Tamaryokucha from Ureshino, Saemidori cultivar
Tamaryokucha is one of my all-time favourite types of tea and although it’s currently enjoying a growth in popularity, I still feel like it has been forever underrepresented. So I’ll try my best to make it likeable here and help spread the word.
Tamaryokucha resembles sencha in many aspects including taste and production methods. But while sencha leaves have a needle-like appearance due to their final rolling process, tamaryokucha undergoes its final drying without any rolling and its leaves end up shaped like commas. The term tamaryokucha means “coiled green tea” and is sometimes used interchangeably with guri-cha, or “curly tea”.
The difference in the transformation sequence gives tamaryokucha less sharpness and clarity than sencha, but a richer and rounder profile overall. Also, 10 days of shading gave the plants a little kabusecha-like twist, with moderate umami and fewer tannins. For a deeply steamed type of tea, tamaryokucha is extremely drinkable. Expect a buttery cup with rich marine notes and green veggies to boot. Really, it feels to me like buttery seaweed, whatever that would be.
The Geek Stuff
origin: Ureshino, Saga prefecture, Kyushu Island
steaming: 80 seconds - fukamushi
shading: 10 days
harvest: 23rd April 2023