Japanese black tea, Yabukita cultivar.
This Japanese black tea is nothing like the teabags you got served as a kid...
It's malty, fruity, and surprisingly sweet. There's a softness to it that resembles some Chinese and Taiwanese black tea. Highly aromatic with extremely low bitterness.
Black tea (wakocha in Japanese) has a relatively short history in Japan which is closely tied to the occupation periods the country has known after its Isolation years (1639 to 1853). There are no fixed methods for producing black tea in Japan and some resemble more Chinese style black teas (with their curly leaves and malted aromas), while others have a more “Darjeeling” twist (with more visible buds and lighter aromatics). However, the demand for wakocha has been steadily rising these past years and I can say now that some producers are really getting the hang of it. Expect more to come in future years.