In May 2023, with our good friend Gábor Somoskői, creator of Kezemura ceramics, we traveled to Japan for our annual tea sourcing trip.
The second half of our trip we explored the southernmost part of the island of Kyushu. After Yame we arrived in Ureshino, famous for its thermal baths. Here we tasted the locally produced freshly picked 2023 Kabusecha, winner of the local tea competition. We tasted it dripped on ice, it had a fantastically complex, floral flavour, so it definitely made the selection.
As the last stop, we visited Kajihara San on the recommendation of a friend. He welcomed us warmly, and introduced us to his green and black teas and we tasted a lot together. The interesting thing about Mr. Kajihara’s teas is that, unlike the steaming technique used in Japan, here the teas are processed in a wok, a technique familiar in China. Kamairicha (釡炒り茶), or wok-fried tea, accounts for only 2% of Japan’s tea production.