Notes of crown daisy, bittersweet chocolate, and Job's tears.
Aged matcha from Kyoto, Japan・2018・在来・EU Standard
Nestled between Mt. Kannabi and the Kizu River, near Kyotanabe City, Kyoto Prefecture, grows a small plot of old grove tea trees, twisted and bent with time. They predate the family that’s tended these lands for the past 100 years, a mysterious and non-uniform crop, with staggered arbors and varied leaves.
Zairai, or old grove trees of unknown varieties, are uncommon in Japan, where tea gardens are often replaced after 30 years. Zairai is associated with rustic tastes, which contradict common preferences for the soft, light character of young leaves. For the fourth-generation farmer and steward of this grove, however, this copse of old grove trees offers an opportunity to experiment with non-traditonal tea-making techniques.
Crafting Old Grove Matcha follows the same course as our New Cultivar Matcha. Post harvest, these spring leaves are refrigerated as whole aracha through the end of summer. This brief spell of resting all the parts of the leaves as one adds depth and flavor to the final tea.
Between autumn and the new year, leaves are sorted, veins and stems removed, then cut into small flakes called tencha. Tencha becomes matcha simply by being stone ground to a fine powder.
At this point in standard matcha production, a tencha might be sent to the mill for grinding, but the journey for aged matcha is not yet complete. After being processed as a tencha, our leaves are transferred to vacuum-sealed bags, then frozen. Prolonged periods of rest allow the verdant leaves to mellow in character, losing sharp edges and bitter notes. Nearly five years of carefully controlled aging rounds the mouthfeel and flavor of the tea without losing the emphatically rustic qualities of the Zairai leaves.
The final product is a tea earthy and deep, with notes of crown daisy, bittersweet chocolate, and Job's tears. Beautifully presented in a 20g paulownia wooden box.
Brew: 1 gram・70 ml・170° F・whisk in a "w" pattern until frothy
Old Grove Matcha is best served in usucha-style, a thin preparation of matcha that allows the flavors to unfurl as you sip without overwhelming the palate. Usucha preparation mirrors that of traditional matcha, with slightly less tea powder required. We offer tea whisks and scoops to complete your matcha service.
On storage: Ground matcha has considerable surface area and poses a risk of inadvertent oxidization. Please refrigerate while not in use. Allow package to come to room temperature before preparing.
More familiar with our old quantities? Here’s the conversion:
|Metric quantities||Ounce equivalent||Servings|
|30 grams (new size!)||1.05 oz.||5-8|
|60 grams||2.10 oz.||10-15|
|120 grams||4.20 oz.||20-30|
|240 grams||8.46 oz.||40-60|