Awa Bancha | 阿波晩茶Type: Dark Sub-Type: Pickled (i.e. anaerobic fermentation) Origin: Naka-Cho, Tokushima, Japan GPS: 34° 48’ N | 134° 28’ E Grower: Ikawa, 5th generation tea grower
Notes: Fermented Kelp, aged straw, hints of hibiscus
If you’re cool with funky (in a good way) teas, you should give this a try. Thick leaves are harvested in the heat of summer; they are subsequently boiled, kneaded and fermented 3-4 weeks in old cedar barrels, before being dried under scorching sun.
The result is a pickled tea that is reminiscent of an infusion of kelp and hibiscus: devoid of bitterness (even after over-steeping), with a pleasant tart note and minerality.