MARIMO tea - Manufacture, Import & Wholesale

MIYAZAKI PREFECTURE, KYUSHU: MORIMOTO FAMILY'S ORGANIC TEA GARDEN

The organic tea garden of the Morimoto family is located on the southernmost of the four main islands of Japan, not far away from the town Miyazaki, in the prefecture of the same name.

The history of Morimoto green tea began, when a young couple founded their little enterprise with only one small tea garden. Over the years, while the Morimotos developed into a perfect team, their experience in tea cultivation and the size of their little business grew further. Nowadays they farm twelvesmall tea parcels, while they have built their own production hall, which they mostly manage on their own. Sometimes, during the harvesting period other tea pickers who are friends of the Morimotos, help them, and sometimes also both their daughters.

One of the many characteristics of the Morimotos is the cultivation of seven varieties of tea bushes: Yabukita, Kanaya Midori, Oku Midori, Oku Yutaka, Minami Sayaka, Saki Midori, and additionally the Assamica hybrid Benifuki. This many varieties of tea bushes and newly one further variation, which in some years will perhaps be the basis for a totally new culture of tea bushes, is the fundament of blending tea leaves of the different bushes, in order to allow different nuances of flavor of the sorts of tea, which are finally drunk.

Furthermore, the many different varieties of tea bushes demonstrate a concept, which is very representative for the Morimotos: Apart from the different nuances of flavour, they also show different characteristics in how they react to climatic conditions and to pests like insects. In case that one variety is suffering in one year due to any reason, this does not mean that also other variations also suffer damage, and therefore it does not mean the whole harvest will be damaged. The many different varieties are also a symbol of the Morimotos' preference of diversity.

The fact that the Morimotos think about such things like diversity is not untypical for Japanese organic farmers. This is very reasonable, since they are not producing organic tea, because they hope for higher profit or for getting better market opportunities, but because they consider it to be a precious goal, to produce natural tea in an environment, which is characterized by ecological balance.

Read more about Haruyo and Shigeru Morimoto, their philosophy, tea garden and history of their company on http://www.morimoto.marimo.eu/en.html

LEAF GREEN TEAS FROM THE MORIMOTOS - all Morimoto tea sorts are produced and certified organic

TOKUJOU KABUSECHA (organic)

At the end of April the leaves for Tokujou Kabusecha are harvested and gently processed on the Morimoto’s own sites. The leaves stem from the varieties Oku Midori, Yabukita and Minami Sayaka which had been covered with dark nets for about two weeks before the harvest. Through shading, tea plants develop intensive sweetness and strong umami. Tokujou Kabusecha has relatively high caffeine content, due to the use of very fine leaves and leaf buds.

MORIMOTO SENCHA (organic)

MINAMI SAYAKA

Fine leaves and few leaf stalks of the tea varieties Oku Midori, Kanaya Midori and Minami Sayaka, harvested in early June, are the basis for this fine tea. The Oku Midori leaves, which are the main ingredients of this tea, ensure the tender and smooth base character, the Minami Sayaka part is responsible for the sweet fragrance and the vibrant green colour and the Kanaya Midori part creates the depth in flavour.

MORIMOTO MIZUDASHI SENCHA (organic)

Light and fine tea leaves of the Miyazaki Tokujou Sencha (1st harvest) were sorted out under air circulation. This delicate tea mainly consists of leaves from the tea bush varieties Oku Midori, Minami Sayaka and Yabukita. Prepared with cold water the fine leaves unfold their flavour and give a wonderfully green, refreshing infusion. It is an ideal choice for hot summer days. When brewed with warm water it produces nicely sweet and full-bodied infusions.

MORIMOTO HOUJICHA (organic)

Big leaves from the summer harvest and some smaller leaf stalks are roasted gently for this unique Houjicha. Morimoto Houjicha combines fine shades of roasting flavour with the somewhat rough taste of vibrant green tea. During the roasting the small leaf stalks absorb some of the heat whereas the leaves are allowed to stay green as they are only roasted slightly. This tea convinces through the subtle touch of caramel in its taste.

