Gyokuro. Familia Sakamoto, Kagoshima
Organic, Japan, Green,
G's/TEA 10 gr
ML/WATER 60 ml
STEEPING TIME 1,5 mins
Japanese green tea. Organic. Sweet umami taste. Silky body with vegetable and mineral notes. Cultivars: Yabukita and Saemidori.
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There is no ancient dynasty of tea merchants in the backstory of the two Sakamoto brothers, nor are there any family ties to tea farming. Fascinated with this ancient tradition, the brothers decided to acquire a plantation in the middle of a wild forest on the peak of Kirishima Mountain, Kagoshima Prefecture, buying it from a farmer who had abandoned it in his old age.
With very humid weather in spring and summer and extreme cold in winter, it is extremely difficult to produce organic Gyokuro in Japan. In addition to climatic challenges, the plants require shade before harvest, and the task is made even more difficult by increased susceptibility to insects and fungi. Plants also use a lot of energy which in turn requires a lot more nutrients.
Fully aware of the difficulties, but determined to achieve the perfect organic Gyokuro, the Sakamotos began to experiment with various types of fertilizers of their own creation, based on nitrogen, magnesium, calcium and, above all, many minerals. Combined with the rich layer of ash from the volcanic activity in the area, they managed to produce the ideal soil for the plants to grow strong and healthy, receiving nutrients through the roots.
Once they perfected the formula, they turned to their plantation. Located in a high mountainous area surrounded by dense wild forests and far from other plantations, the pristine air and sheer isolation kept the tea plants safe from outside contamination.
Their most beloved cultivars are the Yabukita and the Saemidori, which had already been a fixture in the previous old farmer's plantation. For the production of Gyokuro, the trees must be shaded for a few weeks before harvest, and here the Sakamotos have shown their capacity for innovation. They use a modern two-layer blanket, with a silvery outer layer that reflects sunlight to maintain a cooler environment underneath, preventing heat stress to the plant.
The resulting leaves retain a large amount of chlorophyll and many amino acids that give the drink an extraordinary sweetness.
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