Genmaicha means green tea with roasted rice added. This is the ingredient that grants the genmaicha its characteristic nutty flavour.
This genmaicha from the Watanabe family in Yakushima is different from any other genmaicha in the market that is mainly made to be used as a simple drink during a meal. However, this one is made to fascinate your palate due to its elegant style.
First of all this genmaicha does not use bancha as many other genmaicha teas do, the leaves have a fine and intensive green taste. Secondly, what makes this tea even more special is the fact that the Watanabes buy the unroasted organic genmai in the Kagoshima Prefecture (not from the USA as commonly done today), and they steam, dry and roast the raw material using their own machines. Thanks to this, their genmaicha impresses by a fine and well-balanced sweetness, which is not too strong.
The island of Yakushima is an absolute dream for nature lovers. There are rainforest, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, beaches, an overwhelming variety of animals and plants, few people and a few tea gardens. These are among the most southern gardens in Japan and are, therefore, due to the climatic conditions, the earliest in the shincha harvest. This island is truly a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Watanabe family's tea garden is run organically and is nestled in a wonderful, natural environment between mountains and forests. There are no other tea gardens or other agricultural areas anywhere. Not even the fans usually used in tea farming disturb the landscape here. A unique oasis of authentic tea passion in one of the most beautiful places in Japan. The location for a tea garden can hardly be more beautiful and magical.
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 tried many types of genmaicha teas before and I did not like them as much until I found this absolutely beautiful jewel. The rice grain is really small, roasted to perfection. It grants to the tea leaves a well balanced and fragrant aroma. If you like well rounded not too grassy nutty flavours this is a tea for you.
Organic Watanabe Genmaicha (100 grs)
Type of tea: Japanese organic genmaicha (with roasted rice)
Amount: 100 grams vacuum-sealed pouch
Origin: Yakushima, Kagoshima, Kyushu, Japan
Organic Certification Body: DE- ÖKO-039 Non-EU-Agriculture
This is how Mankichi Watanabe recommends brewing his genmaicha:
Amount of tea: the desired amount of tea
Amount of water: 200 ml of water
Water temperature: 70 degrees Celsius (1st to 4th brew)
Amount of time: 50 secs (1st brew) 10 secs (2nd to 4th brew)
This is how The Japanese Tea Evangelist recommends brewing this fantastic 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) 80/85 degrees Celsius (2nd to 4th brew)
Amount of time: 60secs (1st brew) 30 secs (2nd brew) 15 seconds (3rd to 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.