Kaze - Icho (bihakko kamairi)

sofu2.JPG
sofu2.JPG

Kaze - Icho (bihakko kamairi)

from 9.75

Name: Kaze

Variety: Icho (bi hakko kamairi)

Origin: Aoi, Shizuoka

Tea maker: Tatsuji Takahashi

Harvest: spring 2014  *handpicked

Plant variety: Sofu

Sofu is a kind of tea plant officially registered by the Japanese agricultural authority. It uses hand-picked young leaves and naturally has a fresh fruity and jasmine-like fragrance.  However, as it is a Japanese tea variety, it still has some tannin and acidity.  Takahashi-san processes this by applying a bit of icho (oxidation), which is a wilting or fermentation process intended to round off the edgdy tanin and acidity.  Sofu is grown and processed widely by other farmers, but, Takahashi's is superb.  He studies the natual strength of this plant and process it to its full potential.  Sofu by Takahashi starts off with gentle jasmine overtone, then the subtle tanin and acidity adds sophisticated complexity.  Milder caffine with abandant jasmine frangrance will relax you without making you sleepy, as this is fundamentally a green tea.

 

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This is a fragrant tea.  Rule of thumb is when brewing fragrant tea to bring out the scent, you brew with high temperature with shorter infusion time.  This one, recommended by Takahashi's dear wife, is to be brewed at 100C but for 1 1/2 min to benefit both the rich flavor and fragrance.

Brewing suggestion:

Brew with: 3g (2 heaping tea spoon) tea with 150ml water

1st infusion: at 100 C  for 1 1/2 min    

2nd infusion: at 100 C for 1 1/2 min    

3rd infusion:  at 100 C for 1 1/2 min  

*cold infusion for summer day treat

brew with 10g tea with 800 ml cold water    

infuse in the fridge for 6-10 hours

Brewing instruction when you don't have proper tea wares (this is a best tasting method if you are just testing the tea in small portion, you will be able to observe the tea leaves after infusion and tea liquor attentively):

  1. Prepare 2 coffee mugs and a stainer, if you do not have strainer, find a small plate that is large enough to cover the coffee mug that you are going to use to infuse tea. (Tea leaves are best brewed when allowed a lots of space to swim to wake up in to release all the scent and flavours.)
  2. Put the suggested amount of tea leaves for one infusion in one of the cup.
  3. Boll water.   Pour boiling water over the tea leaves. (given most coffee cups hold about 300-400ml, half should be just around 120-150ml, enough for one brew.  As tea leaves absorbs quite a bit, you will get about 100-120ml of tea liquor this way.) 
  4. Cover the cup with the plate and wait for 1 1/2min. (or crumble about 30cm of aluminum foil into a ball just fit to cover the tea, fit inside the cup.  This will serve as a cover and the strainer.)
  5. Pour tea back into the other cup, using the strainer to hold the tea leaves, put the small plate or the crumbled aluminum foil, as if you are covering the cup and slide just enough to pour tea without pouring the tealeaves into the tea liquor.