How different from ordinary Sencha?
— Although its appearance and color of infusion are almost the same as ordinary ones, “Kaori-ryokucha” is characterized by its fragrance derived by natural oxidative reactions enhanced by “withering” process, which is not performed in the procedure of normal green tea production.
This process “withering” drives the aroma generation in tea leaves, resulting in the distinctive feature of “Kaori-ryokucha”.
In the “withering” process, tea leaves are moderately dried with gentle stirring conducted at a certain interval and without damaging. These physical stimulations enhance the enzymatic oxidation of aroma sources in tea leaves, resulting in the fragrance like flower. “Kaori-ryokucha” is defined as the green tea possessing the flower-like fragrance induced by withering process.
However the control for desirable aroma generation is very difficult. A slight change in the condition can bring undesirable smell.
In order to overcome the difficulty in controlling aroma generation, the Shizuoka Prefectural Tea Research Center has developed a special equipment to control the conditions in withering process.
And Katsumata Pioneers’ Tea Production Cooperative, a group of tea farmers in Katsumata region on Makinohara upland, has set the special equipment to manufacture “Kaori-ryokucha” for the first time in the world.
We has launched an Kaori-ryokucha produced using the unique machine since 2018.
How different from black tea?
— The procedure of black tea production also includes the withering process for aroma generation. In addition to the withering, black tea manufacture has another process for aroma generation, “maceration”.
In the maceration process, tea leaves are damaged by mechanical stimulation to promote the enzymatic oxidation, resulting in the color change in tea leaves from green to amber or red, due to the oxidative polymerization of tea catechins.
In our manufacturing processes of Kaori-ryokucha, we control the degree of the enzymatic oxidation by withering without damaging tea leaves as the oxidation reaction progresses not too much.
This careful management can result in the green tea with nice aroma.
How different from Oolong tea?
— Oolong tea is also produced through withering process.
The difference between Oolong tea and Kaori-ryokucha is the way to inactivate the oxidative enzyme in tea leaves.
The inactivation method is steaming in the Kaori-ryokucha production, thus the taste and color of its infusion are almost same with ordinary Sencha.
On the other hand the inactivation method is pan-firing in the Oolong tea production, resulting in the unique aroma and infusion color.
The aroma of “Kaori-ryokucha” is derived from aroma additives?
— No. The aroma of “Kaori-ryokucha” is absolutely derived from the inherent constituents in tea leaves and generated by natural reactions due to the oxidative enzymes in tea leaves, which are enhanced by withering process artificially.
Lately there are many flavored teas. They have various aroma sources, such as natural ingredients like herbs, spices etc., essential aroma extracted from natural sources and artificial aroma compounds.
“Kaori-ryokucha” contains no additives.
If you smell what the tea leaves naturally expressing!
What is “Hana-kokochi” ?
— “Hana-kokochi” is a brand of Kaori-ryokucha, which is produced by Katsumata Pioneers Tea Production Cooperative using tea shoots grown by members of the cooperative.
As a result of collaboration work of Katsumata Pioneers’ Tea Production Cooperative for some years, we has launched the new brand of Kaori-ryokucha “Hana-kokochi” since 2018.
We can accomplish the sufficient level of flower-like aroma with umami-based taste and bright green color of infusion specific to Sencha by controlling the blending ratio of tea cultivars such as ‘Asatsuyu’, ‘Tsuyuhikari’ and so on.
Where can I buy it?
— Kaori-ryokucha “Hana-kokochi” is currently available at this store.
Please see from the link page. → 【 SHOP informaition 】
— It can also be purchased at the online shop.
I want to know more about “Kaori-ryokucha”
— The Shizuoka Prefectural Tea Research Center page has more information on “scented green tea”. Please take a look at that as well.
Shizuoka Tea Research Center ( Sorry in Japanese Only)
- How to raise fragrance of “scented green tea”
- Development of mass production technology for “scented green tea”
- Tea making method suitable for scented green tea
- Technology for visualizing the scent of scented green tea
- Development of an extended cyclic paired comparison method that greatly reduces the burden on panels and analysts
- Survey on preferences of “scented green tea”