MATCHA SONOGI | ceremonial - 60g

"Making tea to connect people, and soften their hearts."

This is the motto of the producers behind MATCHA SONOGI, a blended matcha from a cooperative of six tea farmers overlooking Ōmura Bay in Higashisonogi, Nagasaki prefecture, Japan. The matcha is one cultivar—yabukita, the gold standard in matcha production—but from six different lots of yabukita tea plants, all planted, tended, plucked, and processed with the distinct styling of each farmer. The matcha is shaded 21 days and stone-milled on-site, per "ceremonial" standards (a mostly arbitrary designation). 

This lot both defies and embraces an old norm in matcha production—that matcha is made of tencha from multiple farms, then finished and blended by skilled producers at regional milling factories. MATCHA SONOGI is indeed blended from multiple lots of tencha; but the farmers share a plot of land and produce their teas from start to finish on-site, collaborating on the cultivation, shading, harvest, and processing from planting to finished tea. Each producer approaches their tencha with a unique perspective on tea making. The result is a wholly unique "single-origin" matcha.

Spanning 400 hectares, Sonogi tea cooperative was designed for optimal sun exposure. The slopes of tea trees access extended sunlight, a boon to both their shade-grown teas (making for umami-rich tencha, the precursor to matcha), and their sun-grown productions, like mushisei tamaryokucha—"steamed coiled tea" (also known as guricha—"curly tea"). The farm is not certified organic. A proprietary fermented fertilizer made from the byproducts of fish caught in the bay just beneath the plateau prevent official certification (wild-caught fish can't be organic).

MATCHA SONOGI is the highest output of: Shinya Fukuda (a soba-loving manga enthusiast), Yoshitaka Ohyama (a 7" LP collector), Kosuke Nakayama (a lifetime angler), Kazuhiko Onoue (also a fisherman), Shingo Ohba (a finger-style guitar player), and Koichi Tozaka (a fourth generation producer). We're honored to showcase their combined mastery. Expect prominent sweetness and round umami. 


notes —
 mizuna | anko | brothy

nomenclature — Sonogi (彼杵)

style — shaded 21 days & stone-milled

cultivar — yabukita

region — Higashisonogi, Nagasaki, Japan

locale — Sonogi tea cooperative

producer — [see above]

vintage — spring '20

STEEPING PARAMETERS

(use freshly boiled spring water)

usucha – thin tea

2 grams | 3.4 oz (100 ml) | 170ºF (77ºC) | whisk to froth

koicha – thick tea

4 grams | 1.3 oz (40 ml) | 170ºF (77ºC) | whisk to paste

iced latte (12 oz)

2.5 grams | 1.3 oz (40 ml) | 170ºF (77ºC)
whisk to espresso consistency, pour over ice (100 g) with milk (200 ml)

hot latte (12 oz)

2.5 grams | 1.3 oz (40 ml) | 170ºF (77ºC)
whisk to espresso consistency, top with steamed milk (300 ml)