Japan and black tea – they go together like…well. Ummm. Actually black tea and Japan don’t go together all that well at all, at least not as far as most of us are aware. When we think of Japanese tea most of us think of a variety of green teas that range from okay to outstanding. Among the more notable of the Japanese greens are kukicha, genmaicha, sencha, gyokuro and matcha, with the last three of these being especially prized by tea lovers.
So what’s all this about Japanese black tea then? As it turns out there have been modest quantities of tea grown in Japan for more than a century, though it’s safe to say that it’s always been more of a curiosity than anything else. As this brief article from O-Cha.net reveals, black tea first began to be grown in Japan in 1874.
Not long after, the Japanese government sent a representative to India to get the lowdown on how to do things right. The results were apparently not that spectacular at first and the black tea grown in Japan was generally thought to be inferior to that from tea-growing regions better known for that sort of thing. Later experiments with Japanese black tea were apparently more successful, though it would never even begin to approach the popularity of the many green varieties grown there.
If you’re keen to try some Japanese black tea, take a look at what Den’s Tea have to offer. It’s a Very Rare Shizuoka Black Tea, as they call it, Shizuoka referring the region of Japan in which it’s grown. It hails from a Japanese tea farm that has been producing the black stuff since the 1950s. Or you could head on over to Yuuki-Cha, where they offer several varieties.
For more on this topic, refer to this 1997 article from the Tea & Coffee Trade Journal.
Don’t miss William’s blog, Tea Guy Speaks!
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