sencha futsumushi from Sakawa, Yabukita cultivar.
From the remote island of Shikoku, this tea was hard to find. Unfortunately, the tea industry on Shikoku is not thriving. In fact, it's disappearing. But there are still pockets of motivated farmers fighting tooth and nails to keep their craft alive. Okabayashi-san is one of them. You can follow this tea hunt on my YouTube channel.
Classic unshaded Yabukita sencha, very straight and bright. A style that's unfortunately old-fashioned now, with shaded sencha trending everywhere. A shame, if you ask me, because these bolder unshaded teas are absolutely magnificent. Powerful aromatics with a complex profile, a real depth in the taste and a touch of astringency to stretch things out long between each sip.
There used to be more than 100 acres of tea farming in Kurohara alone, where Okabayashi-san lives. Now there are less than 10 remaining. He owns 2-3 of them.
Better description coming soon...
The Geek Stuff
origin: Kurohara, Sakawa, Kōchi prefecture, Shikoku island
steaming: 40 sec - futsumushi
harvest: April 27