This Month's Tea - Konacha
What is Konacha?
Konacha is made from the specks and tiny tea leaves of Gyokuro or Sencha tea leaves. Konacha is less expensive than tea leaves because Konacha is a natural byproduct of traditional tea processing, like Karigane. Especially Konacha, sorted from high grade tea leaves, has a better flavor than tea leaves of a similarly low price.
Our Konacha is made from specks and tiny tea leaves of high grade Gyokuro or Sencha, because specks sorted from middle or low grade tea leaves have an undesirable flavor.
In Japan, tea connoisseurs search for high quality Konacha. High quality Konacha is sometimes difficult to find. Konacha accounts for only 10% of all tea leaves. Besides, top quality tea leaves are grown in limited quantity. Hibiki-an is able to have a steady supply of Konacha because we grow and sell only high grade tea leaves.
The brewed infusion color is deeper than regular Gyokuro due to the very fine dusting of tea leaf, one characteristic of Konacha.
Konacha is sorted specks and tiny tea leaves from high grade Gyokuro or Sencha.
Left side is Gyokuro Konacha tea leaves and right side is regular Gyokuro. You can see that Konacha is a very fine dusting of tea leaf.
Specks or tiny tea leaves for Konacha are sorted at several steps of the finishing process. This step is first sorting Aracha unprocessed tea leaves.
This step is second sorting Aracha unprocessed tea leaves.
At this step, tea leaves are divided into specks and Mecha sprout tea leaves.
A Tip for Brewing Konacha
Konacha specks are more easily brewed for shorter time than regular Gyokuro or Sencha tea leaves. The brewing time is half of regular Gyokuro or Sencha tea leaves. The other brewing matters, tea leaves and water amount and water temperature are the same as regular Gyokuro or Sencha.
Please brew in a Kyusu with a fine mesh filter in order to prevent too many tiny specks from being poured into the tea cup. If you use a Kyusu with a rough mesh filter, please use a tea strainer.
Gyokuro Konacha (2cups)
Tea leaves: 1 1/2 tablespoons (7 - 8g)
Water temperature: 140 - 158F (60 - 70C)
Amount of water: 200ml (7.04fl oz)
Waiting time: 45 - 60sec.
Sencha Konacha (2cups)
Tea leaves: 1 1/2 tablespoons (7 - 8g)
Water temperature: 176F (80C)
Amount of water: 200ml (7.04fl oz)
Waiting time: 30sec.
Konacha is made from the specks and tiny tea leaves of Gyokuro or Sencha tea leaves.
Sorted specks and tiny tea leaves from high grade Gyokuro.
Left side is Gyokuro Konacha and right side is regular Gyokuro. You can see that brewed infusion color of Konacha is deeper than regular Gyokuro.
Iced Gyokuro and Sencha Using Konacha
Iced Gyokuro and Sencha Using Konacha: Konacha brews quickly and flavorfully in about half the time as regular Gyokuro or Sencha tea leaves, so Konacha is perfect for Iced Gyokuro and Sencha. You can prepare Iced Gyokuro or Sencha in two ways, (1) Brewing by hot water once and cooling quickly, and (2) Brewing by cool water. The same two methods are used to make iced tea with regular Gyokuro and Sencha.
(1) Brewing by hot water once and cooling quickly
Particularly in the case of Sencha, you can enjoy the refreshing and astringent taste that Sencha is well-known for, because this hot brewing technique extracts Catechin and Caffeine that are not extracted by brewing with ice or cold water. This way is also suitable when you wish to enjoy the healthful benefits of Catechin and Caffeine, such as when you would like to concentrate or have energy. This way is suitable for Gyokuro and Sencha Konacha.
- Place 7 to 8g (1.5 tablespoons) of Gyokuro or Sencha Konacha tea leaves into the Kyusu (teapot).
- Pour 200ml (7.04fl oz) of 176F (80C) temperature of water into the Kyusu.
- Wait for 2 to 3 minutes. You'll want to brew the tea quite strongly because later the thawed ice will weaken the flavor.
- Pour tea from the Kyusu into each glass filled with pieces of ice to cool the tea quickly. Pour alternately little by little, so that the quantity and taste of the tea is equal in each glass.
