Australian Green Tea Made Using Traditional Japanese Methods

Green tea is well known for its ability to promote well being. An 11 year Japanese study found that those who drank five or more cups of green tea a day had significantly lower mortality rates than those who drank less than one cup. There is evidence too that it helps with weight loss and the prevention of cancer.

It’d be easy to think that all green tea is the same but that wouldn’t be quite right. Like any great recipe, the final result comes down to the ingredients and the passion put into its making.

There are at least 3 varieties of Camellia sinensis grown in Australia:

  • Sayamakaori Tea – the earliest of our varieties to shoot and easily recognisable by the deepest of green leaf colour.
  • Yabukita Tea – the most widely grown variety in Japan and particularly high in antioxidants, providing many health benefits.
  • Okuhikaori Tea – bred from Yabukita and while it is the last of the maturing variety it is possibly the most attractive and hardiest.

The first flush of leaf in spring is made into SHINCHA, meaning “new tea” in Japanese. It is a premium tea and the most sought after in Japan. Winter is a time for the plant to replenish its reserves in readiness for the spring flush of leaf. This first flush is lush and packed with nutrients that have built over winter creating a more intense tea, with a smooth sweet finish.

Forty five days after the first harvest, the plants are ready for harvesting again and these leaves are made into SENCHA. This is harvested in early summer through to autumn.

Once harvested, the tea is steamed, rolled and then dried within a twelve hour period using purpose built equipment and the skill of the human hand. This ensures the quick processing of the fresh leaf and the best possible green tea that truly replicates the way tea has been made, by hand, in Japan for centuries.

A little known fact about drinking Green Tea, is having your water at the ideal temperature for the particular green tea variety. Boil your water and allow it to cool. A general guide for water temperature:

SHINCHA – 60 to 70C
SENCHA – 70 to 80C
HOUJICHA – 80 to 90C
GENMAICHA – 80 to 90C

Place your tea leaves into your teapot or infuser. Allow 1 teaspoon per person and 1 for the pot. Allow your tea to steep for around 2-3 minutes for the perfect taste.

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