Up to the stage of processing, Fukamushi Sencha (or “Fukamushicha”, jap. = “deep-steamed tea”) is initially identical with any Japanese Sencha tea. However, other than for a common Sencha, a more intense steaming procedure (deep-steaming) is applied. Accordingly, “Fukamushicha” translates to “deep-steamed tea”. And this is, where one part of our Kabusecha Tenbu Fukamushi’s secret lies.
The deep-steaming procedure results in an overwhelmingly intensive aroma. To this add a clear, deep jade-green color in the cup and a particularly smooth, long-lasting taste on the palate. The tantalizing fragrance of Kabusecha Tenbu Fukamushi Green Tea will linger in the air, even long after the cup is empty.
“Tenbu” = Early Picking (“Sky-bound Dance”)
The second part of what makes our Kabusecha Tenbu Fukamushi so special is its harvest time. Specifically, this is the year’s earliest picking, taking place by mid-April. This symbolizes the term “Tenbu”, proverbially translating to “sky-bound dance”. On the one hand, the early picking sticks out with a particularly smooth spring aroma. On the other hand, its yield is scarce, due to the early picking time. This is why specialties such as our Kabusecha Tenbu Fukamushi are rare, and accordingly precious.
Kabusecha Tea = “Half-shaded Tea”
The third particularity of this tea is its “half-shaded” character. Kabusecha (also: “Kabuse Sencha”) tea is a specific cultivation type of Japanese green tea. Its distinct characteristic is the half-shading of the tea gardens by means of so-called “Kabuse” nets during the days/weeks before the harvest. To further increase the quality of the tea, growers cover the tea bushes with Kabuse nets (jap: net = kabuse) during the last (up to 3) weeks before the harvest. Unlike Gyokuro Tea, for which the shading lasts for several weeks before the harvest, the Kabusecha shading method comprises a half-shading, filtering our ca. 50% of the sunlight (ca. 90% for Gyokuro).
Effects of the Shading
The idea behind the Kabusecha method is that of the recreation of natural conditions. In practice, this means a part-shading of the tea bushes as it would take place through trees and larger bushes in natural environments. The ca. 50% withdrawal of light during this period triggers activities in the tea plant that lead to altered concentrations of ingredients. Mainly, these effects are increased amounts of amino acids (e.g. Theanine) and alkaloids (e.g. Caffeine, Theophyllin) and a reduction of bitterns (e.g. Catechine), among others, resulting in a higher sweetness of the tea. Also, the aromatic fragrance and the deep green color of the tea are enhanced through the shading.
Place of Origin
Home of Kabusecha Tenbu Fukamushi Green Tea is Japan’s second largest tea cultivation region, Kagoshima, capital of the prefecture with the same name, on the southernmost tip of Japan.
Dose Fukamushi Sencha tea leaves into the teapot, pour over with water tempered according to below recommendation, let infuse and pour out into previously prepared drinking or tea cups.
Water and Temperature: For preparing Kabusecha Tenbu Fukamushi, we recommend using as soft as possible (low lime) water of 70°C temperature.
Teapot: Best suitable for the preparation of Japanese Sencha teas are clay teapots (alternatively Japanese Kyusu or Chinese style teapot). However, you will achieve comparably desirable results using a China bone or a glass teapot.
Dosage: While in Japan there’s a tendency to much higher dosages prevailing, a dosage of 4g tea leaves on 200ml water in our experience appears to be entirely adequate as an initial approach to the exploration of one’s own taste and dosaging preferences. The higher the dosage, the more intensive both color and taste of the resulting green tea will be.
Infusion period: With an infusion period of 1 – 1½ minutes for a first steep and 15-30 seconds for follow-up steeps, Kabusecha Tenbu Fukamushi produces 3-4 delicious infusions with distinct taste profiles.
Tea cups: In Japan, people enjoy Fukamushi Sencha tea in smaller to medium-sized teacups (“Chawan ” or ” Yunomi”). Hereby, style and preferred size can be adapted to actual requirements, i.e. situation and mood.
For more information and backgrounds on Kabusecha Tenbu Fukamushi and other Japanese green teas as well as other types of tea that are characteristic for Japan, please also read our pertinent article in Siam Tea Blog, providing an overview of Japan’s tea world, culture and history in a comprehensive yet understandable manner: