Creamy, buttery, starchy and sweet Green tea from Shiga. Covered for 10 days before picking.
A Kabusecha is sort of in between a Sencha and a Gyokuro.
Sencha's are usually grown unshaded and Gyokuro is shaded for a few weeks (under scaffolded structures) before harvesting. Kabusecha is shaded for about 10 days simply by draping the bushes with the shading material.
Shading a plant causes it to maintain high levels of L-Theanine. This amino acid helps the plant grow (to find the sun) and contributes to a rich, brothy texture and savoury to sweet taste. It also makes you feel meditative and happy by increasing alpha-brain wave activity and dopamine. Shading also reduces bitterness in the tea by reducing the amount of catechins in the leaves.
Gyokuro is fully shaded and produces a tea with unparalleled impact - a mouthfeel of umami brothiness. A Kabusecha takes that Gyokuro character but dials it down to a more easy-sipping level
Learn more about Japanese Green tea and skip to 1:25 for an explanation of Kabusecha tea.
This Kabusecha is from Shiga, just east of Kyoto, sandwiched between the Japanese sea and Lake Biwa.
The Saeakari cultivar is relatively new to the market (about 20 years) and is made by crossing the Saemidori with the very rarely used Z1 cultivar. The taste is balanced with savoury to sweet to citrus notes. It is expected that Saeakari will become a more and more popularly grown tea cultivar in Japan.
The tea has a thick body and smooth, oily texture. Its taste is unctuous and buttery but with a lightness of melon milk and lotus leaf steamed rice - creamy, fruity, floral and starchy in every sip.