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2018 Shincha season – Update on Shincha available at Rishouen

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The frenzy of the Shincha season is catching up to us in Uji!

The First Uji tea auction took place on April 22, and we are now starting to assemble our range of 2018 Uji Sencha house blends. We also received 3 single field teas (non blend, single cultivar) from Mr. Tsuji, Mr. Minato and Mr. Tamura.
Finally, we received the organic teas produced by Mr. Nishi in Kirishima, Kagoshima prefecture: (scroll down to find the list of house blends,single field and organic teas below:

Houseblends, range of 2018 spring Uji Sencha:

Regarding our range of Uji Sencha assembled by our tea master, the following teas are now available for sales:

Uji Sencha Hinoka – 60g/ 1000 yen
Origin: Kyoto Prefecture, Special blend 2018 limited edition 

The 2017 version of this tea won the ‘Fine Product Award’ equivalent to a silver medal at the 2017 Nihoncha Award.
As we have been saying quite often, traditional Sencha produced without shading periods  of the field before harvest are becoming more and more rare in Japan, and we wish to participate in the preservation of this production method. This is why our tea master chose to use ‘pure’ Sencha leaves grown in full sunlight for this blend, in order to promote the appreciation of traditional Uji Sencha and to prevent this production method from disappearing.
This unique blend takes its name from its production method as ‘Hinoka’ could be translated into ‘Sun Fragrance’ in English.
The freshly assembled Uji Sencha Hinoka blend is composed of only two varieties of 2018 spring Sencha grown in Wazuka in the Kyoto prefecture. The main base for this tea are leaves of the Okuyutaka cultivar grown by Mr. Minato, who also grows our single field Kabuse Sencha Saemidori. The Okuyutaka leaves lend their fresh, almost spicy fragrance reminiscent of cinnamon and gentle umami to the blend. The second cultivar, Yabukita, offers balance and pushes the umami revealed by the liquor to a deeper, denser level. By combining these Sencha varietals in an effective ratio, our tea master, Naoki Kagata, was able to craft a blended tea like no other.
It is not common to find Japanese blended teas revealing one of a kind characteristics, as they tend to follow trends and resemble one another. However, in spite of being composed of two types of leaves grown by different producers, the Uji Sencha Hinoka reveals a unique personality, not unlike the single field, non blended Uji teas that Rishouen strives to promote.
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Mujou Betsugi Sencha – 100g/ 3000 yen.
Origin: Kyoto prefecture, Rishouen House blend
This incredibly high quality Sencha bewitches everyone who savors it.
Assembled by our tea masters from dazzling, tender, extremely young spring leaves sourced from excellent Uji producers (some direct trade & some leaves offered during the early days of the  Uji tea auction), this unique blend represents the quintessence of Japanese Sencha: elegant aroma, purity and complexity of flavors, sweet notes and deep umami, soft and delicate liquor revealing just the right amount of gentle astringency.
無上別儀煎茶葉無上別儀煎茶

Mujou Sencha – 100g/ 2500 yen.
Origin: Kyoto prefecture, Rishouen House
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Beautiful dark green leaves left to grow in field a little longer before harvest than the leaves of our higher ranked Mujou Betsugi Sencha mentioned above. This blend composed of leaves that are still tender but more mature brings forth a strong flavor with the combination of delicacy and depth expected of a high quality Uji Sencha. 
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Gokujou Sencha – 100g/ 2000 yen.
Origin: Kyoto prefecture, Rishouen House
 blend
The leaves of this Sencha have been cultivated until full growth, and thus this tea is characterized by a strong and complex taste. Its delicate astringency will attract the palates of demanding gourmets and the curious beginners alike.
極玉葉 gokujou sencha

Betsujou Sencha – 100g/ 1500 yen.
Origin: Kyoto prefecture, Rishouen House
 blend
This Sencha is one of the staples at Rishouen and one of our best sellers. We drink this tea everyday during our morning breaks at the office accompanied by salty or sweet snacks to invigorate our body and stir our spirit.
This tea also gives the first impression of Rishouen teas, as this Sencha is served routinely to each person who comes see us in our office in Uji.
Our Betsujou reveals the fresh fragrance expected of a good Uji Sencha. The full bodied, supple liquor offers the balance between the rich, deep savory flavor and just the right level of pleasant bitterness typical of excellent Sencha from Uji. We recommend trying an infusion at lower temperature (60C) to enjoy its rich umami, with subsequent infusions at higher temperatures to enjoy a large palette of savors, ranging from mellow and round to swift and refreshingly bitter green.
別煎葉 別上煎茶

We are still waiting for our 2018 Tokujou and Jou Sencha grade, and will upload them onto this page when they are  ready for sales.

