A deep and abiding love of Oriental Beauty

A deep and abiding love of Oriental Beauty

Storms and dark daytime skies bring me back to my Tencha. Like Matcha but soooo much better.

What is Tencha, you may ask? Well, don't ask me, for I can tell you 'in a nutshell' but Tencha, especially the really good, hard to find stuff, needs to be described with more honor. Here, check this out...

"Tencha is the name for tea leaves used for Matcha, before the leaves are ground into fine powder. The Tencha flavor, brewed by same way with Gyokuro, is quite unique, pure, noble, and elegant. The tea color is pale green, the taste is deep and mellow, and the subtle noble aroma lingers in the mouth for a while. It is different both from Gyokuro and Matcha.
Tea leaves for Tencha are grown in the same way as Gyokuro, but processed differently than Gyokuro. Tea leaves for Tencha and Gyokuro are grown in the shade for 20 or 30 days before harvest, so that both contain much Theanine, which is the source of its smooth and mellow taste. Harvested fresh tea leaves are first steamed. Then in the case of Gyokuro, the steamed tea leaves are dried and kneaded by crumpling. In contrast to Gyokuro, the steamed tea leaves for Tencha are dried but not kneaded. Then to make Matcha, Tencha is ground into fine powder. 
Tencha is not kneaded, in contrast to Gyokuro or Sencha. The cell walls of the tea leaves are broken down by the kneading process, so that all elements of Gyokuro and Sencha can easily be infused into water. Only the elements of pure elegant flavor are infused. And unlike Gyokuro or Sencha, it is not easy to extract the flavor from Tencha during the brewing process. Only high grade or highest grade Tencha can brew flavorfully in water. 
The special growing and processing of Tencha creates its unique and pure elegant flavor."

And my Tencha is the good stuff. I only buy it once a year and I wait til the skies darken and its time to bring out my ancient Takaname Kyusu and Yazumashi to help me do it right.
This tea looks like dried chopped parsley really, and is lighter than you can imagine!
Even with the finest of strainers my tea liquid is still full of tiny particles, all delicious to drink.

The above in quotations was from the site where I find my Tencha and they go on to say...

"When tea manufacturers purchase or bid on Tencha from the farmer, or when they process or blend Tencha, they must evaluate each case of tea leaves to check the Aracha process, the finishing process, blending conditions, and so on. To grind Tencha into the fine powder of Matcha requires enormous time and great care. For example, it takes an hour to grind 40g or 70g (1.41oz or 1.47oz) Matcha. In addition, Matcha does not keep fresh as long as Tencha. Once the tea is ground into Matcha, it begins to oxidize and loose its fresh flavor. So, tea manufacturers have traditionally evaluated and bid on Tencha tea leaves, not Matcha. Of course, the manufacturer evaluates the quality of the Matcha at the end of the process, before it is sent to the customer. Even at tea competitions attended by tea manufacturers, tea is evaluated in Tencha tea leaf form, not Matcha powder.

Because of this, only tea manufacturers have known the flavor of Tencha. It has remained secret for many years. The flavor, which is different from Gyokuro and Matcha, is uniquely very pure and elegant, though drinking Tencha is not allowed by the rules of Tea Ceremony. The tea color is pale green, the taste is deep and mellow, and the subtle noble aroma lingers in the mouth for a while. 

We would like tea connoisseurs from around the world to discover and enjoy the unique and pure elegant flavor of Tencha."

And Yes, I have indeed enjoyed the 'unique and TRULY elegant flavor' of this tea for three years running now.

(Happy to share so drop me a note when you are in the Ventura area and come on by! I will be carefully doling it out to myself slowly in order to save you a nice large mug!)