National Regional Tea Competition Saitama Nov, 2021
A complete boxed set of Competition Japanese teas for the most discerning of palates! Our most recent auction-winning teas represent the highest technical standard in hand-made tea production. Every year about two hundred farmers compete in five categories (Sencha, Fukamushi, Kabuse, Gyokuro, and Tencha) of the Kansai Tea Competition and it includes the prefectures of Nara, Wakayama, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyōgo, Shiga, and Mie. This year we were very excited to win the bidding auction and secure the entire lot of this tea which is a little under 4kg and share such a special selection exclusively with you.
1. 2021 National Competition Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries Awarded No. 1 Gyokuro in all of Japan
The National Gyokuro competition has been dominated by Yame producers for over 20 years and has set high standards for cultivation and processing at the competition level. This marks the first time that Uji occupies the number one seat and is motivated to continue improving with this momentum. It will be no easy feat since 80% of the top 50 national producers are from Yame.
Akira Hayashi, the national competition Gyokuro champion, is part of a small but distinguished group of the Kyotonabe Gyokuro Association cooperative which has less than 30 producers. Each year the number of producers decreases due to an aging population and lack of successors.
We will release this tea in small amounts as we are looking to age it for several years! Uji is one of the few places that age their gyokuro for six months up to two years to deepen the flavors.
Uji, Japan (Kyotonabe)
Deep umami, with a beautiful floral marigold
2 x 5g
2. 2021 National Competition Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries Awarded No. 1 Kabuse in all of Japan
Kabuse is a signature tea of Uji and is shaded half the time compared to Gyokuro (30 days). There are two versions with relatively the same name but differ in processing: Kabuse Sencha and Kabusecha. Kabuse Sencha is processed using the same techniques as asamushi "classic steamed" sencha producing long, shiny pine needle shapes with a clear, light-colored brew. Kabusecha is formed into a course, flat shaped, a leaf that is matte in color.
This year's award goes to Kiyotomi Shimooka for his floral Kabuse. Teas are numerically judged on four characteristics; appearance (gaikan), aroma (kouki), brew color (suishoku), and astringency (shibumi). This tea exemplifies the finest representation of this ageless classic style.
Uji, Japan (Ujitawara)
2 x 5g