Tenryu Yabukita Sencha (天竜やぶきた煎茶) is a high grade sencha green tea made from the popular Yabukita (やぶきた) cultivar grown on the upper reaches of the Tenryū River in Shizuoka Prefecture. It was harvested in mid May 2021 and underwent careful, light steaming and medium heat processing to create an exemplary high grade sencha. It has a satisfyingly savoury and herbaceous flavour with a creamy mouthfeel and a fresh, zesty aftertaste.
This is one the three sencha teas in our shop that showcase the three famous mountainous terroirs of Shizuoka Prefecture: Honyama, Kawane and Tenryu.
This Tenryu Yabukita Sencha is made from the leaves of Yabukita cultivar plants. This cultivar is the most popular and widespread tea plant in Japan and Yabukita plants cover about 75% of Japanese tea fields. It was developed by a tea breeder from Shizuoka in the early 1900’s called Hikosaburo Sugiyama, but it was officially registered only in 1956. The name originated from Hikosaburo Sugiyama, who named it after the bamboo grove (yabu) that surrounded the location of where the plants were grown and the northern location of the selected plant (kita). At the time he also selected a tea plant from the southern location of the tea field (minami) but that plant did not fare as well.
The well-performing Yabukita plants quickly proved popular due to their hardiness, ease of cultivation and tea flavours; with time becoming the mainstay of Japanese green tea production. One of the main factors for the popularity of the Yabukita cultivar has been the flavours that they are known for. These plants produce teas with typical savoury and umami grassy flavours and strong aromas that are particularly sought after in Japanese green teas.
This Tenryu Yabukita Sencha has very neat, long and thin dark green leaves that are very neatly rolled and have a particularly fragrant fresh green aroma that also has a savoury aspect. The green-yellow liquor has medium clarity and a light vegetal aroma. The taste is vegetal, with a savoury profile and mineral, umami and herbaceous notes. This tea has a creamy smooth mouthfeel that is satisfying and is reminiscent of a matcha latte flavour. The aftertaste is lasting, with zesty citrus notes. This Yabukita Sencha has all the classic Japanese green tea aspects but its fine quality adds a layer of complex refinement.
We suggest brewing at 80°C for 2 minutes according to your taste. It can be brewed around 3+ times depending on your taste preferences. This tea will perform at its best if brewed using a good traditional side-handled kyūsu (急須) tea pot specifically designed for brewing sencha tea. In such case, adjust the amount of leaves to 2.5g per 100ml of 80°C water, brewing 40-60 seconds per infusion, repeatedly increasing brewing time until there is no flavour left.
Tenryu Yabukita Sencha green tea was first featured in our September 2019 Curious Tea Subscription Boxes.