What's Kuradashi TeaWhat's Kuradashi Tea
(We are planning to sell three limited edition Kuradashi Gyokuro, one Kuradashi Sencha, and two Kuradashi Matcha only available this mid-autumn. If you are a Japanese ta lover, you may know of Kuradashi tea. Like fine wine, it gains an enriched flavor and sweetness over time. Please wait and see.)

Coming of Autumn and Kuradashi Tea (Around Sep. 26)

The mornings and evenings are now getting cool here in Ujitawara, Kyoto. Summer flowers have finished blooming and autumn flowers are beginning to appear. The seven autumn wild flowers, loved by tea masters for generations, are blooming. Autumn fruit trees such as persimmon are starting to produce green fruits that will soon ripen to a beautiful orange color, a symbol of autumn.
Major insects at our tea farms have been changing too. Summer insects such as spider, ladybird, mantis, and so on, decreased sharply in number, while autumn insects such as red dragonfly and brown locust have made their appearance.

In Ujitawara, Kyoto, the low temperatures have been around 55F or 61F (13C or 16C) with high temperatures of 73F or 81F (23C or 27C) this past week. Though this year’s lingering summer heat was intense, recent cool mornings and nights suddenly make us feel a desire for Kuradashi tea.

Kuradashi teas, which have been enriched in wooden boxes in the granary for 1.5 years, since last May, are almost ready. Kuradashi teas have a deepened mellow and sweet taste and enhanced subtle noble aroma. We will begin to offer these limited edition teas within the next 10 days. Please wait and see! (We are now accepting pre-orders for Kuradashi Gyokuro and Kuradashi Sencha.)

Sky has changed to autumn tone. Silver grass is one of the seven autumn wild flowers.

Cosmea blossoms beautifully.

Spider lily is one of representative autumn flowers in Japanese country side.

Murmur of a brook makes felt coolness in autumn.

Ficus produces fruits

Locust changes color to brown in late summer or early autumn.

Thistle flower is a relic of summerspan>

There is a still green color locust in green weeds. It is a relic of summer too.

Wooden tea storage box, in which Kuradashi teas have been enriched

End of Summer and Kuradashi Teas (Around Aug. 29)

This summer, especially August, Japan experienced intense rain and sweltering heat. In some areas, the heavy rain that fell over a few days was equal in quantity to the typical average monthly rainfall for August. The August rainfall throughout Japan will likely be more than twice the average. Contrary to the original prediction that it would be a cool summer due to El Nino, the summer has been unusually hot.

Last summer, Japan experienced record breaking intense heat and some areas suffered from lack of water. Some years ago, the intense summer heat injured tea trees, even permanently damaging some trees. This year's generous amount of rain is a blessing for tea trees.

It typically starts getting cool in early morning and night in Ujitawara, Kyoto around August 15, after the OBON religious festival. This year, it started getting cool in the early morning around August 21 or 22. The lingering summer heat is expected to remain intense.

Autumn is on its way and so are our seasonal autumn Kuradashi teas. Following traditional methods, our Kuradashi teas have been enriched in wooden boxes in the granary for one and a half years, since last May, and will be ready in some more weeks. The deepened mellow and noble flavor of enriched Kuradashi Gyokuro and Kuradashi Matcha will be available in mid-autumn. Please wait and see!

To prevent damage from intense heat, straw, fallen leaves, or grasses are placed around the base of the tea trees.

Tea trees under the TANA canopy are shaded sparsely to avoid intense heat.

Rain is godsend for tea trees in sweltering hot summer

What is Kuradashi Tea?

Do you know Kuradashi Tea? In contrast to Sencha, which is enjoyed for its refreshing aroma immediately after harvest, Gyokuro and Matcha gain an enriched flavor and deep noble aroma and sweetness over time, and therefore are best some months after harvest. A long time ago, people celebrated aged Gyokuro and Matcha in autumn, just as Shincha is celebrated in spring. It was called Kuradashi tea meaning tea taken out from the granary.

Today's Japanese tea lovers favor both fresh Gyokuro and Matcha, and enriched Kuradashi Gyokuro and Matcha. It just depends on each person's individual taste and preference to know which kind will be their favorite. However, it is more and more difficult to find real enriched Kuradashi Tea even in Japan. It is not easy to enrich and sweeten Gyokuro and Matcha. If one doesn't keep a close watch over their Kuradashi Tea, it will easily deteriorate. Like a fine wine, aged tea can easily pass from a state of being deliciously enriched to a state of being deteriorated.
Besides, all Gyokuro and Matcha do not gain an enriched flavor but only specific kinds of Gyokuro and Matcha. It depends on some factors, such as the breed of tea leaves, how the sunlight is shaded, management of fertilizer and nutrients, the processing procedure, and so on.
Therefore many wholesalers and retailers these days are not willing to accept risks in order to create Kuradashi Tea.
Since we at Hibiki-an, understand the traditional way of aging Kuradashi Tea properly, we are happy to be able to provide you with Kuradashi Gyokuro and Matcha. We would like Japanese tea lovers around the world to be able to experience the remarkable and noble enriched and sweetened flavor and aroma of true Kuradashi Gyokuro and Matcha.

Kuradashi Gyokuro and Matcha are different from ordinary Gyokuro and Matcha in aroma and flavor, so it may be enjoyable for you to compare this tea with regular Gyokuro and Matcha. The superb enriched and sweetened flavor and aroma of this special tea lingers in the mouth for a while. The aroma is full, but not too strong. The flavor is richer and subtle. The taste is both mellow and enhanced.

Kuradashi Gyokuro and Matcha can best be described in the same way a fine wine is described and enjoyed by connoisseurs. Like Pinot Noir red wine, Kuradashi Gyokuro and Matcha are amazingly full flavored with hints of woody spices, sweet fruits, and nuts, as well as oak, earth, leaves, and grass. It is difficult to describe this remarkably delicious tea and just must be experienced firsthand!

Harvest in May




Enriched by the traditional way




Tasting





Kuradashi Tea

We are planning to sell three limited edition Kuradashi Gyokuro, one Kuradashi Sencha, and two Kuradashi Matcha only available mid-autumn. Please wait and see!