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Moriuchi Collection


Regular price $39.00
Moriuchi Collection
Moriuchi Collection
Moriuchi Collection
Moriuchi Collection
Moriuchi Collection
Moriuchi Collection
Moriuchi Collection
Moriuchi Collection
Moriuchi Collection
Moriuchi Collection
Moriuchi Collection
Moriuchi Collection
Moriuchi Collection
Moriuchi Collection

The husband and wife team of Yoshio and Masumi Moriuchi work in tea fields between Uchiamki and Miwa village. They are a living example of a fading, varietal tea culture; each parcel of their gardens was deliberately selected for its suitability to the cultivar planted in them. Each tea bush is free-seeded and not planted in commodity method. Only a natural, homemade fertilizer blend is employed. During early spring, Mr. Moriuchi will select the deliberate few days to pick shincha by hand, varying from plant to plant. In 2021 it was a particularly early first harvest. In these early days, new growth is a brilliant, light green color, soft to the touch, thin and delicate. The plants are cultivated in the free-seeded shizen jitate style (自然仕立て). Tea trees grow naturally and upright, which puts machine harvesting out of the question. Hand harvesting, virtually extinct as a business practice in Japan, comes at an opportunity cost of at least 60%. Each batch of tea leaves is lightly steamed and then hand rolled over the course of hours, to further soften the delicate leaves, and ultimately shape them. Because of the high cost of pickers, and a yield that is ultimately less than half of commercial cultivation, the Moriuchis select a very limited number of buyers they work with each year. Though we spent time with them in 2019, the pandemic meant we were unable to return the next year. This year, we were lucky to have our bid approved and are honored to support the cause of truly handmade tea. If you visit, the couple host guests for tea and guided tastings at their 150-year-old tea house at the base of the hills.

This especially excellent tea comes with an airtight ceramic jar, a special edition label, and steeping instructions inside a lovely gift box.


Saemidori

‘Saemidori’, an early-budding variety whose name translates to “lucid green,” is affectionately dubbed “Queen of Cultivars” by local makers. Tasting the Moriuchi production, it is not difficult to see why. Lauded for its structure and elegance, the sunbathed, mineral rich slopes of Uchimaki allow the warm-weather cultivar to thrive. Mr. Moriuchi’s shizen jitate
自然仕立てcultivation style allows the bushes to gain some heartiness, particularly where frost and strong winds (young bushes require a windbreak) pose a distinct threat. Saemidori was harvested during an unusual warm snap—followed by weeks of cold (the gap between harvest dates) Bright and clean with low astringency and distinct aroma, the Saemidori is an excellent window into the Moriuchis’ theaculture. Notes of dill, lemon meringue and broccolini.

Region: Uchimaki, Shizuoka, Japan
Steaming: 10s. (Asamushi)
Variety: Saemidori
Harvest Date: April 8, 2021
Producer: Yoshio and Masumi Moriuchi
Brewing Recommendation:

Two steeps. Combined, or enjoyed individually.

5g tea | 170ml | 170F | 1 minute 15 seconds (1st steep)

| 170ml | 170F | 15 seconds (2nd steep)


Dream of Suruga

The Dream of Suruga is a poetic homage to the antiquated name for Shizuoka. The tea is a first harvest shincha. ‘Yume Suruga’ was crossed in the eighties from ‘Yabukita’ and the soft-leaved, Gyokuro variety ‘Okuhikari’. It was selected for its color and an enticing natural sweetness and officially registered in 2012. Touting mouth watering umami and savoriness, with melt-in-mouth texture, this is a full-flavor experience and testament to expert soil management of the Moriuchis. Tea trees grow naturally and upright, which puts machine harvesting out of the question. Hand harvesting, virtually extinct in Japan, comes at an opportunity cost of at least 60% loss in yield but to those classicists of Shizuoka, its a risk well-worth taking. Notes of sweet corn, baby asparagus, and nori.

Region: Uchimaki, Shizuoka, Japan
Steaming: 30s (Chiyomushi)
Variety: Yume Suruga
Harvest Date: May 2, 2021
Producer: Yoshio and Masumi Moriuchi
Brewing Recommendation:

Two steeps. Combined, or enjoyed individually.

5g tea | 170ml | 170F | 1 minute 15 seconds (1st steep)

| 170ml | 170F | 15 seconds (2nd steep)

Four Seasons of Spring

The Si Ji Chun cultivar, traditionally dedicated to oolong production, finds new life in the slopes around the Abe river. Unlike most fibrous late-harvests of Si Ji Chun oolong in Taiwan, these tender first-harvest leaves undergo a very careful hand-rolling to maintain integrity. The Moriuchis, in the spirit of international tea cooperation, hosted a delegation from Taiwan some years ago, who brought these seeds with them. In addition, the husband and wife team produces a rolled Bao Zhong oolong from the Koushun cultivar. Both teas are new craft representations and testament to the beauty of cross-cultural tea dialogue. Four Seasons is light-bodied, sweet and heady with floral notes, bearing an uncanny resemblance to the Taiwanese oolong whose genotype it shares—a must-taste for a cross-cultural tea enthusiast. Notes of gardenia, milk fruit, and edamame.

Region: Uchimaki, Shizuoka, Japan
Steaming Profile: 45s (Chiyomushi)
Variety: Si Ji Chun
Harvest Date: May 2, 2021
Producer: Yoshio and Masumi Moriuchi
Brewing Recommendation:

Two steeps. Combined, or enjoyed individually.

5g tea | 170ml | 170F | 1 minute 15 seconds (1st steep)

| 170ml | 170F | 15 seconds (2nd steep)


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