 2018 single field Uji teas grown in the Kyoto prefecture:

Sencha Saemidori by Mr. Minato – 50g/ 1500 yen.
Origin Wazuka, Kyoto prefecture. Single field, single cultivar.
Located in the Yamashiro region in the Kyoto prefecture, Wazuka is the chief Ujicha (Uji tea) production area, and the craddle 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 tiredlessly 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’.
The 2018 Sencha Saemidori by Mr. Minato is not a blend. The leaves are not only all of the same Saemidori cultivar, they also have all been harvested in the same field. As such, this tea reveals 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 yields 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.
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Pure Sencha Yabukita grown in full sunlight by Mr. Tsuji- 80g/ 1230 yen.
Origin Harayama, Kyoto prefecture. Single field, single cultivar. 

This tea is grown on a steep slope facing south by Mr. Tsuji in Harayama, a sharp hilled district in Wazuka known for producing some of the best Sencha of the Kyoto region.
The terrain in Harayama contains rock conglomerates rich in minerals, which, absorbed by the tea trees, offer a crisp, sweet fragrance to the leaves. Furthermore, the black soil in this location retains fertilizers well, allowing the leaves to offer a deep flavor lasting well from one infusion to the next.
This is a ‘pure’ Sencha composed of leaves grown traditionally in full sunlight without any shading period of the field before harvest.
This production method is becoming rare as more and more tea producers in the Kyoto region shade their fields from the sun a few days before harvest to answer to the demand for mellower teas in Japan. By doing so, they are producing ‘Kabuse Sencha’ — kabuse means covered, or shaded –, creating new Sencha characteristics and moving away from traditional Sencha production methods.
However, there are still tea lovers who enjoy the typical fragrance and pleasing astringency of traditionally produced Sencha.
Our tea buyer and blender, Naoki Kagata, very much appreciates the flavor and fragrance of pure, non shaded Sencha, and wishes to promote them so that they don’t disappear. That is the reason why he has asked Mr. Tsuji, year after year, to let the leaves grow in full sunlight so that we could obtain a tea revealing the nostalgic and rejuvenating sensations offered by traditional Uji Sencha, along with the refreshing fragrance offered by pure Sencha grown in Harayama.
13151581_558024477692150_7909044888163553557_n 辻原山

Sencha Z1 by Mr. Mr Tamura- 80g/ 1200 yen.
Origin Wazuka, Kyoto prefecture. Single field, single cultivar.
Our most popular Sencha Z1 by Mr. Tamura is back again this year! This tea has been out of stock for several months due to its popularity, and we are glad to be able to offer it again as a freshly harvested 2018 Shincha. There is only 4kg available for retail this year, so the stock is very limited and will be offered in a first come first served basis.
Z1 is a variety that was not given a name other than the serial number that was attributed to the variety when it was tested in the laboratory, as it has not been registered as a cultivar . It is a very rare cultivar that was used as a parent to create other varieties, but is not often found as a loose leaf tea since it is difficult to obtain flavorful tea from fields planted with Z1 trees. As such, only a few producers in Japan risk themselves at planting fields with this cultivar, and Mr. Tamura is the only person owning Z1 tea trees in the Kyoto region.
Mr. Tamura is over 80 years old, but still works tirelessly on his estate located in Wazuka, with help from his wife and daughter. Once again, Mr. Tamura obtained excellent results from this field in 2018, in spite of the difficulty presented by this unique cultivar.
Located on the top of a steep hill overlooking the valley below in Wazuka, Kyoto prefecture at about 200m altitude, Mr. Tamura’s field planted with Z1 trees was shaded 7 days before harvest this year.
After the last refining process, the result is a lush Sencha composed of dark, shiny leaves, characterized by their light floral fragrance as well as their gentle, round mouthfeel with a clean and fresh, sweet flavor.
南 tamura

Organic teas by Mr. Nishi, origin Kirishima, Kagoshima

JAS Organic Gyokuro Mizuumi, 2018 Spring Harvest – 100g/ 2304 yen

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This spring harvest Gyokuro of the Saemidori cultivar is produced in Makizono, Kagoshima by Mr. Nishi, a producer known for his excellent organic production methods.

