A rich and delicious snow-aged sencha that is unique to the winter wonderlands of Niigata prefecture. This intriguing tea from Seikoen Tea Factory uses sencha tea leaves from Shizuoka prefecture which are then carefully refined and aged (please see below for further information) in their natural snow-cooled warehouse called a "yukimuro". The taste of this tea is enhanced by aging the carefully selected tea leaves just before freezing, which seems to reduce the bitterness and enhance the sweetness (umami) - you can discover for yourselves! Perhaps an ideal sencha to try for those who are not a huge fan of bitterness but also one to try for the sencha lovers out there.
Seikoen's snow cooled warehouse is like a big igloo which refrigerates products only with the cold air from the snow, without using any electricity (completely natural). The room is kept at 100% humidity and about 5 degrees Celsius for one entire year. While the mechanism needs more research, something about this unique aging process (perhaps due to the temperature which hovers just below zero in a state in which water is neither freezing nor liquid) causes the tea to increase multiple chemical components that make up the tea leaf's umami flavor. Specifically, an increase was measured from 632 mg/100g to 810.7 mg/100g of 15 amino acids according to their tests.
- Ingredients: Green tea
- Region: Leaves from Shizuoka. Aged in Niigata, Japan.
- Name: Seikoen Tea Factory
- Type: Tea Finishing Factory based in Northern Japan
- President: Yoshiyuki Matsuki
- Location: Ichinomiya 4-1-6 Itoigawa, Niigata 941-0056, Japan