You may remember a green tea cultivar that I shared at the beginning of last year called sora. It was an early favorite and sold out quickly; when I asked the producer if she had any more that she could ship overseas, she sadly informed me that she was completely sold out too. She did, however, introduce me to the kōshun cultivar that we shared by the name Nemuri Hime. Coming from the same 9th generation producer in Shizuoka, I am thrilled to share the return of both sora and kōshun as part of our 2020 sencha collection. We made them a tea duo pairing if you are curious to try them side by side.
Sora is a Taiwanese cultivar originally meant for oolongs. Produced as a green tea, it has a milky, floral aroma reminiscent of greener style oolongs but soft, sweet palate with no astringency.
Our kōshun cultivar went by the name nemuri hime last year, referring to a sub-type of sencha steaming methodology that accentuates the tea's natural sugars, resulting in a sweet aroma and brew. This year, however, our producer did not use the nemuri hime method; while the flavor profile is largely the same, it is also fresher and a bit more balanced. This year's crop is forgiving to brew, and I anticipate it will mellow nicely throughout the year (we store our tea vacuum-sealed in cold storage throughout the year, so no need to age yourself).