At our monthly Meet the Tea Farmer event on 28th October our guest tea farmer was Yuji Kurihara – a 4th generation tea farmer from Yame, Fukuoka
Kurihara-san manages his family tea farm together with his brother. They produce many different teas, like gyokuro, sencha, wakoucha, hojicha, genmaicha and more. Some of them, especially gyokuro, are still grown traditionally: they are shaded with natural straws and picked by hand.
During the event the attendees could try Kurihara-san’s sencha and gyokuro. Sencha was made from Yabukita cultivar and tea plants of 16 years old. The tea was picked on the 88th day (88th day from the old Japanese calendar is considered to be the best day to harvest tea).
After brewing Sencha twice we then moved on to Kurihara-san’s gyokuro. And it was a rather special gyokuro – in 2020 it won 1st place in Fukuoka and 2nd place in all Japan. The gyokuro was hand-picked by 30 women from the 10 year old tea plants in their peak vitality. One of the attendees said that the taste was so rich, it made the mouth feel bigger than it was.