Tezumi Wazuka Zairai White Tea

Tezumi Wazuka Zairai white tea

I’ve never tasted a Japanese white tea before.

It’s very difficult to find this type of tea made in Japan, as well as yellow tea.

Note that I have very little experience with white tea, because it is the type of tea that I like the least.

I find it too weak for my taste.

Anyway, this tea is made in Wazuka, Kyoto prefecture.

Zairai means that it is made with “native” tea plants. In other words, it’s not a specific cultivar.

And what makes it even more special is the fact that it is hand picked.

Many thanks to Tezumi for giving me this rare sample.

My first white tea review

The leaf aroma is definitely not like most Japanese teas.

Lightly sweet with not much vegetal freshness nor a marine aroma.

It reminds me of a bancha.

What first stands out about these leaves is their appearance.

While they aren’t all white, they are reasonably small.

There’s a bud with each three or four leaves.

Again, while I’m not a white tea expert, they look like high quality leaves.

As you can see in the picture, I had a hard time fitting enough grams in the saucer because they are very light for their size.

These are the brewing instructions from Tezumi: 3 grams, 100 ml (3.3 oz) of boiling water, and 45 seconds of infusion time, with increments of 10 seconds for each re-infusion.

Very well, I’m ready to drink this white tea.

The wet leaves have an aroma that’s slightly vegetal and sweet.

Not sure what kind of boiled vegetable it smells like, but I imagine something that is green and bitter.

Tezumi Wazuka Zairai white tea brewed

In the picture it doesn’t look as yellow, but the liquor has a pale yellow color.

It isn’t bitter nor astringent.

I find the sweetness enjoyable.

This sweetness is different than that of Japanese green teas. It reminds me of a lightly oxidized oolong.

According to Tezumi, this tea is charcoal baked. Maybe that’s why it has that kind of sweetness.

Overall, it’s a delicate flavor with a fresh aftertaste.

It’s also somewhat nutty, with some umami taste.

For the second infusion, the time was 55 seconds.

It is still sweet, with a similar flavor.

A third infusion of 65 seconds ended up not as sweet and it started to become watery.

So I tried a last infusion with 2 minutes, just to make sure that I extracted all the flavor that was left.

However, the taste was still too light.

I liked this tea more than I thought I would.

Here’s the link in case that you want to taste it too.

I’ll keep an eye out for the next Japanese white tea that I can get my hands on.

2 Comments

  1. Priscila Nakayama
    August 25, 2022

    I returned from Japan in May and brought with me three 20g packs of zairai white tea (I paid double the amount advertised) also from a small producer near Tokyo, I haven’t tasted it yet. There was another producer I think was also from kyoto but this one was not ready in time to buy. This is already the third one in a short time that I’m aware of!!!
    Thanks for sharing Ricardo Caicedo.

    Reply
    1. Ricardo Caicedo
      August 25, 2022

      Hi Priscila

      Oh, it looks like it’s getting more popular now.

      Have a wonderful time enjoying your Zairai white tea.

      Reply

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