Single Origin Matcha!
This unique single-origin matcha is produced by Yoshiaki Hattori on his small tea garden, where he grows all seven cultivars he uses for his matcha blend. Matcha production is very labor, time, and equipment-intensive and is typically done in large-scale production facilities that procure leaf material, or tencha, from multiple sources. These sources are usually growing their leaves with conventional agri-business techniques and inputs.
Hattori-san’s matcha’s single-origin allows him to closely control the quality, taste, and blend to achieve the desired flavor profile. He combines old time-honored techniques with modern efficiency and ingenuity. Part of the traditional shading for the tea plants comes from solar panels installed to help power his tea factory. He uses modern steaming techniques to prepare the tencha and modern refrigeration to age the leaves. Then employs traditional granite millstones to grind the leaves but powers them with the solar panels instead of elbow grease. This grinding method is slow (40-50g per hour per grinder) but produces a very fine (~5 micron) consistent particle size that results in a smoother, creamier cup of matcha.
I had the honor of meeting Hattori-san and his business partner Kunikazu Mochitani at the 2016 World Tea Expo in Las Vegas. They were grinding their tencha by hand on the show floor, allowing the rare opportunity to taste fresh ground matcha served in the traditional ceremony by Hattori-san himself. Even better, I was lucky enough to sit with them at a Tea Pairing dinner at the Tealet-sponsored Nui Gu restaurant. Delightful to hear first hand the care and love that goes into the production of this unique single-origin matcha.
This is truly a magical matcha. Hattori grinds to order so I procure small amounts at a time to keep it fresh. If you have the misfortune of seeing an “out of stock” notice when ordering, know that I probably already have more on the way. But feel free to send me a note that your wanting to order.
- Origin: Kikugawa City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
- Grower/Teamaster: Yoshiaki Hattori & Kunikazu Mochitani
- Elevation: 100m
- Harvest Date: Spring 2015
- Grind Date: March 2016
- Cultivar: Okumidori base with blend of Sayamakaori, Yabukita, Meiryoku, Kanayamidori, Saemidori, and Gokou.
- Cultivation: All natural (no certification yet but working on it)
- Processing Notes: Unique small batch process; all cultivars grown in Hattori-san’s tea garden; processed Tencha held at 41˚F for at least 4 months; traditional stone-mill ground
- History/Pedigree: Rare single-origin blend; all cultivars grown by Hattori-san
It is Iced Tea Season!
Well, to be honest, it's always iced tea season in my house. Just like it is always a good time for hot tea. But as the weather turns hot, I definitely drink more iced tea. If feel like I can savor it longer over a good view or a good book. Although I've been know to drink almost any of my teas iced, I definitely tend towards the blacks first and then the greens. I always have a carafe of it for my big dinners as an alternative to alcohol and for those who prefer it to the hot tea I'm almost always brewing gong fu at the table. And one of my best friends always knows there will be green tea iced for her.
My two favorite black teas to ice are the Kanoka Orthodox Assam and the Hong Mao Feng. I've had really positive feedback for both of them when I have them out at tea events. I exclusively cold brew now, as it is simple and almost impossible to mess up. Depending on how much I need, I either use a tea press or an Iced Tea Jug. Since I don't tend to use ice and just drink it cool from the refrigerator, I use the same dosing as I would for hot tea. For me, that is 0.5g tea per fluid oz of water. If you are going to ice it, you can make it a little stronger to hold up longer to the melting ice. Then I just fill with cold water and refrigerate 6 to 24 hours.
I've found this method to be delicious and foolproof. Just brew the night before for your tea needs the next day! Enjoy!