This tea is certified organic.
SENCHA SEDOGAWA is an asamushi—"light steam"—sencha from Setonoya, Shizuoka, Japan. This current year, first flush production comes to us via Mukoujima tea cooperative. The tea is hand-plucked, fanned to prevent oxidation, steamed for 15 seconds, cooled, pressed, tumble-rolled, bundle-twisted, tumble-rolled again, rolled once more to needles, and finally fanned with hot air and dried to a moisture content of 4%. The result is aracha—“crude/unfinished tea” (think Japanese maocha). Just before we import the tea, it undergoes a secondary processing of pan-drying, shaping, and sorting before being vacuum-sealed and cold-stored. Mukoujima is a fully-integrated producer; all their teas are grown, processed, and packed on-site.
Also known as Happy Mukoujimaen ("en" meaning "farm"), Mukoujima has been certified organic JAS / J GAP for two decades. They operate guided by a one-with-nature tea making philosophy that prioritizes low-intervention agriculture and a low-stress environment. This is embodied by Mukoujima's signature planting style: "ippon-zitate", or, "one tree method". When cultivating new rows, they plant the smallest cuttings possible (literally a single leaf and stem), with extra space between the trees to avoid stressing them. This makes for sturdy plantings with thick, deep-reaching root structures that more adequately nourish the trees. Most Japanese plantations grow very tight rows of young trees under 30 centimeters apart; Mukoujima trees take twice as long to mature (15 years from cuttings) and grow uncrowded with a full meter between them (also making for better plucking/clipping precision at harvest). Masayuki Sonoda, our on-site liaison (and clinical psychologist in training!) embraces this spirit fully, collaborating with us on Japanese standards with new-age styling.
This is Mukoujima’s only asamushi production, and great care is taken to produce an unbroken sencha with well-formed leaves and low dust. The lot is unblended, composed 100% of the early-budding saemidori ("vivid green") cultivar, usually cultivated in the warmer climates of southern Kyushu. It's susceptible to frost (a regular event in Shizuoka). Masayuki's ippon-zitate trees, producing sturdy and hardy-growing tea, can withstand these conditions (and even benefit from the stress harsh weather brings).
Flash-steep a healthy pinch in a kyusu for white sugar sweetness and refreshing sea breeze qualities wrapped in a medium-light body with no astringency. Steep longer for that classic steamed green tea profile. Highly suitable for overnight cold brew. For all methods, use cooler water.
Scroll to the bottom for Masayuki's unabridged history of Happy Mukoujimaen:
notes — daikon | grilled mackerel | fresh
nomenclature — sencha (煎茶)—"steeped tea" | sedogawa (瀬戸川)—"Sedo river"
style — asamushi sencha
cultivar(s) — saemidori
region — Setonoya, Shizuoka, Japan
locale — Mukoujima tea cooperative
producer — Masayuki Sonoda
vintage — spring '20
[300 ml+ vessel — BOLI, large teapot]
5 grams — 170°F (76°C) — 2 minutes
[150 ml- vessel — kyusu, small teapot]
7 grams — 170°F (76°C) — 30 seconds
+30-45 seconds each additional steep