Having been shade grown 21 days before harvest under a dark fabric hung above the field to prevent the full light of the sun from reaching the leaves (oishitaen shading method), this tea reveals the deep fragrance typical of shaded teas, and contains increased chlorophyll levels which results in a deeper, sweeter flavor and reduced astringency.

The lush, dark green, finely shaped leaves develop an incredible Umami that will make the drinkers feel at peace while charming their taste buds with  delightful sweet notes.

JAS organic Sencha Saemidori, 2018 Spring Harvest –  100g/ 1404 yen
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The Saemidori, or « clear green » cultivar results from the crossbreeding of the asatsuyu and yabukita cultivar. This cultivar is native to Kagoshima and is characterized by a fresh, citrusy aroma as well as a bright green liquor and a sweet flavor with deep Umami.

To add to the natural sweetness of its cultivar, this Sencha is composed of leaves grown in a field covered from the sun 6 days before harvest to allow for the extraction of mellow flavors after infusion.

Our organic first flush Saemidori  is produced on the foot of the Kirishima volcanic mountain range by Mr. Nishi, one of the best producers in Kagoshima. Its glossy emerald green leaves are kneaded into elegant needle shapes, allowing for the added pleasure of viewing beautiful leaves before tasting a delicious tea.

JAS Organic Sencha Yabukita, 2018 Spring Harvest –  100g/ 961 yen
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This spring tea of the Yabukita cultivar is produced by Mr. Nishi in Makizono, Kagoshima.

This tea is composed of leaves grown in a field covered 5 days before harvest so that they can develop a mellower flavor than traditional Japanese Sencha which are absolutely not covered from the sun before harvest.

Its leaves have a very beautiful thin needle shape and a dark and glossy green color.

The cultivar Yabukita is used for the production of 70% of Japanese green teas, and is especially fit for the production of balanced Sencha revealing both a round umami and a deliciously refreshing vegetal flavor.

Our JAS Organic Sencha Yabukita offers a very deep savory flavor with sweet and mellow notes at lower temperature, and develops a subtle astringency at higher temperature. This tea perfectly expresses the quintessence and balance of Japanese Sencha.

Comparison: Tea field in February and Early April

View of Mr. Minato’s field Okuyuta field in Wazuka: February (left picture) and early April 2018 (right picture).

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The color of the trees is totally different when the young spring leaves start growing!

Wazuka is like a big bowl: the valley at the bottom experiences colder weather with cold air trapped in between the surrounding hills, while the weather is hotter on top of the hills. As such, the growth of the new sprouts is more advanced on the tea trees situated on top of the hills, than on the trees situated closer to the valley.

While hiking the sharply slanted slopes, it is very interesting to see the gradation of color from dark green (not many young sprouts growing on the trees yet) to flashy, neon like, bright green on top of the hills, where the spring leaves are growing faster.

New Rishouen House Blend – Limited Edition – Sencha Hinoka

 IMG_0579The new 2017 Rishouen house blend assembled by Naoki Kagata, our youngest tea master, is now available for sales!
Sencha Hinoka – Retail price: 60g/ 1000 yen

This special Sencha assembled from 3 different cultivars is the result of more than 10 try outs to obtain a blend revealing a strong personality with a little bit of spice.

This blend is called ‘Hinoka’, or ‘Sun Fragrance’, because it is composed of ‘pure’ Sencha leaves grown in full sunlight without any shading period before harvest. This production method is becoming rare as producers tend to produce ‘Kabuse Sencha’ instead of ‘pure Sencha’ to answer to the demand for mellow teas in Japan.

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All three type of leaves composing this blend are 2017 spring Sencha grown in Wazuka in the Kyoto prefecture.

