Review: Camellia Sinensis Kamairicha

Camellia Sinensis, Green Tea, Japanese Tea Add comments
Dave’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The first sip reveals a complex, full-bodied yet balanced flavor. Notes of spinach, citrus, and apricot come through, with a pleasantly bitter aftertaste. The overall flavor, in fact, is very much like a good sencha."
Dave’s Teaview: 8.5/10
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When tea was introduced to Japan in the eighth century, Japanese tea producers adopted the Chinese method of tea production, which involves heating the leaves in metal pans or vats in order to dry them. But in the 18th century, the Japanese invented a new method of processing tea leaves, which involves steaming the leaves in order to dry them, bringing out different qualities and flavours in the tea. This method grew in popularity, and is now the most commonly used method of green tea production in Japan.

Kamairicha is an unusual Japanese green tea because it is produced using the Chinese method of heating in metal vats (“kama” means vat). As a result, the tea has a distinct flavor among Japanese teas.

This tea, from the 2011 growing season, has very small, dark green leaves, that give off a pleasantly fresh, fruity scent. Once brewed, the tea has a slightly cloudy, bright green color that looks much like a typical Japanese sencha. The aroma is quite vegetal, but with an added sweet component of marzipan.

The first sip reveals a complex, full-bodied yet balanced flavor. Notes of spinach, citrus, and apricot come through, with a pleasantly bitter aftertaste. The overall flavor, in fact, is very much like a good sencha. If I were tasting this tea blind, I would certainly guess that it was Japanese.

So why is this tea so recognizably Japanese even though it was processed using the Chinese technique? It may be because of the Japanese leaves themselves, a product of the variety of plant, the soil and the climate, or it may be that the producers aimed to give it a familiar flavor in line with other Japanese teas. Either way, the end product is both unique and familiar at the same time. I highly recommend it to fans of sencha who want to try something different.

— To purchase Camellia Sinensis Kamairicha, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Dave Dave
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