Yoshiaki Hiruma, working under his trade name Gokuchanin, is a true artist.
Being a well-reputable producer from Saitama
Hiruma is unique in a way that he obviously loves to experiment, not sticking only to Temomi and other traditional Japanese teas, but also, among other things, producing highest-quality oolongs, which he calls Hanhakoucha (he even created something like Japanese version of Bao Zhong, just a very lightly oxidized tea, called Bihakkou Sencha).This is the first of two unconventional Japanese teas I had bought in
Originally packed in a simple, yet elegant sac, these dry leaves remind me of autumn; they range from dark-green to yellow and brown, containing some stems as well. They vividly smell of flowers, honey, spice and pears.
First infusion is yellow in color and similar to dry leaf in smell. Brewed in water just below the boiling point for quite a long time and with high dosage, it tastes softly, yet vividly and not bitter at all. It’s light and complex at the same time, spicy and sweet and overall perfectly harmonic and balanced.
Next infusion is very reminiscent of honey in smell and sweet butter dominates the taste, being less fruity and light and more noble and creamy with wonderful mouth-filling aftertaste.
Third infusion is a bit lighter in character, though it doesn’t mean this tea is already drained out – it just shows its great extent, as this once again is being more similar to first infusion with its fruity, light sweetness and flowery smell.
Following infusion is also very fruity and less creamy in taste, though there is a new, interesting hazelnut-like tone present in taste and smell. This similarly delightful character persists in three more infusions, giving seven satisfying infusions in the end – reminder that this tea isn’t steamed like most Japanese green teas.
This tea is somehow similar to lighter oxided, high-quality oolongs from