This Tencha Pinnacle is a brand new added our line of Tencha in summer 2012.
Tencha is the name for tea leaves used for Matcha, before the leaves are ground into fine powder. Traditionally, Tencha was not brewed like Gyokuro or Sencha, because this was neither included in the traditional Tea Ceremony teachings nor allowed. And so, for many years, brewed Tencha has quietly been enjoyed in secret among only a few Matcha manufacturers and tea connoisseurs.
We at Hibiki-an are pleased to be able to offer Tencha, which we have specially arranged in order to be brewed in the same way as Gyokuro or Sencha. The flavor is different both from Gyokuro and Matcha, and quite unique, pure, noble, and elegant.
Each leaf of this top quality tea is specially selected and carefully picked by our farmers' skilled hands. This special tea is made from a breed of tea plant known as Samidori, which is suitable for Matcha and Gyokuro. And Samidori breed is a tea plant that cooperates well with the efforts of farmers to produce high quality tea.
"Honzu" is a very special way of building "Tana". It is the traditional way of diffusing 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. Old-style reeds and straw provide the ideal shade for tea trees. And it is said that the constituents exuded from the straw through the rainwater exercise good effects on the tea leaves.
The tea color is pale green, the taste is deep and mellow, and the subtle noble aroma lingers in the mouth for a while.
To enjoy Tencha, we recommend you brew in the same way as Gyokuro (same tea leaves weight, same water temperature and amount, and waiting time). There is only one difference: Tencha is only half the weight of Gyokuro or Sencha tea leaves; it is 50% lighter. So, please put about two times (2x) the cubical content of Tencha tea leaves in Kyusu tea pot when you brew Tencha.
Because Tencha is lightweight, some Tencha leaves may float on the water surface, and are not saturated with water. In that case, please press the tea leaves down into the water to soak and become saturated with water, as shown in the picture on the left.
Of course, this Tencha also makes a lovely iced tea. The flavor is uniquely elegant. You can prepare Iced Tencha using the same brewing method as Iced Gyokuro.
If the founder of Tea Ceremony, Rikyu Sen, knew the unique and pure elegant flavor of this tea, Tencha must have been added to his ceremony. We would definitely like connoisseurs in the world to uncover and enjoy the unique and pure elegant flavor of Tencha.