Zairai, native tea plant

« Oh that was nice, fruity, oh that was nice, sweet like candy, oh that was nice, sour like unripe orange, oh that was nice, crust of fire roasted sweet sweet-potato. Each sip of Zairai is alive and different. It brings me back the memory of my childhood in the nature. The sweet taste of dripping honey from the camellia flowers, sweet and sour smell of unripe oranges, smell of burning dry leaves and wood, smell of wet leaves after the spring rain, are some of the sensations that teas made with zairai, native and wild tea plants, invokes.
At this moment, only 10% of the tea plants are Zairai, very little left. It is not suited for commercial production which requires standardized flavor, as Zairai is mixture of all the native plants which have been there at least until the first foreign plants were introduced to the region. Use of single cultivar like Yabukita, most commonly used plant variety for making Japanese green tea is nice as it produce single profile of texture, smell, taste so that almost everyone can enjoy the standardized taste across the country equally. But, if you are looking for ecstatic, orgasmic experience with tea like I am, Zairai is the ultimate plant that can offer you the possibility of the moment. Zairai is a temperamental plants. Every harvest, every leaf is unique. Zairai are grown out of seeds as oppose to by cutting, Zairai suggests the mysterious mixing with plants in the area, the mountain. This summer I will drive into the mountain region near Mount Fuji, Island of Shikoku and Kyushu to bring back teas made with Zairai to share the ichi-go ichi-e (一期一会once chance in life time) moment with tea enthusiasts here. » – Shiho Kanamaru, Cha Do Raku Tea House


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