Sae Tezumi (Handpicked) Kabusecha Green Tea
Kabusecha Tezumi is a semi-shade tea (also: “Kabuse Cha”) of the “Sae Midori” tea plant variety from Japan’s second largest tea-growing region, Kagoshima, which is hand-picked at the beginning of the early picking season in the first days of April. Together, the early picking time, the 7-10 days of shading before picking, the special cultivar and the medium steaming level (“Chumushi”) result in a wonderfully clear, vibrant tea with a tangy and floral soft sweetness, bright green cup and the fragrance of fresh Pine needles in spring.
For more information and illustration, please refer to the detailed product description below.
Sae Tezumi (Handpicked) Kabusecha Green Tea
Kabusecha Tezumi is a half-shaded green tea (“Kabuse Cha”) of the “Sae Midori” tea plant variety. It’s picking takes place in the first days of April, at the very beginning of the early picking season. Home of this tea is Japan’s second largest tea-growing region, the area around Kagoshima, capital of the prefecture of the same name on the southernmost tip of Japan.
It’s the hand-picking (“Tezumi”) that makes this tea – in terms of quality – an absolute rarity among Japanese green teas. Because in Japan labor has become so expensive that even high-quality Kabuse and Gyokuro teas usually come from machine picking. This sets clear limits to the quality of Japanese green teas. Limits that our Kabusecha Tezumi sets out to leave behind despite the high costs involved… As until today, no machine can pick the king standard among picking standards, 2 + 1, like a human does. And that’s a difference your can taste!
Another defining characteristic of Kabusecha Sae Tezumi is its medium degree of steaming, “chumushi”. Together, the early picking time, the 7-10 days of shading before (hand) picking, the special cultivar and the medium steaming level produce a wonderfully clear, vibrant tea with a tangy and floral soft sweetness, bright green cup and the fragrance of fresh Pine needles in spring.
We source Sae Tezumi tea from KEIKO Tea in their decorative 40g box, establishing this tea’s particular suitability as a gift idea:
What is Kabusecha?
Kabusecha tea (also: “Kabuse Sencha”) is a typical Japanese half-shade tea. Characteristic for such is the tea gardens’ half-shading with so-called “Kabuse” nets during the days/weeks before the picking. To further increase the quality of the tea, the tea bushes’ cultivation takes place under Kabuse nets (jap: net = kabuse) during this period. Unlike Gyokuro Tea, for which the shading lasts several weeks, Kabusecha shading is shorter. Also, it comprises a half-shading, with ca. 50% of the sunlight being filtered out (compared to ca. 90% for Gyokuro). Therefore, Kabusecha tea is also commonly referred to as half-shaded tea.
The idea behind the Kabusecha method is that of recreating natural conditions. That is, a part-shading of the tea bushes as natural environments would provide through trees and larger bushes. The withdrawal of light triggers activities in the tea plant that lead to an altered composition of the ingredients. One result of this is increased amounts of amino acids (e.g. Theanine) and alkaloids (e.g. Caffeine, Theophyllin). Another one is the reduction of bitterns (e.g. Catechine), among others resulting in a higher sweetness of the tea. In addition, the shading encances the tea’s aromatic fragrance and deep green color.
In favor an optimal exploitation of the active ingredients and to prevent oxidation processes, the steaming and rolling of the tea leaves takes place immediately after picking. After a short cooling phase follows the final drying. The producer of this Kabusecha tea vacuum-seals the tea immediately after processing. In this way, the tea’s active ingredients, fresh aroma and intense taste remain uncompromized right up to your cup.
The Cultivar – Sae Midori
Sae Midori is a hybrid of the Yabukita and Asatsuyu cultivars that was developed in the 1990s. As such, it offers an excellent balance between the fine Yabukita taste and the beautiful color of the Asatsuyu. As it is not frost hardy, its cultivation is restricted to the warmer tea regions of Japan. One of these is Kagoshima, home of the Sae Tezumi.
Translated, Sae Midori means “clear green”, which refers to the color of the cup. In addition to the natural sweetness and intense green color, another characteristic of the cultivar is very low astringency. Because of this property, Sae Midori is particularly suitable for the production of high-quality Kabusecha or Gyokuro teas.
First add 2.5-3g Kabusecha Sae Tezumi per 100ml water to the teapot. Then pour – as soft as possible – water at a temperature of 65-70 ° C. Let it infuse for about 1 minute for a deliciously fresh and fragrant first steep. After another 1/2 minute of steeping, a second infusion even surpasses its predecessor in terms of taste. At least two more follow-up infusions – with steeping periods of 1-2, respectively 2-3 minutes – are definitely still worth it!
Even in cold infusion, the Sae Tezumi develops a pleasant, lovely aroma after 7-10 minutes of steeping. Here, too, the higher the dosage and the longer the brewing time, the more intense the color and taste of the resulting green tea .
For more information on Kabusecha and other Japanese green teas, we recommend reading our relevant blog article:
25g bag, 50g box, 100g bag, 200g bag