(2) Brewing by cool water
This way is suitable for Gyokuro and Sencha Konacha.
- Place 7 to 10g (1.5 to 2 tablespoons) of Gyokuro or Sencha Konacha tea leaves into the teapot (or large size Kyusu).
- Pour 500 to 1000ml (17.6 to 35.2fl oz) of cool water into the teapot (or large size Kyusu) and store in the refrigerator for 3 to 6 hours.
- In order to equalize the taste of the tea, shake the Kyusu horizontally before pouring the tea into each glass.
(You can visit the Iced Tea Pot page by clicking here; Iced Teapot, Glass Teapot, MIZUTAMA Dobin , HAIYU Dobin , Large Kyusu)
Create Your Own Personalized Flavor of Tea
How to Blend Konacha and Karigane
Many people who drink tea may find that they have their own individual preference for tea flavor. Some like their tea strong and astringent, while others may like a sweet, mellow flavor, or maybe a balance of both sweet and astringent. You may also find that certain flavors of tea pair well with different foods, or that you like one type of tea in winter and another in summer. It all depends on your individual preference. One way to create a flavor of tea, tailored to your own preference is by creating a blend of Konacha and Karigane, and then modifying the ratio, brewing time and perhaps water temperature.
Konacha is a natural byproduct of the traditional method of Japanese green tea production and thus it is an excellent value, much like Karigane. Especially high grade Konacha and Karigane sorted from highest grade Japanese tea have excellent flavor. It enhances and deepens the enjoyment of Konacha to blend Karigane with Konacha, because both flavors and brewing times are different despite the fact that both are teas of excellent value. Of course, both Konacha and Karigane should be sorted from high grade Japanese tea. For example, if you try Kukicha, which is made from stems and veins sorted from low grade Sencha and lower grade Konacha, it does not please the palate because the original tea source is neither excellent value nor flavor.
Ideal brewing times for Konacha and Karigane are different. Konacha brewing time is less than half that of Karigane. And the brewing time for Karigane is the same as typical Japanese green teas, Sencha or Gyokuro. So, you can enjoy the unique flavor with each infusion of Konacha. The first infusion flavor is relatively high proportion of Konacha, and the second and the third infusions are high proportion of Karigane. The tea will change in flavor with each brew.
To avoid too strong flavor, try brewing the first infusion for shorter time, similar to the Konacha brewing time. To brew rich flavor of Karigane fully, brew the second and the third infusion for longer time, similar to the Karigane brewing time.
We recommend blending Gyokuro Konacha with Gyokuro Karigane, and Sencha Konacha with Sencha Karigane.
For blending ratio, we recommend starting with 50%:50%. Then you can modify the ratio and brewing time until you find your ideal flavor. It is a unique method to tailor your tea to suit your own individual taste preference.
Tea leaves of Konacha
Tea leaves of Karigane
Water color of special blended tea is midway
between Konacha and Karigane.
Konacha Items: Now Available!
All items below are limited edition of 600 packages each ONLY AVAILABLE this summer season.
[Limited] Gyokuro Konacha Super Premium (100g/3.53oz): US$18.00 (Now Available)
Gyokuro Konacha Super Premium is an excellent value. Because it is made from the specks and tiny tea leaves of only the highest quality Gyokuro, such as Gyokuro Pinnacle, Super Premium, Kuradashi Gyokuro Pinnacle, and Super Premium, you can have the finest quality for a fraction of the cost...
[Limited] Gyokuro Konacha (200g/7.06oz): US$26.00 (Now Available)
Made from premium Gyokuro specks and tiny tea leaves, Gyokuro Konacha has a unique and delicately sweet flavor. Gyokuro Konacha is an excellent value. Because it is made from the specks and tiny tea leaves of only high quality Gyokuro...
[Limited] Sencha Konacha (200g/7.06oz): US$18.00 (Now Available)
Made from premium Sencha specks and tiny tea leaves, Sencha Konacha has a unique and delicately sweet flavor. Sencha Konacha is an excellent value. Because it is made from the specks and tiny tea leaves of only high quality Sencha...