2011/05/06

Goishi-cha

There is a wide variety of Japanese tea including Matcha, Sencha, Hojicha, Genmaicha, Kukicha, Mecha etc. Bancha is also one of them and often translated into coarse tea, but I would like to call it “local tea”, because the definition of Bancha varies from region to region.

Here is one example of Bancha known as “Goishi-cha”, a kind of the post-heating fermented tea produced in a town in the mountains of Kochi prefecture.
sun drying
The rough method of production is this;

1) tea-picking
2) steaming
3) fermenting
4) pickling
5) cutting into square shapes
6) sun drying
7) packing in straw bags

What does "goishi" means?
It refers to black or white stones used for a Japanese board game. The tea is named after the game since the tea need to be laid out on a straw mat neatly to be dried in the sun as if those stones are done on a game board.

How do we drink, then?
Tea is extract by being boiled in a kettle rather than infused. Actually, the tea has a distinct sour flavor, so it is often used for tea porridge, too.
Goishi-cha

Since a great deal of time and labor to produce is required, the number of the tea farmers dropped drastically. But, thanks to the further study for the benefit of the tea, it comes to gain more attention again. Goishi-cha is really rare. I hope this tea will keep alive.