Autumn is already in its full-strength in
Still, I won’t give up Japanese green tea just because of autumn and winter (Moreover, Kuchikiri no Gi took place today, so it's somehow even seasonable).
Tamacha comes from Ichibancha harvest, picked around the town of
Most obvious difference from all other Japanese teas can be noticed on the shape of dry leaves, majority of which have a form of small, hard dark-green balls, slightly reminiscent of lighter Taiwanese oolongs. Apart from these, there is also a significant amount of “non-ball” leaves, which are quite curly and similar to typical Tamaryokucha, proving that Tamacha is pan-processed.
This tea gently smells of sweet almonds, combined with fresh fruit, particularly white grapes. Adding these leaves into the preheated Shiboridashi, this smell slightly intensifies, though it still isn’t that deep, massive aroma which can be found in some (mostly Fukamushi) teas, but instead a subtle, delicate and enjoyable scent.
First infusion is very light and transparent in color as well as the taste, which is soft, light and humble yet very harmonic. It lacks the deeper tones often found in higher grade teas, though in this case, it definitely isn’t a minus.
Second infusion is already a bit more intense in taste and color, result of the way Tamacha is processed – being curled into small balls, which gradually, yet slowly unroll during the infusions. It tastes of almonds, hazelnuts and, most surprisingly, raspberries.
In contrast to other Japanese green teas, third infusion is the most flavorful of all, as all the balls are now unrolled, ready to get out everything they have. It maintains its nutty and fruity character, being followed by mild, yet noticeable milky aftertaste.
Fourth infusion is a bit harsher than the third one, but it still maintains all of its pleasant, light tones.
This tea is also taken into fifth infusion, which reveals more roasted, bread-like character of its taste, somehow typical for latter brews of Tamaryokucha.
Similarly to last year’s version, this is a simple, yet complex untraditional tea, being much lighter and literally less heavy than most Japanese green tea. It’s refreshing, enjoyable and, being really inexpensive, has much more to offer than the price can imply.