What is Japanese Black Tea?

Posted by Will R at

Japan tea tour

This month’s tea club includes a tea we named Mt. Fuji Noir. It’s a Japanese black tea which is very unusual to find in Japan, much less in the US. Last year Amy discovered this tea on a tea tour of Japan that started in Tokyo and ended on the island of Kyushu.

As you can imagine, the tour members taste tested many types of green tea including sencha, gyokuro, genmaicha, and matcha all day, every day.  Partway through the tour, one of Japanese tea companies served a black tea to the group. Everyone tasted the tea, smiled and quickly finished the cup of tea. The Japanese host explained the black tea was an experiment to see if they could make a black tea from a cultivar of tea plant normally used for green tea (camellia sinensis sinensis).

Japanese black tea

We hope you’ll agree that the experiment was a success! This tea has a mild sweetness with a light berry aroma and taste. Because it’s made from the sinensis variety instead of the assamica variety, it’s a delicate tea and we recommend using 195 degree water instead of boiling water. Also, it has some small particles which escape most tea filters so you may want to transfer the steeped tea to a new mug leaving the small pieces behind because they will continue to steep and the tea becomes stronger. You can also shake the dry tea in a dry filter to remove the smaller pieces before steeping.

Additionally, Mt. Fuji Noir makes a delicious cold brew, and you can dress is up with raspberries or other fruit pieces. Happy sipping!

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