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Seasonal Tea — green tea

2018 Holiday Blend Northern Lights

Doug Palas 2018 green tea

2018 Holiday Blend Northern Lights

Each year I create a special blend to celebrate both winter and the holiday season. This year’s blend, Northern Lights, was inspired by flavors that remind me of cold, winter nights. The Kilogram holiday teas from the past two years were a black tea blend and herbal blend. This year I decided to use a green tea, but I wanted to take my favorite element from the past two years, which was a baking spice note, and build upon it. But rather than pairing it with sweet flavors like years past, I chose a savory, pan-fired tea from eastern China...

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2018 Early Spring Green Needles

Doug Palas 2018 China earlyspring green tea Hubei mingqian

2018 Early Spring Green Needles

China celebrates the Qing Ming festival on April 5th to honor the passing of friends and relatives. For tea growers it represents the deadline for the first harvest of the year. Tea harvested before April 5th is called Ming Qian or Pre-Qing Ming tea. Kilogram designates the earliest harvested tea as “Early Spring” since some tea won’t make the April 5th harvest deadline, but will still have the Ming Qian quality.Harvesting early is important for several reasons- tea plants are harvested several times a year, but allowing the leaves a long layoff during the winter will create healthy, nutrient-rich and...

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Yame Matcha

Doug Palas green tea Japan matcha

Yame Matcha

Yame, located in western Fukuoka Prefecture, is one of the oldest tea producing regions in Japan. It is renowned for its tea famous shaded green teas. The micro-climate there is perfect for kabuse sencha, gyokuro, and matcha. And its small-scale production is conducive to quality. Matcha was brought from China to Japan nearly 1000 years ago where it has been adopted and perfected. Quality is determined by the following factors -  when it was harvested, which cultivars were used, how it was processed, how it was ground, and the color. Ideally the matcha was harvested during the first harvest of...

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Japanese Green Tea Part 2

Doug Palas green tea Japan kagoshima matcha sencha

Japanese Green Tea Part 2

Similar to Part 1, this guide is intended to be an overview focusing on growing regions, a small list of popular cultivars, and harvest seasons for Japanese green tea. Notable Tea Producing Regions Tea is mostly grown throughout southern and central Japan. In the north the climate is too cold to produce great tea. Uji- Located in the Kyoto prefecture, Uji is the most historically significant growing region in Japan. This is the prefecture where tea originally landed when it came from China to Japan. It is the birthplace of such styles as Gyokuro and Matcha but also produces excellent quality...

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Japanese Green Tea Part 1

Doug Palas green tea Japan kagoshima matcha sencha

Japanese Green Tea Part 1

This is the first of two posts outlining Japanese green tea. It is not intended to be a complete guide to every type of style, cultivar, or growing region, but a general reference explaining the relationships between the different aspects of tea grown in Japan. Part 1 addresses history, and the different styles of Japanese green tea, while Part 2 looks at cultivars, producing regions, and harvest seasons. History Tea was originally believed to have been brought to Japan from China around 590 AD.  It was in 1191 however that tea really rooted itself in Japan when a Buddhist monk...

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