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Sencha from Nearai, Shizu-Inzatsu 131 cultivar

Type of tea : fukamushi sencha
Origin : Nearai, Kita Borough, Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture
Cultivar : Shizu-Inzatsu 131
Harvest : April 14th & 19th, 2018
Sencha from Nearai, Shizu-Inzatsu 131 cultivar

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The community of Nearai is located to the north of the city of Hamamatsu, at the foot of the Tenryû mountains. This Inzatsu 131, made by Mr. Tarui, is a fukamushi sencha that is unique in its style.
Shizu-inzatsu 131 was developed in the 1940s by the famous Professor Arima, a great visionary, who left a deep mark on the world of Japanese tea. This is a variety grown from a seed from a tea tree from Assam: Manipuli 15. It is thus a cross between an Assam variety and a Japanese tea tree. It is an early cultivar with very special aromas that, perhaps because it was too far ahead of its time, never managed to become widespread, despite the work of a handful of passionate visionaries. Today, Inzatsu 131 is known for its crosses with Yabukita that have produced renowned cultivars, such as Sôfû, Fuji-kaori and Kondô-wase.
This Inzatsu 131 is grown using organic methods, in earth enriched by adding green schist from the upper course of the Tenryû River, upon the advice of Professor Arima.
What makes the manufacturing method at the Nearai factory unique is the use of Akitsu-design machines. The machines, which are no longer made today, are based specifically on Professor Arima’s work, with hot air processing of the leaves after steaming, and especially a continuous line, where the leaves were always moving, advancing through the different phases of rolling.
The result is an astonishing fukamushi, very rich and fragrant, but which, unlike most teas called “fukamushi” remains limpid and holds up very well through many infusions.
The leaves have a sweet, floral fragrance that is quite unusual, and infusion makes it even more complex and intense.
In the mouth, it is a very full, rich tea, with no heaviness. The astringency that the Shizu-inzatsu 131 cultivar can sometimes develop is very much under control here, and the liquor is mellow and sweet, yet the umami is not too obvious. There are also sweet aromas of green peas and cooked white beans. Depending on the infusion and liquor temperatures, the palette of flavours varies greatly. The changes between the different infusions are also interesting. When the astringency appears, the floral fragrances and aromas become stronger also.
While this tea may not necessarily please everybody, it is worth discovering, even being studied. On one hand, it is an exceptional cultivar, an important part of the modern history of Japanese tea, and, on the other hand, it is a product of a unique approach to production that delivers a different vision of fukamushi-cha.

Brewing suggestion
  • Quantity of leaves: 4g / 1.3 tsp
  • Quantity of water : 70ml / 1/3 cup
  • Water temperature : 80°C / 176°F
  • Brewing time : 50s

cat-shizuoka cat-131

Sencha from Nearai, Shizu-Inzatsu 131 cultivar

USD $20.00  / 50g

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