- Kabusecha Background
- Kabusecha Preparation
Kabusecha Organic is our best shaded green tea, giving it a rich umami and a delicate sweetness. The leaves are shaded roughly a week before harvest, making this tea a good balance between the flavor and appearance of sencha and gyokuro. The infusion produces a light green color with a complex flavor and a buttery mouthfeel. Organic Kabusecha has a unique sweetness since shading gives the tea a high L-theanine content.
Ingredients: Artisan organic shade grown green tea
Origen: Kagoshima, Japan
Sencha by definition is a tea leaf that is picked when young, steamed, rolled, and dried. This definition includes gyokuro and kabusecha as premium grades of sencha. The young leaves that make up sencha tend to be delicate, rich and complex in their vegetal flavors and rich in L-theanine, the amino acid that generates a savory "umami" flavor prized by connoisseurs.
Breaking down the definition of sencha further differentiates it from gyokuro and kabusecha. Sencha is the unshaded tea leaf that contrasts with the umami-rich shaded tea leaves that are gyokuro (shaded about 20 days) and kabusecha (shaded for 10-14 days). Shading the leaves increases the levels of L-theanine which, as mentioned above is the amino acid that generates the savory "umami" flavor as well as the sweetness of the tea. The primary difference between gyokuro and kabusecha is not stricktly the number of days under cover but rather the actual strength of the umami flavor which can also be affected by other cultivation factors such as fertilization.
Organic gyokuro is rare, because farmers are limited in their fertilization techniques by the organic production requirements. Consequently, although the leaf is shaded for 3 weeks, it often does not have enough strength of umami to be considered gyokuro.
Kabusecha can be considered a low quality gyokuro if the umami flavor is strong enough. So, rather than using a set definition of these three teas you might think of them in terms of a gradation of umami:
|Unshaded||Shaded 10-14 days||Shaded 20-days|
|Least umami||more umami||most umami|
When you think of the gradation of umami like this, blending activities begin to make sense: to "increase" the quality of sencha, add shaded tea leaves like kabusecha (or shade the sencha for 4-7 days...which would not make it a kabusecha but would add increased umami flavors). Conversely, to increase the quantity of gyokuro, add kabusecha or sencha.
Kabusecha Brewing Instructions
Water Temperature: 120 --140 degrees
Water Quality: Best with Spring Water
Amount of Leaf (per 6 fl oz water): 2 tsp. (5 grams)
Steep Time: 3-4 minutes
Number of Infusions: 3
Our Organic Kabusecha may be prepared in a standard teapot, the traditional Japanese Kyusu teapot, or in your favorite mug or lidded gaiwan. For best results, we recommend that you pre-warm your vessel, and place 5 grams of leaf per 6 oz of liquid, before infusing with 120--140 degree water for up to 3-5 minutes. As with all green and white teas, Kabusecha can be infused at least three times. Increase the time and temperature slightly with each subsequent infusion. Experimenting with your own temperatures and steeping times is encouraged, especially with such a forgiving tea. Cooler temperatures and shorter times yield more mellow, fruity elements, while hotter water and longer times produce more floral and full-bodied complexities. Always use the best-tasting water you can find, and adjust steeping times, quantity of leaves, and water temperature to your personal preferences.
We highly recommend brewing your tea in a teapot or mug with a removable infuser so that you can remove the leaves at the end of the steeping time. Whole leaf teas of this quality need room to unfurl and expand in the water in order to perform their "magic." If you don't have a removable infuser, you can brew the loose leaves directly in the pot. At the end of the steeping time, pour all of the tea into a warm serving pitcher or pot.