Hojicha Kiriyama brews up a bright amber liquor and a warming, sweet grain aroma reminiscent of breakfast cereal. Matsumoto-san's skill is evident with the consisting processing of this 100% Yabukita from the first harvest, or Ichibancha, in May. It consists of a fine balance of stems for sweetness and leaf fragments for slight astringency and then lightly toasted for a nutty finish.
Matsumoto-san and family still produce tea on the Makinohara plateau where their ancestors began, about seventy years ago during the Edo period. They continue to this day to use the traditional chagusaba, or tea-grass farming method, to nourish the soil and grow superior tea plants. Chagusaba, a UN recognized agricultural system, are semi-natural grasslands, interspersed between tea fields, that help maintain biodiversity and endangered habitats.
As with most of our teas, this tea can be steeped several times. Second infusions are usually for about 2 minutes. Third or fourth infusions require longer times of 3 to 4 minutes. Please remember, these are guidelines to get you started and you may find your preference is to adjust them.