Following my last article about the amazing black tea from Kameyama Benihomare cultivar, I continue on my way with this other black tea, from Sashima this time, with the Sayama-kaori cultivar, a summer harvest.
Sashima is a small producing region not far from Tokyo, in the prefecture of Ibaraki.
Sashima black tea has been particularly highlighted for a few years for Izumi cultivar black tea by Mr. Yoshida, but it is today another producer, Mr. Hanamizu, who’s also brilliant.
Although very simple, this black tea is a true marvel, a real treat.
Its beautiful infusion smells of honey and caramel. The fragrance is thus very sweet, but with a subtle acid hint giving more volume. There are also notes of cocoa.
In the mouth this tea is just as delicious, with aromas very faithful to those who have already flattered our sense of smell. Of course, this sweet characteristic is in no way heavy, the infusion is very fluid and we find the texture of a real good black tea with light and elegant tannins.
This tea has body and the length is there.
Registered in 1971, Sayama-kaori is originally a sencha cultivar, known for its particular fragrance, but also its tendency to astringency. If it is difficult to recognize the scent of Sayama-kaori, as the dominant honey fragrance probably coming from the bites of “unka” insects, it is however also likely that this cultivar gives a tannic base quite desirable for making of this type of black tea with important oxidation.
More generally, it is interesting to see the cultivars considered as intended for green tea give black teas which are sometimes excellent when the manufacture is well done, in particular in this type of manufacturing in Chinese style rather than Indian.
With a lot of tea tree cultivar, a lot of manufacturing trends, Japanese black tea won’t stop surprising us.