TEA FLOWERis a dried Japanese chabana ("tea flower") from Wazuka, Kyoto prefecture, Japan. Ui, our Uji matcha producer, plucks these blooms by hand in late summer and early autumn, to prevent the tea trees from diverting energy resources to flowering. This pruning is a very typical part of garden maintenance, and always occurs to some extent before the tea plants enter winter dormancy. Some flowers are strategically left to encourage pollinator populations. This lot underwent little processing (harvest, wash, air-dry), and so offers a glimpse into the terroir of Wazuka-chō.
Camellia sinensis is a tree of the Theaceae plant family, which means it flowers! These flowers—like all parts of the tea tree—also contain caffeine (about 30% as much as tea leaves). The processing of Ui's tea flowers is simple, betraying a complex steep full of exciting nuance. The dry blooms carry a soft herbaceous scent that, when steeped, reveal airy layers of underripe pear in a deep golden liquor. Steep mindfully—these delicate flowers prefer lower temps for less time.
vintage — summer '22
style —chabana ("tea flower")
cultivar — mixed
region — Wazuka (Uji), Kyoto, Japan
locale — Hori tea farm
elevation — 400 meters
producer — Ui Hori
(use freshly boiled spring water)
modern, large format [300 ml+ vessel — BOLI, large teapot]
2 grams — 190°F (88°C) — 2 minutes
traditional, small format [150 ml- vessel — gaiwan, small teapot]
4 grams — 190°F (88°C) — 15 seconds (no rinse) +20 seconds each additional steep