In Morokozawa, in the Shizuoka mountain tea production area called Hon.yama, Satô Hiromitsu is known for its Kogane-midori cultivar with its golden color leaves. It is also one of the few Japanese producers making really excellent wulong tea.
For these light to medium oxidation teas, he understand that small shoots and leaves like for green tea aren’t serving this purpose, and prefers to wait until the spring leaves have grown enough (the moment when the upper bud goes start to become a leaf). The harvest is thus manual, in its plantation at about 500 m of altitude.
His wulong, produced in very small quantities are very popular with amateurs here in Japan.
I had already proposed the 2016 vintage of the fired Kanaya-midori cultivar wulong, which was a great success. Also, for this 2017 version, I also add the unroasted version.
Kanaya-midori is a sencha cultivar that was registered in 1970. The spring leaves of this cultivar are could be characterized by creamy aromas.
With the non fired version, we have, unsurprisingly, leaves with a green and floral fragrance, a bouquet with spring accents.
The infusion gives a first impression indeed floral, quite representative of the aromas of this kind of tea. But the scent is especially very sweet and creamy, also reminiscent of fresh butter. There are also notes of strawberries.
The sweet and creamy taste remains throughout the several infusions the thread of this tea really rich and elegant.
On the palate it is refreshing and velvety, floral, sweet and creamy after-taste, with accents of candies.
Finally, the bottom of cup gives a gourmand aroma of coconut.
If I personally tend to usually prefer fired this type of tea, I must say that this unroasted version is particularly well done and great.
For the fired version, the producer makes three successive fine firing. Add to a manual sorting of leaves, this tea requires a particularly important work.
But the result is these leaves with a warm and very appetizing fragrance. We are in the domain of pastries and toasted bread. The overall impression is very sweet.
From the first brew, we feel immediately rich roasting notes, warm and intense. Sweet toast, nuts, a general impression of cooked butter, but also a touch of waxed wood, are so many scents that we find in this fired Japanese wulong.
In the mouth, this tea is very fluid, and the roasting does not cause any bitter or astringent note. There is also a sweet impression evoking candies and confectionary.
It is a tea with intense and rich fragrances that warms the body and mind.
From the same leaves, the producer gives us two very different and complementary teas, in which we find as an anchor these sweet and creamy flavors of the cultivar Kanaya-midori.