Even before the start of Thés du Japon, I had already presented on the French version of the blog “Kôju“, this outstanding cultivar (unregistered) selected by the producer from Hon.yama, Takahashi Tatsuji from a “zarai” tea plant (tea plants reproduced by seeds) seed probably “inzatsu” type crossbreeding from Japanese and Assam varieties). The characteristic of this Kôju, which soon became a “celebrity” in the small Japanese tea world, is an aroma evoking the white grape when it is withered and oxidized, that is treated as a wulong.
The producer subsequently selected other cultivars, but none gives as unique fragrance that Kôju. This is a semi-oxidized tea with light oxidation that could be almost be classified in the kama-iri cha. This is a manual harvest.
I have long wanted to “share” the experience via Thés du Japon, without having the opportunity to meet Mr. Takahashi, without really trying to create an opportunity actually. I could have visit him in the spring thanks to the intervention of Mr. Satô, producer, among others, of Kogane Midori.
The fruity fragrance of the leaves is a delight. It feels something slightly tangy, lemony, a sense of juicy fruit, a perfect summery scent for a tea that is also excellent cold brewed.
The flavors of this tea are really strong, and a small dose of 3g for 80ml of water about 80 ° C, 90s infusion gives very good results, very crisp and clear, while stronger parameters seems more difficult to deal with.
The fragrance after brewing is quite exceptional. It is a scent that evokes the white grapes, with a small discreet touch of mint, and as a pasta smell (it sounds weird like that, but it’s very nice).
On the palate the flavors of white grape will be clearer with an impression of sweet red fruits. If the tangy impression, slightly lemony flavor that arose over the dry leaves do not seem present in the brewed tea, it still got a feeling of freshness, lightness despite the rich flavors.
There is no radical change in flavorings on the following infusions. It remains in this original range fruity, very gourmand. The liquor is still very “clean” thanks to the quality of withering and oxidation process.
Delight for the nose, delight for the palate, and even delight for the eyes, completely unique and original flavors, what could be the negative point in this tea? can be a lack of length. But this “defect” is participating together in this refreshing impression of this tea.
This Kôju is a Japanese semi-oxidized tea very well processed with the addition of truly unique flavor, making it a must-try “Japanese Wulong” and a must-try Japanese tea as well.
Finally, for the summer (even for other seasons in fact) do not deprive you prepare it with cold water, its characteristic flavors stand out just as strongly, perhaps even more so playing more on the after taste.