Kamairicha is a type of pan-fried Japanese tea. In Japan, most of the teas are steamed. However, there are some types of Japanese teas such as kamairicha or tamaryokucha that are still processed in the traditional Chinese style.
Nowadays, almost all Japanese teas are steamed. The pan-fried production method is a rarity used only in certain areas by a handful of tea farmers, therefore is threatened with extinction.
Aracha means crude/raw tea or tea that hasn't gone through the firing process called hiire. The water content of Aracha with about 5% residual moisture is higher than that of processed sencha, which has a residual moisture of about 2%.
The small business of the Kadota family maintains this tradition to this day and produces this exceptional tea, which requires great experience and a great deal of manual work. Father and son only produce pan-fried tea using original machines that are around 100 years old. This tea comes from the Miyazaki Prefecture in Kyushu, an island on the Southernmost tip of Japan.
The Aracha is produced immediately after the harvest. Kamairicha is a green tea low in moisture, this kamairicha has less than 1% which is not as common in Japan. This speciality tea was heated dry, which was still common in Japan in the early 20th century.
Kadota aracha greets the palate with a hint of sweetness, followed by floral notes that end in a soft fruitiness. A dense taste that fills the mouth and reverberates for a long time. Even though this tea has been pan-fried, it shows no roasted notes but a surprising freshness that hardly distinguishes it from steamed shincha teas.
This particularly fresh raw tea (aracha) comes from the first flush during the spring of 2020 and is produced using the delicate leaves of the yabukita cultivar. Another unusual aspect of this tea is the traditional method without steaming (kamairicha).
The Kadota Aracha Shincha is delightful, with its curled and beautifully preserved leaf. When poured on, a wonderful floral fragrance flows towards you. This combines with a fine sweetness, characterized by a long reverberation on the palate.
Grab it before is too late, very few units available until next year!!!!
If you scan the QR code in the image gallery you will be able to enjoy a nice song that I have selected to match this tea.
The Japanese Tea Evangelist says: I have been brewing this tea for a couple of days now. It has zero roast notes. It's smooth & works well alone or added to drinks such as sparkling water. It tastes excellent cold or ice brewed. It sometimes has a slight peach flavour which makes it interesting. The wet leaf smell reminds me of wet hay yet this smell doesn't transfer to the tea liquor.
Kadota Aracha Shincha Kamairicha (50 grs)
Type of tea: Japanese kamairicha shincha 2020 (naturally grown)
Processing Method: Pan-fried in cast iron machines
Amount: 50 grams vacuum-sealed pouch
Origin: Miyazaki, Kagoshima, Kyushu, Japan
This is how Junji Kadota recommends brewing his kamairicha shincha:
Amount of tea: the desired amount of tea
Amount of water: 200 ml of water
Water temperature: 80/90 degrees Celsius (1st to 4th brew)
Amount of time: 65 secs (1st brew) 30 secs (2nd to 4th brew)
This is how The Japanese Tea Evangelist recommends brewing this fantastic sencha tea.
Medium: Japanese clay teapot (kyuusu)
Amount of tea: 3 grams of tea (about a teaspoon & a half)
Amount of water: 100 ml of water
Water temperature: 75 degrees Celsius (1st brew) 75/80degrees Celsius (2nd to 4th brew)
Amount of time: 60 secs (1st brew) 45 secs (2nd brew) 30 seconds (3rd brew) 15 secs (4th brew)
NOTE: If you do Gong Fu Cha my recommendation is to use your usual parameters for Japanese green teas. Remember that Japanese teas are for the most part steamed & therefore more delicate than other types of teas.