A short article about a new delicious and so sweet Japanese black tea made from seed grown “zairai” trees, available on Thés du Japon. For several years, I have been offering kama-iri cha and black tea from Ashikita in the Kumamoto prefecture. The spring harvest Benifûki black tea is a real treat, but this black tea made from “mishô-zairai” tea leaves (planation with all different trees, reproduced by seeds, not cuttings like cultivars), in a very different aromatic field, do not have to blush from the comparison in terms of quality. In addition, it is the same zairai plantation as the zairai kama-iri cha from Ashikita.
This is a spring crop. This black tea lends itself as well to infusions in big teapot as to multiple infusions in gaiwan for example.
If the sweet, spicy and very slightly floral scent of these beautiful and big twisted black leaves is already a treat, the infusion reveals a sweet scent of rare density and richness. We are then rather in the field of spices, and more honey. There are also vanilla and floral notes. On the palate it is equally sweet and sweet, also evoking cinnamon, in no way tannic, with just what it takes forcibly.
Compared to the Benifûki, it has a very velvety and mellow tea, while the Benifûki is more tannic and floral. Thus, in an identical mode of manufacture, the zairai and benifûki give black teas radically different, but also very complementary.