followed by a surprising, sweet, delectable aftertaste.
The kama-iri scents of roasted chestnuts are enhanced in the second infusion, which is powerful and rich in camphor, but also sweet, fragrant, almost recalling slightly bitter caramel.
In the finish, there are peppery nuances, which remain strong in the length.

Type of tea : Kama-iri cha
Origin : Takachiho, Nishi-Usuki District, Miyazaki Prefecture
Cultivar : Yamanami
Harvest : May 19th, 2021

Brewing suggestion

Quantity of leaves: 4g / 1.3tsp Quantity of water : 70ml / 1/4cup Water temperature : 80-90°C / 176-194°F Brewing time : 60s

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1 Tasting Note

1125 tasting notes

Instead of being steamed like modern sencha, kama-iri cha is pan-fried.

Very robust taste and feeling in the mouth balanced by a dewy sweetness with a touch of astringency. Cooling evergreen forest and fresh medicinal bittersweet herbs layered over a thin, shifting matrix of roasted chestnut and boiled spinach, almost like the forward medicinal character passes through a sheer curtain weaved of pan-fired and vegetal tastes, picking up bits of those flavors as the tea moves through the mouth. There is also a brightness to the tea that I want to liken to citrus but it is not that. Bitterness persists in the back of the mouth; it is not necessarily penetrating, but it is certainly there, giving greater conviction to medicinal notions. The aftertaste shifts from this nature into something floral and vaguely fruity, reminiscent of sakura blossoms. Clean minerality is in the background and becomes evident after the swallow, when the mouth begins to water.

Despite having drank this tea maybe 5 times now, I still find the character elusive. I always feel like I’m on the edge of understanding, which keeps me coming back for more :) It feels like a mountain person, a pine forest hermit strengthened but somewhat burled by nature and who remains under cloak while gathering herbs for a concoction to be simmered over a small fire, in a clearing illuminated by the sun.

It was about dang time to stir up my taste buds and perceptions by exploring Japanese teas, which never really jived with me before. I had been in a tea appreciation slump for a while (several months? half a year?) and these teas from Thés du Japon are doing wonders for me right now.

Flavors: Bitter, Butter, Chestnut, Cream, Evergreen, Ginger, Herbs, Lemon, Medicinal, Mineral, Peach, Pineapple, Sakura, Spinach, Sweet, Thick

gmathis

I can’t decide whether to use kaleidoscope or Pandora’s box to describe what your reviews of these Japanese teas remind me of. I think both terms fit a little. Something new with every sip!

derk

Getting some nice sweet lemon cream and peach cream notes today. This tea has such an interesting cooling mix of bitterness and sweetness.

derk

Pineapple and ginger flower, too. With maybe half of the 100g bag gone, I still remain perplexed yet satisfied.

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