Smoke Whisky Barrel "Wakocha"
- Type: Smoke black tea
- Origin: Shimada, Shizuoka, Japan
- Cultivar: Yabukita
- Flavours: Smoked paprika / smoked cherry wood / savoury
- Full body
A unique style of tea invented by Mr. Hiroki Matsumoto and inspired by the traditional Lapsang Souchong. The leaves were smoked with wood chips from a Ichiro distillery whisky barrel, creating a very distinct, smoky and peated taste. This tea offers a comforting and warm feeling with a rich hint of whisky fragrance.
Once harvested the fresh leaves submit to a withering of 20 hours, are rolled to break down the cell structure and to realise the enzyme that promotes oxidation and then dried before being slowly smoked for between 6 and 8 hours.
Matsumoto farm is a small family tea garden, run by Hiroki (Son) with his sister, mother and father. They not only focus on producing high quality and different tea, they are also concerned about the environment promoting pesticide-free agriculture and Chagusaba farming.
The idea to create this Japanese smoke tea came to Hiroki when he started to take over the family business around 15 years ago. He wanted to develop something different and not like other teas mixed with flavours and decided to take inspiration from the famous Chinese Lapsang Souchong. After many years and trials, he decided to use whisky barrel chips to smoke the tea and to bring a rich, aromatic incense. Following this success, the family also created a range of other teas smoked with different styles of chips, such as cypress, yuzu and sakura woods all sourced in Japan.
What is Chagusaba farming? The Chagusaba farming method is a traditional agricultural technique. Grassland is grown around the tea field and supply mulch for the tea shrubs. The grass is cut down, hung to dry and spread over the furrows on the tea field bringing extra nutrients to the soil.