- Temomi Background
- Temomi Preparation
Temomi Shin Cha is one of the rarest and highest quality Japanese green teas. The word temomi means "hand-rolled". From the meticulous picking of the best young tea leaves to the final process of kneading the leaves to fine needles, the whole practice is done by the hands of elite temomi artisans. A method used in Japan centuries ago, the temomi technique is vanishing due to the adoption of today's machines to produce tea. Temomi Shin Cha is offered to the Japanese Emperor each year in a ceremony celebrating the first tea of spring.
The flavor of Temomi Shin Cha is thick and dense with an intense umami flavor, but without an edge.The first infusion is quite sweet with an amazing aftertaste like none other. The second and third infusions are quite bitter. The liquor takes on an elegant clear-green hue.
Ingredients: Artisan Japanese green tea
Origin: Shizuoka-Prefecture, Japan
Temomi Shin Cha is one of (if not THE) rarest and highest quality of all Japanese green teas. The word temomi means "hand-rolled" and it refers to a specific technique of steaming and rolling devised over 300 years ago. The method has been refined and perfected over the centuries resulting in an art form that is all but lost in today's world of mechanized tea production in Japan. The Japanese government recognizes this art form as an "intangible cultural treasure." A few small organizations, mostly non-profit, have preserved the tradition by creating small batches of temomi cha in celebration of the first spring harvest. This tea is then gifted to the Emperor every spring. A batch consists of only 3-4 pounds, so it never goes to market. It is very rare that the average tea aficionado will ever get his hands on it.
The process of making Temomi Shin Cha is done entirely by hand by a small group of elite artisans. The newest tea leaves are meticulously hand plucked from a special tea garden reserved only for Temomi Shin Cha. They are then collected in a bamboo steamer basket for the critical steaming stage conducted only by the most senior Temomi Master. Following steaming, the leaves are loosely shaken to remove moisture. Next comes a light rolling and then pressure rolling. The final stages include removing clumps, followed by the fine rolling into needles. Lastly, the leaves are spread out to dry, and the 12-hour long process is complete!
The resulting needle-like tea is incredibly rich in flavor. Traditionally, Temomi Shin Cha is steeped highly concentrated to highlight its unique nuances and fresh taste. A typical steeping involves 10g of leaves steeped with 2.5 oz of 100°F water for 2-3 minutes. A 2nd and 3rd steeping are possible, with the flavor changing each time. The Temomi process maintains the leaves intact, so the full leaf can be seen beautifully unfurled in the teapot. The leaves are edible and can be eaten either with a salad or on their own.
Traditionally, Temomi Shin Cha is steeped highly concentrated to highlight its unique nuances and fresh taste.
Water Temperature: 100 -- 130 degrees
Water Quality: Best with Spring Water
Amount of Leaf (per 6 fl oz water): 1 packet (10 grams)
Steep Time: 1-2 minutes
Number of Infusions: 3
- Prepare a small tea pot and 3 to 4 shot cups. Ideal size of the pot is 5 oz.
- Put the whole packet (10g) of Temomi Shin Cha into the pot.
- Prepare about 2.5 oz. of 100 F° (40 C°) water and pour it slowly into the pot. Make sure all leaves are soaked in the water. If leaves are not fully covered, pour extra water just enough to soak all the leaves. (Do not add too much water).
- Steeping time is 2 minutes. Do not shake the pot.
- After 2 minutes, check and see if the leaves are completely open. If not, please wait an extra minute.
- Pour the tea bit by bit evenly into the cups until the last drop. (Note: the last drops have the most delicious and strong flavor.)
For the second and third infusion, please use hotter water (130 F°) and steep only for about a minute.