Tea leaves from Japanese varietals grown in Australia and processed in the Taiwanese style results in this one-of-a-kind green tea.
Buttery and floral with vegetal, water chestnut and underlying fruity notes
Estate grows Yabukita, Sayama Kaori, Yutakamidori, Meirokyu, Fushin and Okumidori Japanese varietals; tea is a blend from three or more varietals. Leaves are picked using a custom bike harvester with two bicycles supporting a Kawasaki pruner
Withering – Shaking – Steaming – Rolling – Drying
Slight oxidation during withering
This Australian estate pushes the boundaries with tea processing by making a non-Sencha tea from Japanese varietals. This premium tea is harvested in late spring and the flavour profile is more developed.
The liquor aromas heighten the senses with much more than what’s typically expected from a green tea. The smooth flavour starts with buttery floral notes and a hint of vegetal with a lingering finish that’s slightly sweet and fruity. As the tea cools, the liquor unveils more flavours. Is that bamboo? Spinach? Water chestnut? Your palate is enticed and satisfied by the depth of flavour that is sure to lead to multiple infusions of the leaves.
Enhance its Japanese roots by pairing this green tea with a selection of fresh sushi or a bowl of Ramen.
3g per 250 mls (1 cup)
First infusion: rinse leaves with 80C water for 10 seconds and discard water; infuse for 3 minutes at 80C
Additional infusion: gradually increase steeping time for second infusion.
Grower’s brewing tips:
Use 200ml water at 85C – 90C with approx. 5g of tea
Steep for 30 seconds – 1 minute for a light floral infusion
Or steep 2 – 3 minutes for a full buttery flavour
Leaves can be steeped 3 to 5 times
7g (2 tsps) in 100ml Gaiwan
First infusion: rinse leaves with 80C water for 10 seconds and discard water; infuse 20-30 seconds at 80C
Second and third infusions: infuse 20-30 seconds at 80C
Additional infusions: double infusion time with each additional infusion
3g per 250mls (1 cup) of room temperature water
Brew in a tea flask at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Taste as it's brewing and strain the tea when you like the flavours.
Located west of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland in the Bellthorpe Range at 580 metres above sea level Arakai Tea Estate is ideally situated for producing unique and award winning Australian whole leaf teas.
The family owned and operated estate started in 1999 with growing plantation rainforest timbers and expanded in 2004 to include avocado trees. After a couple of years of looking for another crop to complement these harvests, the tea loving Collins family did a lot of research and found that the conditions were perfect for growing tea – climate, rainfall and especially soil pH.
In April 2011 they planted the first lot of 4,720 tea plants that included five Japanese varietals. They’ve expanded each year and today the garden has 11,500 plants in 2.5 acres (1 Ha), which results in 5 km of tea hedges. The rows of tea plants are in a north-south direction and the garden is completely surrounded by wind breaks from the timber plantation.
The sub-tropical climate is ideal as it’s hot, rainy and humid in the growing months, but cold enough for 4-5 months dormancy in the winter. It’s during the dormancy that the flavour develops in the leaves.
Because of Australian Bio-security measures there are very few pests or diseases present in the country, which means no pesticides or fungicides are required and there’s little stress for the plants. The rich volcanic soil (basalt derived) is at 5.5-5.6pH and is the perfect acidity for growing tea. The plants are also fed a mix of organic fertilizers and microbial inoculates to help get nitrogen into the hungry crop.
Harvesting takes place over three days and the leaves are processed for three to four days. Depending on the weather, plants are generally harvested every 5-6 weeks from early spring to mid-autumn and if a harvest goes passed its due date, the volume per row increases dramatically but quality decreases. The goal with their 1Ha tea garden is 1,000kg of dried leaf in a season (5,000kg green leaf) split over five to six harvests.