JAPANESE TEA: AN ANCIENT CUSTOM IN MODERN TIMES
The East India Company is always in search of the finest ingredients and exciting flavours from around the world. This month The Company is proud to present its collection of distinctive Japanese green teas including, Matcha, Sencha Sakura, Sencha Miyabi, Gyokuro, Genmai-Cha and Houji-Cha.
With its origins in ancient China and Japan, green tea has recently grown in popularity across the West due to its renowned health benefits. It is packed with antioxidants, minerals and nutrients that have been suggested to promote positive physiological effects.
Sourced from Japanese plantations by The Company’s expert Tea Master, Lalith Lenadora, each tea has its own unique character and taste with a different preparation mechanism to highlight its individuality. The attention to detail, from growing to preparation of the various brews, honours the very nature of Japan.
The Company continues to build close relations with some of the best Japanese tea producers. The shared passion and dedication has resulted in the refined characteristics of its vibrant Japanese green tea collection.
A wonderful example of The Company’s direct relationship with tea estates was displayed by the recent visit of Mr Eiji Miyamoto, a tea producer from Japan who joined in for a series of Japanese tea tasting events at its flagship store in Mayfair.
Experience for yourself the subtle variety of these time-honoured teas and enjoy an ancient custom in our modern times.
Explore the collection
The Company’s Matcha Green Tea originates from an estate run by the Hattori Family in the Nissaka area of Japan. Tea on the Hattori estate is checked and picked daily to ensure only the finest crop is selected. Hattori-san grinds the Tencha in a traditional stone mill just before shipping, ensuring freshness.
The Company’s Tea Master has a close relationship with the Hattori Family and regularly communicates with them to discuss their picking and cultivation methods. This direct relationship and collaboration enables The Company to ensure that the highest quality standards are maintained. Hattori-san has a passion for his tea garden and pays attention to every detail of tea production from the leaf to the cup.
In mid-April, tea bushes are covered with a red screen to counter the direct sunlight. The resulting thin, bright green leaves with a larger amount of chlorophyll, are then hand-picked. The flavour is mild with a full-bodied character. Gyokuro, Japan’s most expensive tea, is often referred to as the most precious Japanese tea and the leaves are rigorously checked and selected to use only the finest from bushes which are kept under 90% shade for over two weeks prior to harvest.
An after dinner favourite with a distinctive nutty flavour. Unpolished rice is mixed with Sencha leaves. Refreshing and vitalising – a result of steaming, rolling, drying, sorting and finally blending. Tea devotees will savour each sip of this complex blend of Sencha green tea combined with roasted brown rice.
In honour of the Japanese festival of Hanami, The Company’s Tea Master created an ambrosial blend of Japanese Sakura Sencha green tea that is perfectly refreshing brewed hot or cold. The smooth, mellow and aromatic base of the Sencha perfectly complements the floral notes of the tender Sakura petals that have been sprinkled into the tea.
Fresh and light with hints of grass, Sencha provides a delicate introduction to the delights of green tea. This Sencha Miyabi comes from a family run estate in central Japan, and is grown with a level of care that comes through with each sip.
A blend of roasted Bancha and Sencha, the Houji-Cha has a distinctly toasted taste. Excellent after meals, this premium green tea is a superb choice for those who enjoy the unique, aromatic flavour of roasted teas.