The main base for this blend is a Sencha of the Okuyutaka cultivar grown by Mr. Minato, who also grows our single field Kabuse Sencha Saemidori.

Added to this main base is some Sencha of the Houshun cultivar grown by Mr. Kita –- the producer who grew our delicious 2016 single field Uji Midori Kabusecha –, along with a little bit of Sencha of the Yabukita cultivar selected to add a deeper note with mild umami to the blend.

無題The result of this blend is a unique Sencha revealing a spicy, cinamon like fragrance and a pretty light yellow liquor revealing a mild, light flavor that builds and opens up in a long lasting lasting finish with tingling sensations spreading in the throat, palate and nose.

If you are interested in tasting this new special blend, don’t hesitate to let us know via message on Facebook or via e-mail at info@rishouentea.com

Blend Rishouen – Edition Limitée – Sencha Hinoka

 IMG_0579Le tout nouveau blend 2017 de Rishouen assemblé par notre maître de thé, Naoki Kagata est maintenant disponible à la vente!
Sencha Hinoka – Prix retail : 60g/ 1000 yen

Ce blend atypique est composé de 3 Sencha ‘purs’ printaniers 2017 cultivés à Wazuka, dans la préfecture de Kyoto.

Par Sencha ‘pur’, on entend que les feuilles assemblées pour créer le blend du Sencha Hinoka n’ont absolument pas été couvertes du soleil avant la récolte. Cette méthode de production de Sencha traditionnels se fait rare de nos jours au Japon alors que les producteurs ombrent de plus en plus leurs champs de Sencha pour répondre aux demandes de thés ronds et doux des consommateurs japonais.

Le nom ‘Hinoka’, ‘Arôme du Soleil’, n’est donc pas anodin, car il décrit la volonté de s’éloigner des tendances actuelles et de créer un blend ayant une personalité unique.

IMG_0580Le ratio actuel de feuilles contenues dans ce blend résulte d’une série de plus de 10 éssais par Naoki Kagata pour mettre en valeur l’arôme du cultivar de base choisi pour ce thé, tout en révélant une saveur équilibrée et rafraîchissante.
La base pour ce blend est un Sencha de cultivar okuyutaka cultivé par Mr. Minato, le producteur qui a fournit notre Kabuse Sencha Saemidori 2016. C’est cette base d’Okuyutaka qui offre sa fragrance pure et rafraîchissante, à notes presque épicées à ce blend.

Sur cette base, un petit ratio de feuilles de cultivar Houshun produites par Monsieur Kita, qui a fournit notre délicieux Kabusecha Uji Midori 2016, ont été ajoutées pour soutenir la base principale d’Okuyutaka, avec en addition des feuilles de cultivar Yabukita qui subliment le blend avec leur Umami léger.

無題Après infusion, l’attaque du Sencha Hinoka est douce. La saveur s’étoffe, s’enfle, et prend sa place dans un deuxième temps pour aller chatouiller la gorge et même le nez dans un bel effet rétro olfactif.

Si ce blend vous donne des envies de dégustations, n’hésitez-pas à nous le faire savoir  par e-mail à info@rishouentea.com

Thés nouveaux 2017

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La récolte de printemps 2017 a commencé tard et tout doucement cette année à cause de températures froides en mars, mais notre gamme de Sencha d’Uji  2017 commence à prendre forme, comme vous pouvez le voir sur la photo ci-dessus, qui montre nos jolis packaging dédiés aux Shincha.
Les primeurs Rishouen 2017 actuellement disponible à la vente ( envoi internationals effectués par Japan Post) sont listés ci dessous 😉

Sencha assemblés par nos maîtres de thés à partir de tendres pousses printanières sourcées dans la région d’Uji:
Mujou Betsugi Sencha – 50g, 1500 yen
Gokujou Sencha – 50g, 1000 yen
Betsujou Sencha – 50g, 785 yen

Thés non blend contenant les feuilles d’un seul champs, un seul cultivar, sourcés directement auprès d’excellents producteurs situés dans des régions historiques de production de thés d’Uji:

Sencha traditionnel 2017 cultivé par Mr. Tsuji à Harayama, cultivar Yabukita – 80g, 1230 yen
13151581_558024477692150_7909044888163553557_nC’est la deuxième année que nous achetons ce Sencha  cultivé à 200m d’altitude à Harayama, dans la région de Wazuka.

