We wish you all a happy New Year 2024! Lots of changes are coming for the year of the dragon, but let's start by the first tea of the year: a Yuzu Ryokucha (ゆず緑茶) from the region of Ureshino (嬉野) in the Saga prefecture (佐賀県) on the island of Kyūshū (九州).
Courtesy of the tea producer: Inoue Seichaen (井上製茶園)
The Aromatic Yuzu Twist
We selected a Yuzu Ryokucha from Saga Prefecture's Ureshino, produced as a harmonious blend of two distinguished green tea varieties. The first component is the Tsuyuhikari (つゆひかり), meticulously harvested on May 1st, 2023, known for its delicate and refined taste. Complementing it is the Yabukita (やぶきた), gathered on May 9th, 2023, which is celebrated for its robust and full-bodied flavor. This carefully crafted combination results in a tea that balances subtlety with intensity, offering a complex and satisfying taste experience.
The tea is a Fukamushi-cha (深蒸し茶), that is to say a tea characterized by its extended, high-pressure steaming process. This technique not only intensifies the tea's deep green hue but also significantly enhances its flavor profile. The prolonged steaming breaks down the tea leaves, releasing a richer aroma and a deeper, more nuanced taste. This process also reduces the tea's astringency, resulting in a smoother, more mellow brew. The fusion of these two tea varieties, coupled with the Fukamushi-cha process, creates a truly exceptional tea that is both visually striking and delightfully flavorful.
Integrating Yuzu from Kyushu, Yuzu Ryokucha acquires a delightful citrus twist. Known for its thick, aromatic peel, Yuzu imparts a complex blend of tartness and floral notes, akin to lemon, grapefruit, and mandarin oranges. This fusion adds a unique zest, elevating the tea's profile.
This is not the first time we send this tea, it is becoming a staple of Tomotcha, and is one of my personal favorite!
Year of the Dragon
As 2024 dawns, Japan welcomes the Year of the Dragon with reverence and anticipation. In Japanese culture, the Dragon is more than a mythical creature; it's a symbol of immense strength, wisdom, and prosperity. Historically revered in folklore and art, the Dragon represents transformative power and auspiciousness in the Japanese zodiac.
This year, the spirit of the Dragon encourages boldness and innovation. It's a time for individuals and communities to embrace change and pursue aspirations with the Dragon's fearless energy. In Japan, where traditions meld seamlessly with modernity, the Year of the Dragon is seen as an opportunity for renewal and growth, both personally and collectively.
Just the thing, as we want to renew a lot of things on Tomotcha side...
Updates on Tomotcha
First, let us sincerely apologize for the unexpected delays in shipping the first tea of the year. We understand the anticipation our customers feel towards receiving their teas, and we regret any inconvenience caused. These delays were due to unforeseen logistical challenges. Your patience and understanding in this matter are greatly appreciated.
We are excited to announce a significant change in our shipping logistics. To enhance the authenticity and quality of your experience, we are reverting to shipping our teas directly from Japan. This change allows us to bring you the freshest and most authentic Japanese tea experience. However, for our customers within the European Single Market, we will continue to ship from within Europe. This adjustment is part of our ongoing effort to improve our service and provide you with the best possible experience with Tomotcha.
We are also in the process of transitioning our payment system from Stripe to PayPal, a necessary change for our business operations. We sincerely thank those subscribers who have already switched to PayPal. For those who haven't yet made the change, please look for our email with the migration instructions. This switch is essential for the continuity of your subscription and our service. We appreciate your understanding and prompt action during this crucial transition.
Brewing Yuzu Ryokucha
The quantity of tea leaves should be adjusted based on the preferred taste; approximately 5 grams of Yuzu-Ryokucha is ideal for 150 to 200 ml (5 to 7 oz) of spring water. The steeping time should be between 60 to 90 seconds in water heated to 60 to 70ºC (140 to 160ºF). The second steeping should be shorter than the first.