2020 new harvest – Update on Rishouen’s tea selection

Single Fields bags

Why don’t you experience the tea cultivars’ world with our selection of single field teas?

We got a new facility for finishing teas this year and our tea master had put all his effort into the finishing process for the last few months. And now we are happy to announce all of our 2020 loose leaf teas are available. There is a wide variety of single field teas (unblended, single cultivar) from Wazuka, Dosenbo, Uji Tawara this year so that you could enjoy various kinds of tea cultivars. : (scroll down to find the list of single field teas below:

2020 single field Uji teas grown in the Kyoto prefecture:

Hand Picked Gyokuro Gokou by Mr. Yoneda ―50g, 2,500 yen
Cultivar: Gokou – Location: Kyotanabe – Producer: Mr. Yoneda
Kyotanabe, in the Kyoto prefecture, is renowned for its production of high quality Uji Gyokuro revealing a deep umami mellow flavor.
The Gokou cultivar hails from the Kyoto prefecture. The shading of the fields before harvest to obtain umami-rich teas is a production method originating from Kyoto, so it is not a surprise that many of the varieties created in the Kyoto region are meant to be used for the production of shaded teas. (Gyokuro, Kabusecha, Tencha).
Within the varieties meant for shaded tea production, the Gokou variety is one of the cultivars offering the best results.
The Gyokuro produced by Mr. Yoneda is hand picked, meaning that only the most tender leaves are taken from the trees in spring to produce this tea. The tea trees are not trimmed to fit the shape of a harvesting machine: they grow freely (except for a trim made after the spring harvest) and are harvested only once a year. This means that both the producer and the trees give everything they have to produce the best quality tea each spring.
After infusion, this high end Uji Gyokuro reveals a wonderful fresh fragrance of ripe fruits typical of the Gokou cultivar. A few drops of its velvety light green liquor are enough to feel a firework of sensations, including refreshing floral notes and a deep, rich, yet elegant and not overpowering umami, lined with a light undercurrent of pleasing astringency in the finish.

Gyokuro Gokou by Mr. Ookawa ―50g, 850 yen
Cultivar: Gokou – Location: Uji Tawara – Producer: Mr. Ookawa
Tana Oishitaen production method (undirect, one layer vinyl cover on a shelf supported by aluminum poles at about 2 meter from the ground). Mechanical harvest.
Shading period before the 2020 spring harvest: 25 days.
Uji Tawara is composed of hilly terrain which beneficiates from the proximity of the Uji river, and perfect climate for tea production. As such, Uji Tawara is one of the major Uji tea growing areas. This region is known for quality mechanically harvested Gyokuro.
Mr. Ookawa is a young producer working with his parents on their family estate.
This tea family has an original way to decide when to start shading the leaves: they add up the highest temperature of each day following the sprouting of new leaves in spring.
The time for harvest is also decided based on the temperatures during the first harvest season.
They unfold the vinyl cover that will shade the trees from direct sunlight when the total sum of highest temperature for each day after the appearance of the sprouts reaches 200 degrees.
The Gyokuro produced by the Ookawa family offers the fresh fruity fragrance typical of the Gokou cultivar, along with a full and rich, supple liquor revealing a strong umami, with a refreshing fruity flavor and a long finish.

Gyokuro Yumewakaba by Mr. Hata Koudai ―50g,1,000 yen
Cultivar: Yumewakaba – Location: Wazuka – Producer: Mr. Hata Koudai
The ‘Yumewaka’ cultivar originated from Sayama in the Saitama prefecture. Mr. Hata Koudai is the only producer owning a field planted with this cultivar in the Kyoto prefecture.
Mr. Hata Koudai ‘s estate is located in the Kamatsuka district in Wazuka town. There are many tea families called ‘Hata’ in the Wazuka region, so we are specifying Mr. Hata’s personal name ‘Koudai’, on top of his family name ‘Hata’, to differentiate him from other local producers who share the same family name.
This young producer has an extraordinary passion regarding tea production. Mr. Hata is recognized by professional tea buyers at the Uji tea market for the quality of his tea, and the number of tea producers at his level might be counted on the fingers of one hand.
As a non blend, single field tea, this Gyokuro possesses a truly unique personality, especially the flavor is rich just like all savory components are packed. The young tender leaves has a note of nori, green seaweed, which goes well with sweets. This is a tea corresponding to the saying often mentioned in the world of Japanese teas: 一期一会 (Ichi go, Ichi e), means treasure every meeting as a once-in-lifetime experience.