Le terroir d’Harayama est connu pour sa production de Sencha savoureux révélant des arômes à notes minérales.
Le cultivar Yabukita est utilisé pour 70% de la production de thés japonais et a pour caractéristique une fragrance fraîche et une douce amertume désaltérante qui convient parfaitement à la production de Sencha japonais.

Traditionnellement, les Sencha japonais sont cultivés entièrement à la lumière du soleil, sans période de couverture du champs avant la récolte.
Cependant, la tendance actuelle au Japon est d’appliquer les méthodes de production des thés d’ombres aux champs destinés à la production de Sencha, ce qui implique la mise en place de tissus en vinyl bloquant les rayons du soleil au dessus des feuilles, ce jusqu’à 14 jours avant la récolte, pour obtenir des Sencha doux à saveur ronde et moelleuse.

Monsieur Tsuji, qui lui aussi ombre la majorité de ses champs pour répondre aux nouvelles demandes des consommateurs japonais, accepte depuis deux ans de réserver l’un de ses champs de cultivar Yabukita pour nous, dans le but de produire un Sencha  n’ayant pas connu de période d’ombre.
Le résultat de cette cultivation sans période d’ombrage est un Sencha long en bouche offrant une belle saveur végétale rafraîchissante accompagnée de délicieuses notes taniques qui ravira les amateurs de Sencha traditionnels japonais.

Sencha Z1 2017 cultivé par Mr. Tamura à Wazuka – 85g, 1000 yen

南Ce Sencha est produit par Mr. Tamura (qui a maintenant plus de 80 ans!) à Wazuka, sur un terrain élevé à pente escarpée.

Ce Sencha est un thé rare. En effet, le cultivar Z1 provient du cultivar Tamamidori, et n’est que très peu utilisé par les producteurs plantant des nouveaux théiers au Japon car il est difficile de réaliser un thé équilibré avec ce cultivar.
Z1 n’est d’ailleurs que le numéro de série attribué par les chercheurs pendant la période de tests en laboratoire. Comme il est difficile de produire des thés réussis avec ce cultivar, celui-ci n’a jamais reçu de nom dénitif et a gardé son nom de laboratoire.

Mr. Tamura, lui, réalise son thé à la perfection, et la liqueur offre la saveur douce presque sucrée, ronde et riche en Umami iodé, alliée à une légère astringence typique de ce cultivar. Le champs est couvert pendant environ 10 jours avant la récolte, ce qui participe aussi à l’Umami révélé lors de l’infusion des feuilles. Les infusions ultérieures (2-3) offrent une fragrance florale rafraîchissante.

Sencha Okumidori cultivé par Mr. Yuki à Dosembo, 80g – 850 yen
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Les producteurs de la région de Dosembo (district de Soraku, prefecture de Kyoto) ont tendance à suivre la demande du marché et à permuter leur production de Sencha en Tencha ( matière première utilisée pour le Matcha).

Monsieur Yuki devient donc l’un des seuls producteurs des environs de Dosembo à continuer à produire du Sencha traditionnel.

Le thé produit par Mr. Yuki n’est absolument pas couvert du soleil avant la récolte, ce qui devrait se traduire en une astringence verte assez vive pour un Shincha. Cependant, c’est un thé élégant et tout doux, riche en Umami frais et iodé.
Cela est dû au fait qu’il est produit à 500 m d’altitude, où la différence de température entre le jour et la nuit permet aux feuilles d’accumuler des composants sucrés qu’elles ne consomment pas la nuit. La liqueur après infusion à basse température (60C) révèle des notes rondes et onctueuses évoquant un syrop, ainsi qu’une légère astringence rafraîchissante et une belle longueur en bouche sur les deuxièmes et troisièmes infusions à haute température.

Le sol sableux du terrain où ce thé est cultivé permet à l’eau de bien pénétrer jusqu’au racines. De plus, sur ce type de terrain les racines s’enfoncent profondément dans le sol, ce qui leur permet d’extraire des nutriments variés, et se traduit par une saveur riche en nuances.

