Advent Tea Calendar Day 12
Origin: Japan, Toyama Prefecture, Asahi
Product Description: Batabatacha is a tea that has long been loved by the people in the town of Asahimachi Birudan of Toyama Prefecture. It is a fermented tea quite similar to pu-erh tea.
Early August is the harvesting season for tea leaves used in making batabatacha. Tea leaves are steamed in a pan until the color becomes yellowish-brown. Steaming process stops the function of enzymes. After drying the tea for half-day, it is placed in a wooden box for fermentation. The last step is to take the tea out from the box and fully dry it under the sun.
In this particular region of Toyama Prefecture, batabatacha is served at various events such as a gathering for ancestor's commemoration or when introducing the bride after the wedding ceremony. As a type of 'tea party' held among family, close relatives and friends, the serving of this tea is ceremonial, but casual at the same time. Brewed tea is poured in a tea bowl to be whisked until it creates a foam. People in the town also drink unwhisked batabatacha with their everyday meal.
Temperature: 208° F
Amount: 3 grams
Steeping Time: 5-10 minutes
The dry leaves have an aroma of dry wood and boiled rice.
The infusion is golden peach in color with a dusty, earthy, nut shell-like aroma. The taste is earthy with notes of nut shells.
Steeping for 5 minutes and for 10 minutes produced similar results. I also prepared this traditionally by boiling 3 grams of tea leaves in 500 ml water for 10 minutes, then whisking for 2 to 3 minutes. The resulting froth brought out a pleasantly creamy texture and mellow taste.