Gyokuro Ujimidori by Mr. Ookawa ―50g, 700 yen
Cultivar: Ujimidori – Location: Uji Tawara– Producer: Mr. Ookawa
The Gyokuro of Ujimidori cultivar was grown in Uji Tawara, an area famous for producing mechanically harvested Uji Gyokuro. An elegant and velvety liquor offers sweet and round taste with a touch of toffee. In the first infusion, a typical umami of Gyokuro brings about peace of mind and in the second infusion, the Ujimidori leaves evoke its characteristic flowery aromatic flavor.

Kabusecha Okuyutaka by Mr. Minato ―50g, 850 yen
Cultivar: Okuyutaka – Location: Wazuka– Producer: Mr. Minato
This Kabusecha by Mr. Minato is produced in the same lot as Sencha Okuyutaka, which is used for Uji Sencha Hinoka. A beautiful light yellow liquor coats the mouth with a savory sweetness and a pleasant fruity scent. To enjoy its subtle and clear flavor, we highly recommend blew this tea at a low temperature.

Sencha Saemidori by Mr. Minato ―50g, 1,300 yen
Cultivar: Saemidori – Location: Wazuka– Producer: Mr. Minato
Located in the Yamashiro region in the Kyoto prefecture, Wazuka is the chief Ujicha (Uji tea) production area, and the cradle of Japanese green tea culture. Nestled in sharply slanted hills, Wazuka town and its region enjoys an ideal climate & soil for tea production, and has been producing tea for 800 years, since the Japanese Kamakura era.
Mr. Minato is a young producer in his thirties, who works tirelessly with his father on their estate in Wazuka.
Talking to Mr. Minato, our tea master & tea buyer, Naoki, had a deep impression of his passionate efforts to growing the best quality tea possible, as Mr. Minato repeats actions meant to prepare for the Shincha season 3 or 4 times, when these steps are usually only taken once. This is very time consuming, but, on this subject, Mr. Minato says that ‘if it that can help make the final result even just a little better it is worth it’.
As this tea is not a blend, the olive green leaves reveal the undiluted message of the cultivar, the soil and Mr. Minato’s efforts as a producer.
Upon infusion, the liquor reveals a mellow flavor due to its cultivar — the Saemidori cultivar is known for its umami and reduced astringency– & the fact that the field has been shaded from the sun 9 days before harvest. (Not a direct cover, shading on a shelf).
The first infusion yields a deep vegetal umami (fresh steamed spinach notes) and appetizing fragrance of young greens, almost devoid of astringency in spite of the fact that the leaves were harvested only a few days ago.
The second infusion delivers delicate green notes, revealing more of the Shincha invigorating flavor, but on a pleasant, reduced level. A long finish with a hint of astringency will tickle the tongue after drinking.

Sencha Yabukita Kin Jirushi ―50g, 1,450 yen
Cultivar: Yabukita – Location: Harayama – Producer: Mr. Tsuji
This specialty tea composed of leaves of the Yabukita cultivar was grown for us in a single field by Mr. Tsuji in Harayama – a sharp hilled district in Wazuka known for producing some of the best Sencha of the Kyoto region.
The field yielding the Sencha Yabukita Kin Jirushi is situated at a 200 m altitude on an ideal tea producing location on a riverside, at the bottom of a ravine. The difference in the temperature between day and night shapes mellow flavored teas. (Our tea master asked Mr. Tsuji to shade the field 5 days before harvest to emphasize the mellow character of the tea). The field is also exposed to reduced hours of sunlight and to stagnant cold air and fog emanating from the nearby river, so the leaves grow slowly and stay very tender until harvest time. Red clay soil which retains nutrients well provides the leaves of the Sencha Yabukita Kin Jirushi with a full bodied flavor. The young leaves offer a sweet after taste, and a clear, refreshing fragrance opens up in the back of the nose in a nice retro nasal olfaction effect.


