The young leaf buds, having been prepared since the previous fall, are filled with nutrients stocked up by the plant over the long, cold winter. This produces a the highest grade of tea leaf with an extra strong flavor. A blend of machine-cut trim of the youngest, topmost leaves, and leaves handpicked from a select number of the Kinezuka family and partners' best fields at the very beginning of the shincha season this is the youngest tea leaf you can find.
Our recommend steeping method is to use water cooled to about 40˚C/105˚F steeped for 2-3 minutes for the best balance between sweetness and umami (savory) flavors.
The science: theanine amino acids are plentiful at the beginning of a leaf's lifespan. As the leaf is exposed to sunlight and photosynthesis occurs, catechin (an antioxidant) is produced giving an increasingly bitter flavor to the leaf. This tea, therefore, is rich in the theanine amino acids that produce sweet, savory flavors in the sencha.
Name: Handpicked Midori First Flush
Ingredients: 100% Shizuoka-grown green tea leaves
Harvest: Late April harvest
Cultivation Notes: Grown pesticide free. Fertilized with organic compost. Machine cut trim of the youngest, topmost leaves, and handpicked leaves.
Region: Fujieda, Shizuoka
Vendor type: Family-operated farm cooperative.
Producer: Toshiaki Kinezuka, President, Hito to No, Shizen wo Tsunagu Kai (NaturaliTea)
NaturaliTea is a private cooperative of farmers managed by the Kinezuka family, whose own tea fields produce over 20% of the cooperative's teas. Based in the hills of Fujieda, Shizuoka, the cooperative was established nearly 40 years ago by Toshiaki Kinezuka. Farmers in the cooperative develop techniques together to grow tea, rice, and vegetables without the use of pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.