The Umami Story
Japan is one of the oldest tea growing regions in the world along with China. Here at its origin in Eastern Asia, mainly green tea is consumed. Japan is the only tea growing country in the world which solely produces green tea. This is very unique among all tea growing countries and leads to the production of the highest quality green teas. Characteristics of Japanese green tea is its fresh, intense, green flavor which is recognized more and more as the genuine tea flavor and thus appreciated by tea experts and enthusiasts.
Five senses and the fifth taste.
We drink tea with all five senses.
Look - the color of the tea leaf and the cup.
Listen - the boiling of the water, the breathing of the tea while it is steeped, the gurgling of the tea pot when we pour the tea into a cup.
Smell - the tea leaf, the steeped tea leaf and the tea itself give a unique flavor.
Touch - tea experts hold the tea in their hand to feel if it is hard, soft, rough or silky.
Taste - the central activity that remains is the flavor. In order to taste tea properly, the tea tasters are trained for decades. However, tea fans can learn the principles of the art of tea tasting quickly.
High quality Japanese Teas now can be recognized by a further taste: the fifth taste (besides sweet, salty, sour and bitter) we have which is called "Umami." Umami is Japanese meaning "pleasant taste." Umami is the pleasant taste coming from the amino acids in the tea. The higher the quality of the Japanese Tea the richer it is in amino acid content. Make one bowl of Ceremonial grade Matcha with low temperature water (60 to 70 degrees Celsius) or let a high-quality Japanese Tea (Gyokuro) steep at low temperatures (50-60 degrees Celsius) for about 3 minutes. The full-sweet taste you feel on your tongue is Umami.