Monsieur Yuki possède sa propre usine et fait le raffinage des feuilles jusqu’au stade d’Aracha (stade semi raffiné) lui même après la récolte. Sa méthode  excellente de roulage des feuilles leur permet de libérer des arômes et saveurs constantes au fil des infusions.

2017 freshly harvested Shincha

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The 2017 Shincha season started late this year, and the new teas have been harvested and refined slowly in the last few weeks, but and our range of house blend Sencha from Uji is starting to take shape!

Here are the freshly harvested Sencha currently available for international shipping at Rishouen:

Sencha assembled by our tea masters from tender young leaves sourced in the Uji region:
Mujou Betsugi Sencha – 50g, 1500 yen
Gokujou Sencha – 50g, 1000 yen
Betsujou Sencha – 50g, 785 yen

Single field teas containing the leaves of a single cultivar, sourced from only one field, and only one producer:

2017 Pure Sencha grown by Mr. Tsuji in Harayama, cultivar Yabukita – 80g, 1230 yen
13151581_558024477692150_7909044888163553557_nThis is the second year that Mr. Tsuji has agreed to our request to grow this Sencha directly under the sun, to obtain a traditional Sencha revealing a deep, fresh green flavor  with a long finish that will fill its drinker with a much welcome energy boost.

Japanese producers are covering their Sencha fields from the sun more and more lately (sometimes up to 14 days before harvest!) to develop a mellow, almost sweet flavor in the leaves to answer the taste of modern Japanese people who request sweet beverages.

However, we, at Rishouen, prize the flavor offered by traditionally grown Sencha, and are very grateful to Mr. Tsuji who is doing us the flavor of growing this tea according to our wishes.

2017 Sencha Z1 grown by Mr. Tamura in Wazuka – 85g, 1000 yen

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This Sencha is grown by Mr. Tamura (who is now over 80 years old!) and his family on the top of a steep hill overlooking the valley below in Wazuka, Kyoto prefecture.

The cultivar Z1 is difficult to grow into flavorful tea, so only a few producers in Japan risk themselves at planting fields with Z1 cultivar tea trees.

Mr. Tamura tends to his fields perfectly, and the result is a real treat of a Sencha that is sweet both in fragrance and in flavor.

 

We are still receiving new teas in Aracha semi refined state, and will announce them slowly when they are refined into Shincha that are ready for shipping.

In the meantime, if you want some of the Shincha mentioned above for a taste of fresh spring, let us know!

Difference between Single Field Tea and House Blend

“What is the difference between a single field tea and a Rishouen house blend?”

A new customer recently asked  this question after receiving information regarding our single field and house blend teas from Uji and we thought about sharing our answer here.

Definition of House blend for Rishouen Teas

Rows of Tencha for sale at the Uji tea auction

A blend is a tea containing leaves from multiple origins.

Rishouen blends contain leaves sourced mostly from the spring Uji tea auction, where our tea masters carefully select lots of various cultivars grown by several different producers, in various fields of the Uji region.

These leaves are assembled in house by our tea masters to make Uji teas -Matcha, Sencha, Gyokuro, Kukicha,Hojicha, Genmaicha, etc.. – revealing a balanced flavor, a deep Umami and no displeasing bitterness or astringency.

As such, the flavor of the blends depend on our tea master’s ability to choose the right leaves and assemble them together in the right ratio to obtain refreshing and delicious teas representing the culture of Umami and refinement of Uji teas.

Definition of a Rishouen single field tea

A single field tea contains leaves of a single origin, sourced from one producer, in only one field.

“Single field”, the term that we have been using in English to describe our non blend teas from Uji, is a direct translation of the Japanese term 単一畑 or tan itsu batake. If translated word by word from Japanese to English we get “Only one” and “Field”.

Rishouen single field teas are small batch spring harvests sourced directly from excellent producers in prestigious Uji tea growing regions such as Wazuka, Harayama, Dosembo, Shirakawa or Kyotanabe.

As these teas contain leaves of a single cultivar, grown in a single field, by a single producer, they each have a unique character, and represent the rich terroir of the location they were grown on without dilution of the message of the soil, climate, rain and growing/ manufacturing of their producer.

