Japanese Black tea (Wakoucha) has recently started to bring a different character to the other Black tea growing nations. It combines the bright, bold punch of an Assam (like Ceylon or Taiwanese Ruby Black) with the sweet and creamier personality of Chinese blacks.
The leaves may look less refined than Chinese Black tea but don't let that put you off. Japanese tea culture is much more accepting of broken leaves in general and, with a little care in brewing, produce spectacular tea.
This tea was made in Shiga prefecture - one of Japan's oldest and original tea growing areas. The altitude is relatively high providing excellent conditions for flavourful tea.
Our Asamiya Black is intentionally aged for one year to soften and mellow that Assam-like vivacity and balance out the flavour. Ageing of black teas is little discussed in the tea community but it definitely can have a really wonderful influence on the tea. In this case, it keeps the fruity acidity of blackcurrant and lemon but attenuates the accompanying astringency and therefore allows the sweet and mellow aspects to shine.