Mountain Tea in the Sky

The temperature is still high because of the late summer heat here in Japan. 💦 I brewed this tea by pouring it over ice.

:: Today’s recipe ::
Tea leaves (Sencha) 5g
Amount of hot water 100ml
Temperature of hot water 85℃ (185℉)
Steeping time 60 seconds
Ice the amount to fill a glass

Tea over ice is one of the ways in which you can make iced tea. Today I used warmer water since I wanted to enjoy the crispy bitterness and astringency.

This “mountain tea in the sky” is produced by several local tea farms and has become a brand of tea in Miyoshi city, Tokushima. This tea naturally grows on a steep slope on the mountain side in Miyoshi city. I purchased this particular tea from a tea farm called Nakayamaen.

This mountain tea can be found in Shikoku and Kyushu areas. Although I say “grown naturally’, there are theories regarding the Japanese tea tree, the native theory and foreign theory. Today they are almost certain that the Japanese tea tree is a foreign plant but it’s still not clear when they were first planted in Japan. The date could be much earlier than people first thought.

The aroma is very different from usual green tea! It’s difficult to explain but I can say it’s strong and verdant, which made me feel very refreshed.✨ Each of the naturally grown tea trees have a different characteristic and these are naturally blended by crossbreeding. This creates the unique aroma and flavor that’s so different from tea cultivars that are much more common in Japan.

Also, the naturally grown tea trees are raised from seed. They spread their roots deeply into the ground and suck up lots of nutrients. That’s why they tend to have a stronger aroma and taste. The taste lasts all the way to the third brewing!

While I was drinking this rare tea I wondered whether people in the past might have enjoyed this kind of flavor before tea cultivars became more common in Japan. I want to drink this tea with my grandma next time and ask her if it’s similar to the tea she drank as a child. 😌

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