Sencha Okumidori by Mr.Yuki ―50g, 680 yen
Cultivar: Okumidori – Location: Dosenbo – Producer: Mr. Yuki
This tea produced by Mr. Yuki at 500m altitude on the Dosenbo plateau in the Kyoto prefecture is an authentic Uji Sencha grown in full sunlight without any shading period before harvest according to a traditional production method that is on the verge of disappearing in Japan. This is also a Sencha represents the undiluted message from the terroir of its growing location: its leaves of the Okumidori cultivar have all been harvested from a single field benefiting from a sandy soil, a feature allowing for good water drainage and a deep penetration of the tree roots. As a result, the leaves yield a neat, richly nuanced flavor after infusion. Registered in 1947, the Okumidori cultivar is known to produce mellow, high quality Sencha devoid of bitterness. The high elevation of the Dosenbo plateau emphasizes the natural smoothness of the Okumidori cultivar, especially, the differences of the temperature between night and day result in an accumulation of sweet components in the leaves. Before infusion, the leaves offer a fresh fragrance of aromatic herbs. After infusion, the liquor offers a flowery, vanilla like fragrance. At first the mouthfeel is velvety sweet, without bitterness. This mellow first sensation is then balanced with a light and refreshing astringency blooming in a long finish. This full bodied tea will offer deliciously fruity tannic notes at higher temperatures. Its savor will hold and change pleasantly from one infusion to the next.

Z1 by Mr. Tamura ―50g, 630 yen
Cultivar: Z1 – Location: Wazuka – Producer: Mr. Tamura
Mr. Tamura, at the age of 80, still works in his fields with his wife and daughter, on the top of high hills with steep slopes.
Sencha Z1 is a rare cultivar that is very little used by producers in Japan because it is difficult to make a balanced tea with this cultivar. It has kept its laboratory name, and it has not been given a definitive name as a cultivar. Mr. Tamura makes his tea to perfection and the liquor offers the sweet, round flavor and rich in iodized Umami, combined with a slight astringency typical of this cultivar. The leaves are cultivated pesticide-free from autumn to the harvesttime and covered for about 10 days before harvest. This shading process contributes to the Umami. Subsequent infusions (2-3) offer a refreshing floral fragrance.

Traditional Sencha Okuyamada ―50g, 750 yen
Cultivar: Yabukita – Location: Uji Tawara – Producer: Mr. Kakiuchi
This lovely nostalgic Sencha composed of Yabukita cultivar was produced pesticide-free from autumn until the harvesttime at Uji Tawara, which is the birthplace of Japanese green tea. Since the method of Sencha which we get used to today was developed there in 1700s, Uji Tawara was known for the place which produces well flavoured Sencha. However, because of the cold climate and the short duration of sunlight in Uji Tawara, the harvesttime had become later and later and the price at the market had gone down. Since then many producers in Uji Tawara started to cultivate Gyokuro instead. We fortunately get a chance this time to reach Sencha from a producer in Uji Tawara. The thick leaves are one of the characteristics of Sencha grown in cold region and to bring out the fresh taste combined with a pleasant long-lasting sweetness, it is important to give a little extra time to infuse them at high temperature.

Sencha Sayamakaori ―50g, 700 yen
Cultivar: Sayamakaori – Location: Wazuka – Producer: Mr. Tanaka
This tea produced in Wazuka delivers a spring sensation in your mouth with a pronounced aroma as bamboo shoots or sweet corn. A liquor with smooth texture lingers on the tongue with a savory taste. A delightful refreshing astringency highlights the sweetness.