Competition Grade Matcha Pinnacle is available only at the National Tea Fair of Japan, attended by those within the Japanese green tea industry. (For more information concerning Competition Grade Tea, please click here.)
This special tea is made from a breed of tea plant known as Asahi and has a naturally subtle flavor and elegant aroma. It is said that those who drink it are amazed and quickly fascinated by the unique subtle aroma of Asahi. Asahi is grown only in small quantities mainly in the Uji region of Kyoto. Asahi breed tea is frequently awarded first place in the Matcha category of the National Tea Competition.
This tea was grown under the special canopy called "Honzu". "Honzu" is the traditional way of shading sunlight from long ago, and these days it is very rare to see, even in the Uji region. In the "Honzu" method, tea farmers build a structure to provide shade to the tea trees using only reeds and straw. Traditional-style reeds and straw provide the ideal shade for tea trees. And it is said that the nutrients exuded from the straw through the rainwater have a beneficial effect on the tea leaves. (For more information concerning "Honze", click here.)
This very special grade of Matcha has an excellent, deeply mellow taste. Many teas contributed to the National Tea Competition have a deep mellow taste because the teas are evaluated by the judges on this specific characteristic. The depth of mellow taste of this tea is ranked well above most high grade Japanese green teas.
The aroma of this tea is the essence of extraordinarily fresh young tea leaves. Tea leaves for Competition Grade Matcha Pinnacle are picked only by skilled hands, never by machine (For more information regarding handpicked tea, click here). Although generally the best time to gather tea leaves is when the tea tree has five sprouts for even the highest grade Matcha, these tea leaves are picked when the tea tree has only two or three sprouts.
The color of our Competition Grade Matcha Pinnacle is of a much brighter green than even the highest grade Matcha found in tea shops in Japan―for example our regular Matcha Pinnacle. At every step of growth, harvest, and production, the bright green color is encouraged through dedicated efforts with the goal of participating in the National Tea Competition.
We recommend this very special tea only to customers who are already familiar with top quality Japanese green tea such as our Super Premium or Pinnacle grade teas. Even in Japan it is almost impossible to find tea of this quality―this is one of the very best available anywhere. This is quite a unique opportunity to try the deep mellow taste, fresh aroma of young tea sprouts, and noble flavor found only at Japan's National Tea Competition.