Since single field teas are not blended, their defects cannot be concealed or improved by the addition of leaves produced in another location or by another producer.

Therefore, the quality of single field teas depends directly on the ability of the producer to read the climate and topography, choose the right location, the right cultivar, the right amount and timing of fertilization, the right timing for harvest as well as the right manufacturing methods after harvest.

As Japanese people drink less and less Japanese green tea, we, Rishouen Tea Co., are very grateful for the Uji single field teas we obtain each year from excellent, dedicated Uji producers. We hope to share delicious single field Uji teas with as many people as possible, as a way to thank the producers who made them and encourage them to continue their amazing work.

Our single field teas from Uji are not listed on our website yet, but please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to obtain information regarding our range or shipping conditions.

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Visit to one of our producers in Harayama, a location known for its delicious Sencha in the hilly mountain field region of Wazuka.

SIRHA2015でお茶とチーズのセミナー&試食会を開催しました!

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2015年1月24日、SIRHA の会場 Hall6のBARでお茶のエキスパートとして有名なLydia Gautierさんとの初のコラボで、お茶とチーズのセミナー&試食会を開催しました。

弊舗は炭酸水で煎じた雁金爽薫とシェーブル(サントモール・ド・トウーロン)を紹介。

Lydiaさんは雲南の紅茶とパルメジヤーノ、そしてインドのハーブティーとエポワズAOPを紹介されました。 **はLydia Gautierさんのコメントです。

*煎茶雁金爽薫 vsシェーブル 植物性由来のお茶のうまみと動物性由来のチーズのうまみのマリアージュが素晴らしい。シエーブルのわずかな酸味が、雁金のまろやかさと溶け合って絶妙なバランスを醸し出している。心地よい余韻が口の中に長く続く。炭酸水で煎じたお茶とチーズとの取り合わせはまさに画期的な試み。弊舗のオリジナルな企画です。

**雲南の紅茶とパルメジヤーノ 木の香り・果物のコンポートを思わせる熱い紅茶が、ざらざらしていて、ドライフルーツのようなルメジヤーノの食感を補って完全なものにしている。

**コントワール・リシャールのハーブティーとエポワズAOP シナモンの薫りが強く、わずかなしょうがと胡椒の風味のするやさしいハーブティー。熱いお茶が、ミルクの香りのたつ動物的な味のエポワズをとろけさせて絶妙なハーモニー。

とても和気あいあいとした試食会でした。予期もしないお茶とチーズの取り合わせに、参加者のみなさんは驚き、喜ばれ、それぞれに感想を述べて下さいました。フランス人の冒険好きな気質に乾杯!このセミナー&試食会の思い出が参加者の皆様の心に深く刻印されますように。ご自身でもお気軽に、お気に入りのお茶とチーズを試されるようになるといいですね。

㈱ 利招園茶舗

利田 美絵

 

SIRHAでお茶とチーズのセミナー&試食会を開催しました!

 

CIMG3690

La séminaire-dégustation thé-fromage a lieu au Bar Hall 6 le 24 février, 2015 au SIRHA à partir de 14h jusqu’au 14h 40 (organisateur de l’évènement : GL Évents). C’était notre première collaboration avec Lydia Gautier /expert en thé.

Lydia proposait 2 sortes des thés.  Elle m’a laissé choisir un thé vert Japonais pour  un assortiment avec un fromage de chèvre cendré. J’ai tout de suite pensé au thé vert pétillant afin de toucher le public en Français. C’était vraiment une occasion exceptionnelle pour présenter notre démarche thé-fromage dont nous faisons la promotion depuis près de 10 ans.

J’ai eu le grand honneur de démarrer ce séminaire en présentant tout d’abord les particularités du thé Japonais en comparaison avec les thés en provenance d’autres régions. Notamment en ce qui concerne sa conception philosophique mais également la différence des procédés de fabrication dont le but est de faire subir un stress le plus infime possible.

Puis j’ai entamé la partie gourmande du séminaire en introduisant l’association entre notre Sencha Karigane Pétillant en assortiment avec un fromage de chèvre saint maure de touraine légèrement fait.

