Zairai 在来 means 'native' and refers to a very broad group of tea bushes that are the result of the natural pollination process where the flower from one bush and the pollen from another combine to create a seedling with unique characteristics. This variation combined with relatively lower yield means Zairai fields are very rare.
Miyazaki-san's skill shows in working with this botanical variety. The clear, pale liquor is light bodied but coats the mouth with a smooth buttery feel. At first there is a mild sweetness with soft notes of artichoke, dried jasmine and hazelnut followed by a very mild bitterness and light astrigent, cooling sensation in the mouth. A slight pungent spiciness can be perceived on the leaves just after steeping.
Read more about Zairai at myjapanesegreentea.com.
Gokase is the premier region for the relatively rare, pan roasted green tea, kamairicha. It’s here, tucked in mountainous highlands of NW Miyazaki prefecture that Akira-san and family craft multi-award winning, JAS organic kamairicha, sannenbancha and black tea.
Miyazaki Sabou’s tea fields are found at a relatively higher altitude, around 650m, and, although located closer towards the tropical belt, summer evenings are cooler and winters are cold. This contrast hardens the plants, concentrating their essence much the same as harder conditions can enhance the flavour of wine grapes.
○ Origin: Gokase, Miyazaki, Japan
○ Cultivar: Zairai
○ Harvest: 1st harvest May
○ Impressions: Artichoke, hazelnut, dried Jasmine
○ Net weight: 40g
○ Servings: 10 first infusions at 4g
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.