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LEARN: About Gifu (An Under-Appreciated Origin)

Posted by Pedro Villalon on

Gifu's Shirakawa Guchi is a fairly unexplored yet fascinating Japanese terroir.
North of Nagoya, not far from the battlefield of Sekigahara, this terroir is too rocky and too cold to compete in production quantities with more famous origins like Kagoshima and Shizuoka.  

We visited this beautiful place thanks to an invitation from our good friend Okuma San, who was hired to help local growers market their (we strongly believe) delicious yet quite unrecognized tea.  

Some cool facts:
  • The harvest usually happens 2-3 weeks after that of most gardens in the Uji / Kyoto regions. The micro-climate is quite cold.
  • We found a bunch of beautiful, wild tea plants scattered all over the cedar forest. Sun-dried on the dashboard of our truck… these leaves brew delicious tea!
  • Until the mid 20th century, most people traditionally made Kamairi (pan-fired) tea in this region; Yuji San demonstrated a ‘country style’ technique.
  • The village onsen is fire!
  • They have a 100-year-old kabuki theatre where locals practice this most interesting art.

In 2021, we brought in 3 delicious single cultivar sencha teas from Gifu: 

 


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