Blue Willow Tea: (S) Kamairicha
regular price $28, sale $22
This is the sister tea to the Tamaryokucha, grown in Ureshino. Both these teas are shade grown and harvested in the spring, when the leaves are still young and approximately 1/2"-3.4" long. The difference lies in the processing. While the Tamaryokucha is steamed, typical of Japanese senchas, the Kamairicha is pan-fired in a large wok, similar to certain Chinese teas. This method was adopted from mainland China in an area just north of Nagasaki, which is known for it's melting pot of international cultures.
The result of processing this robust Japanese tea with traditional Chinese methods is a completely unique experience. The aroma is both sweet and vegetal with notes of hazelnut and soft to. The mouthfeel is smooth and full-bodied has just enough viscosity to linger long past the tea is gone. Steeping to a soft yellow-green, the soup is both bright and grounding. The vegetal depth and umami characteristics balance perfectly with the warming toasty notes the pan-firing imparts.
This tea is made by a third generation tea producer and only a limited quantity is available this year.
About Blue Willow Tea
Blue Willow tea is a one-woman labor of love. Owned and operated by Ali Roth since 2012, Blue Willow is one of the few tea distributors in the United States committed to providing single-origin teas directly from farms dedicated to sustainable practices and humane living conditions for tea workers and their families.
Ali travels directly to farms to witness how the tea is grown and processed, and to cultivate personal relationships with the growers. "The way tea is grown and processed affects much more than the infused result. It impacts the health of the soil, water supplies and surrounding wildlife, which play a huge role in the neighboring communities."
One taste of Blue Willow, and you'll discover what the art of tea is all about. "The patience, craft and attention to detail that goes into producing quality teas is a gift," says Ali, "and Blue Willow is committed to helping people find the beauty in every sip."