J’ai préparé le thé pétillant avec de l’eau Celtic en avance. L’Umami d’origine de végétale se marie parfaitement avec l’Umami d’origine animale du fromage de chèvre. La petite acidité du chèvre s’accorde bien avec la douceur du Karigane Soukunn. Très bel équilibre, avec de subtiles nuances et une belle longueur en bouche.

Ensuite Lydia a proposé les deux accords ci-dessous. ( commentaires de Lydia Gautier)

*Thé rouge sauvage de Chine du Yunnan et Fromage Parmigiano Reggiano AOP          Le thé aux notes boisées et fruitées compotées servi bien chaud vient compléter la texture granuleuse et le côté fruit sec du fromage.

*Tisane épicée Nocturne Indien de Comptoirs Richard et Fromage Epoisses AOP          La tisane aux notes douces et épicées à dominante cannelle avec une pointe de gingembre et de poivre servie bien chaude se fond dans le crémeux et le côté lacté et animal du fromage.

C’était un évènement très convivial. Les participants ont été très surpris et se sont intéressé immédiatement à cette association insolite. On reconnaît bien là le côté aventureux des français en matière gustative. Nous espérons que ce séminaire et cette expérience restera gravée dans leurs mémoires et leur donnera envie de poursuivre et d’approfondir par eux-mêmes l’aventure.

Rishouen Tea CO.

Mie KAGATA

リヨンのSIRHA2015へ行って来ました!

 

1月24日からリヨンで開催された世界最大級の食の展示会SIRHA2015に行って参りました!弊舗のお得意先であるパリのISSE Workshopさんのブースで3日間、弊舗のお茶のプロモーションのお手伝いをさせて頂きました。レストランのシェフ・ソムリエ・パテシエ・ジャーナリストなどたくさんの来訪客をお迎えした大変有意義なサロンとなりました。

Avec M. Andreolli, un des notre collaborateur

Celtic Andreolliさんと

利招園は、thé pétillant(炭酸水で煎じるお茶)を用意しました。お水はミネラル分の少ないCelticの天然の微炭酸水を使用しました。Celticの水は長い間探し求めて、やっと見つけた、日本茶を煎じるのにとても理想的な水です。第五の味うまみを巧みに説明し、(苦くもなく、酸っぱくもなく、辛くもなく、甘くもない海の味、植物性もしくは動物性由来のアミノ酸の醸し出す味として)美しいポップを作成して下さったmoulin des moines さん、どうも有難うございました。Celticさんのお水と弊舗のお茶のコラボをうまくまとめて戴きました。改めてお礼申し上げます。

炭酸水で煎じるお茶は、うまみの味を最大限に引き出す為に弊舗の社長が考案したオリジナルなお茶の煎じ方です。

そもそも通常フランスの水はとてもミネラル分の多い硬水である。そしてお茶は熱い飲み物であるという常識に対向できる飲み方を社長は模索していました。硬水でいかにしてうまみを抽出するのか。長い時間をかけて水出しにすれば、硬水でもうまみを抽出することが可能である。しかも炭酸水で煎じる事で、うまみを邪魔することなくとても爽やかで、口当たりの良い飲み物が誕生したのです。

来訪者の皆様はthé pétillantを飲まれて驚かれ、口にお茶を含みながら、それを表現する為のことばを探して一瞬無口になります。そして本当に独創的だね / 心地いい口当たりの飲み物だね / うまみが口の中で長続きするね / 初めての体験だよ!と銘々に感想を述べられ、確かな手ごたえを感じました。

今回は、thé pétillant を煎じる為にSIRHAに煎茶雁金‘爽薫’を持参しました。雁金がたくさん含まれているので、大変フルーティーでまろやか、活力にあふれたお茶が実現しました。夏の真っ盛りに、アペリティフにぴったりのお茶です。未孔を洗い、料理の味を分かりやすくします。

利招園茶舗はお茶のもつ本質をきちんと尊重しながら、常に独創的な企画を世界に発信していきたいと考えております。Thé Vert Pétillantがお茶を愛する方々に正しく理解され、そして広く浸透していきますように。

㈱ 利招園茶舗

利田 美絵