Sencha Okuyutaka

$ 6.00

This delicious sencha is made with the Okuyutaka cultivar. Okuyutaka means “Deep Richness”. In addition to the deep, rich umami flavor of this tea, the cultivar is high in amino acids with a low astringency. The leaves are a deep green that translates into the liquor in the cup.

The farm of Mr. Kawashima, or Kawashima-san, has been in operation since 1921 and is on well-drained mountain slopes in Shimada. One of his biodynamic methods is to make his own liquid fertilzer that encourages  the growth of the beneficial microbes endemic to his terroir. His dedication to tea is demonstrated by his willingness to use this delicious but less commercially viable cultivar.

One of the things I’m passionate about with tea, and food in general, is unique and heirloom varietals or cultivars. So I am very excited to offer single cultivar sencha NOT made with the ubiquitous Yabukita cultivar. Of course there are fabulous senchas made with Yabukita but I’m all about preserving and encouraging diversity in specialty tea.


  • Origin: Kanekawa Farm, Shimada, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
  • Grower/Teamaster: Kawashima-san
  • Elevation: 150-200m
  • Harvest Date: April/May 2019
  • Cultivar: Okuyutaka
  • Cultivation: Natural Cultivation with biodynamic fertilizer 
  • Plucking Standard: Machine harvested
  • Processing Notes:  Fukamushi (deep) steamed
  • Nickname: Oku Yutaka means “Deep Richness”
  • History/Pedigree: Developed in 1958 from a cross of Yutaka Midori as the mother and an unregistered test cultivar (F1NN8) as the father. Weak as immature plants but hardy when mature, this would be a more popular cultivar if its short harvesting window made it too problematic for most farmers.

Brewing Suggestions1:

  • Water: 170-180˚F
  • Tea: 4g per 4oz of water (about a level 2 tsp2)
  • Infusion: 30-60 seconds

Tasting Notes:

  • "Deep Richness" in umami from the cultivar and the deep steaming, marine aroma with hint of shortbread cookie. Savory flavor with notes of brussel sprouts and vanilla wafer. Low astringency.

1 Brewing suggestions are just that. Try it the suggested way then experiment. In this case I suggest first experimenting with the quantity of tea per oz of water. I use 4g (instead of my usual 2g for most teas) per 4oz of water as I like the stronger flavor of a higher tea to water ratio. For temperature, 160˚ gives a grassy, sweet, fresh balanced profile while 175˚ brings out fuller flavors with more pronounced notes. For a sweet, light delicate profile, you can try it as low as 140˚. Some tea drinkers like to use slightly hotter and longer times for each subsequent steeping.

2 Weighing your tea is always the best way to control your dosage. I provide approximate volume measures for convenience but they can be problematic due to the variance in tea leaf shape and size.

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