Ikkyu Hakusei

Ikkyu Hakusei

This is the first tea that I try from Ikkyu.

It’s very rare, a white leaf tea from Yame.

This green tea has pale looking leaves due to a special shading method.

The tea farmer Takaki Akihito bred the tea plants specifically for this type of tea four years ago.

White leaf tea tasting

Some years ago at a World Tea Expo in Las Vegas I tried a similar tea from the booth of the World Green Tea Association.

Unfortunately, I don’t remember very well what it tasted like. Only that it had a rich umami taste.

This one has a sweet aroma. It reminds me of a shincha.

But by far the most interesting thing is its appearance.

There are three colors: green, light green, and a sort of orange. It is beautiful.

I’ll prepare it as a sencha. A teaspoon of tea leaves, and 60 ml (2 oz) of water at 80 ºC (176ºF) for one minute.

The wet leaf aroma has notes of seaweed and boiled greens. The sweetness feels faint.

Ikkyu Hakusei brewed

I now have a good looking, pale green liquor. I’m already feeling thirsty.

As expected, it has a bold umami taste and a good sweetness.

It feels balanced. And naturally it isn’t bitter nor astringent.

Time for a second infusion using the same steeping method.

It also has a lot of umami, very much like the first infusion. Very good!

I made the third infusion in the same manner, but this time its flavor is lighter.

This is similar to a light sencha, still enjoyable.

I think that three infusions is the limit for this tea. But just in case that it has something left, I’ll try making a fourth one.

30 seconds in boiling water should do it.

It’s too light now. At least it’s still not bitter nor astringent.

I couldn’t let the wet leaves go to waste. So I ate them in a salad.

Incredibly, the wet leaves aren’t bitter at all.

This tea is a real treat. Very much worth its price.

3 Comments

  1. Bill
    April 3, 2020

    Interesting tea. Ikkyu looks like a good source for green tea also.

    Reply
    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      April 3, 2020

      Thank you for your comment Bill. I have more samples from them that I haven’t tried. I’ll publish those in the near future.

      Reply
  2. Ricardo Caicedo
    September 1, 2020

    Thank you Aiko, I noticed that you joined the newsletter as well.

    You won’t be disappointed with this tea.

    Reply

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