That’s a long time since I had proposed on Thés du Japon a tea by Mr. Hiruma. My recent renewed interest in Japanese black tea has naturally led my eyes to this producer that I always liked black teas. “Sayama tea” designate teas from Saitama prefecture, but it is not from the city of Sayama but from Iruma that comes from this tea.
It is the local cultivar Musashi Kaori, a descendant of Taiwanese Yingzhu Hongxin, a 2015 summer harvest. This is a tea that would be classified as a broken leaf. The essential feature of black teas by Mr. Hiruma is to exploit the bites of these little insects called “unka” in Japanese, known to be the secret for the perfume of several teas types, including the Taiwanese Oriental Beauty.
The result is very awesome with this tea, the leaves smell good black tea flavor, a little spicy, without the characteristic sweetness of many Japanese black teas, but with this so special honeyed aromas.
This is even more obvious after brewing. With cocoa, spice and dry fruits in the background, it is this very rich honeyed aroma dominates.
On the palate, with just enough astringency to give punch to this liquor, is an explosion of flavors that are organized around sweet honey aroma. Mint, cinnamon, and cocoa aromas give this tea more relief.
The set is very full but well balanced, without any tannic trace, leaving an aftertaste without heaviness.
I could taste many more of these black teas by Mr. Hiruma, but this one seemed quite above the others. However, it might not be exact to attributing all the merit to the cultivar. Indeed, then, rivaling with Kaori Musashi, was a …. Yabukita. So often decry for black tea, it seems that with unka bites, the situation is somewhat different.
This is not a typical Japanese black tea, but it’s just an excellent black tea if you like these honeyed aromas.