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Saemidori Kabusecha (Shaded Sencha) 2021

Region: Kagoshima, Japan
Producer: Henta Family Gardens
Season: Ichibancha (Spring) 2021
Batch: 18S01 (120kg) Organic
A particularly elegant kabusecha with the characteristic mushroom and vegetal notes of a Saemidori varietal.

The Garden


The Henta family’s organic garden sits in Kagoshima prefecture on Kyushu island, in south Japan. This is an active volcanic region, making the soils volcanic. Henta-san himself prioritises the quality of the soil, and has a craft approach to tea, ideal for making individual, high quality teas on their organic garden. This tea is a Kabusecha which ranks above sencha in Japanese teas. Kabusecha is only grown in the spring season, under the shade. Shading the tea plants increases the umami in the tea, giving Kabusecha its characteristic umami, which is an important flavour in Japanese cuisine.

This Batch


The Saemidori Kabusecha 2021 is part of a trio of single varietal Kabusechas which we brought into the collection for 2021. Like wine, the tea plant has different varietals. The varietal of the tea leaf will influence the flavour which you taste. We chose three 2021 Kabusechas from the Henta family, made in a similar way, at a similar time, from different varietals (Okumidori, Saemidori, and Yabukita) to highlight each varietal.


The Saemidori Kabusecha was picked on the 14th of April 2021 after 10 days of shading. the leaves were steamed in the ‘asamushi’ style (short steamed) for 25 seconds. Steaming keeps the tea green, while short steaming preserves the shape and natural flavours of the tea leaf.

Tasting Notes


This tea has the characteristic mushroomy notes of a Saemidori varietal. Think of button mushrooms and buttered spinach, with a long umami finish which stays on the palate. An excellent match for goat cheeses and seafood.


Infuse at 6g per 150ml (teacup size) at 40C  for 2 mins. This is the authentic Japanese way which brings out the umami. You can also infuse with 4g at 60C for 1 min.

Storage and Ageing


As with most Japanese green teas, the Saemidori Kabusecha 2021 is best fresh and young, so we suggest storing this tea in a cool dry place and enjoying it while it’s young; ideally within 18 to 24 months.