Kurihara Tea #18: Oku Yame Black Tea Benifuuki

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea
Bread, Cherry, Drying, Floral, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Orange Zest, Rose, Smooth
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Mastress Alita
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 oz / 350 ml

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From Yunomi

The benifuuki cultivar is well known in Japan for its high level of catechin, which converts well into flavorful tannins when used to create black tea.

Product Info

Ingredients: black tea
Cultivar: Benifuuki
Harvest: Summer
Region: Yabe Village, Yame, Fukuoka
Producer: Kippei, Yuji, and Akio Kurihara (Father and sons), Kurihara Seicha Ltd.
Location: 4236 Kita Yabe, Yabe-mura, Yame-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture 834-1401, JAPAN
Size / # of fields: About 3 hectares on multiple fields
Altitude: 300 – 700 meters

Steeping Instructions: Tea: 5g. Time: 5 min. Water: 90C/194F, 400ml. Resteep 2 times.

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1 Tasting Note

1081 tasting notes

An Ode to Tea, O Entry.

This tea comes from the Kurihara Tea Farm, but was acquired via Yunomi. I don’t have much experience with Japanese blacks, which is probably why I dropped a 20g sample of this into a very long-ago order. My tastes pretty much never agree with the steeping instructions provided with Japanese teas (which always have water-to-leaf ratios that just aren’t pleasant to me) so I disregarded them and brewed the way I usually make blacks (2.5g per 350ml) though I did drop the water temperature down from my typical 205F to their suggested 195F.

The steeped cup has a smooth, breakfast tea malty/baked bread aroma, with a strong fruity cherry note, and an underlying florality, like a wildflower honey. It’s nice! I’m surprised how fruity this black is! I definitely taste that warm baked bread and malt flavor, but very quickly a sharp floral/fruity taste dominates the cup, tasting mostly of cherries, orange peel, and more subtly, rose. There is a very aromatic feeling left on the tongue, which reminds me of the feeling I get when I drink scented French teas, and a mild drying after the sip. Remarkably smooth prepared this way. I sort of expected this is to be a pretty harsh black and expected I’d be using up the remainder of the packet making lattes, but this is perfect as-is.

Looking forward to sipping this down over the next few days!

Flavors: Bread, Cherry, Drying, Floral, Fruity, Honey, Malt, Orange Zest, Rose, Smooth

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 350 ML
Martin Bednář

Wow! That sounds like a wonderful Benifuuki black! Considering I had only two; this one sounds best.

Mastress Alita

I remember sampling one at a teashop in Portland, Oregon, and it was really astringent; I just think unless I’m making the tea, everyone else uses way more leaf than my personal preferences like causing the tea to taste really bitter to me.

Cameron B.

Hmm, I’m not sure I’ve ever had a wakoucha that I would describe as harsh. They’re usually rather light and bready with some hay notes, sometimes almost a bit Darjeeling-esque? The fruitiness here sounds lovely!

Mastress Alita

Ya, Darjeeling-esque is a very appropriate way to describe this!


I also often find Japanese oolongs and black to be quite harsh, probably because of the broken leaves. I usually try to do super short steeps and use lower temperature in the first few.

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