MORIMOTO KABUSECHA (organic)

Morimoto Kabusecha consists of the leaves from shaded Oku Midori and Minami Sayaka bushes from a tea garden very close to the house where Morimoto family lives. This full bodied tea unifies fresh taste and elegant power.

MORIMOTO KUKICHA (organic)

Morimoto Kukicha is a very flowery stem tea from the first harvest in April. After processing the bigger stems are separated from the Tokujou Sencha. In comparison with Morimoto Shiraore which is very fine and consists of leaf buds and flat stems, the Kukicha is more of bigger leaves and round stems. One great benefit of this tea is that it is very easy to brew. The taste is very smooth with a nice sweetness backgrounding the green freshness.

MORIMOTO SHINCHA (organic)

Morimoto Shincha is a blend of the two tea bush varieties Yutaka Midori and Saki Midori. Both varieties begin to grow very early and can truly be called carriers of spring freshness. The milder Yutaka Midori makes the tea balanced; the rather vibrant Saki Midori adds the necessary amount of spice. This results altogether in a fresh, gentle, but aromatic tea with outstanding sweetness and balance.

MORIMOTO SHIRAORE (organic)

1st harvest

Remarkably elegant first harvest tea: the finest leaf buds, delicate young leaves and few flat, finely assorted leaf stalks – very rich and freshly sweet – a true rarity! This tea mainly consists of leaves from the varieties Oku Midori, Yabukita and Minami Sayaka. Prepared with cold water (mizudashi), the Shiraore also unfolds its wonderful flavour.

MIYAZAKI YANAGICHA (organic)

[MIYAZAKI BANCHA]

The somewhat bigger leaves and freshly regrown buds are harvested in early May in the so called after-crop for this May bancha, shortly after the first harvest of finer leaves for the Miyazaki Tokujou Sencha. The somewhat thicker leaves, which are not rolled to needles, but folded flat, are especially high-yielding. After harvesting, the tea leaves lay one night to wither under cool wind flow. The Morimoto family's Yanagicha is distinguished by its floral fragrance and its typical strong bancha flavour, which increases in strength with every infusion (up to 5 are readily possible). The later infusions almost remind one of Oolong, even though this tea was not fermented.

MORIMOTO TOKUJOU SENCHA (organic)

Morimoto Tokujou Sencha is the best Sencha the Morimoto’s produce. In the course of this, we benefit from their abundant experience in cultivating, processing and arranging this uniquely fine tea. The leaves for the Morimoto Tokujou Sencha are harvested in late April and processed gently in the Morimoto's own sites. The fine leaves mainly come from the bush varieties Yabukita, Minami Sayaka and Oku Midori. The tea impresses through its full-bodied flavour, the infusion is vibrant green and it smells gently sweet.

MORIMOTO SENCHA (organic)

OKUMIDORI

Fine leaves and few leaf stalks of the varieties Oku Midori and Oku Yutaka, harvested in June and August, are the basis for this fine everyday-tea. The few leaf stalks, which are mixed with the leaves, are conductive to the flavour of this tea. After the June harvest, the Morimoto family cuts their tea bushes down completely. This makes the leaves, harvested in August, somewhat thinner and less bitter, as in teagardens which do not cut their bushes down in June.

MORIMOTO SENCHA WITH MATCHA (organic)

Fine leaves of the varieties Oku Midori, Kanaya Midori and Minami Sayaka, harvested in early June, are the basis for this refined tea. Fine powder tea (Morimoto Matcha), which was produced from the Morimoto tea garden's harvest of April, is mixed with the leaves. This tea's specialty is its wide range of flavours. The sweet taste of matcha prevails during the first infusion, but fades gradually into the background, while the sencha's almost flowerlike sweetness begins to step forward.

GO EN (organic)

TOKUJOU KABUSE TAMARYOKUCHA

The taste experience of GO EN recalls a brilliant, sweet Gyokuro. Because it shares a major characteristic with Gyokuro (the tea bushes were shaded strongly before plucking), the taste similarities are not so surprising. However, GO EN shows up with an additional nuance, a unique aspect which is different from today’s Gyokuro. These soft and round taste notes result from a rare production method using a bamboo-fitted machine. This old-fashioned machine is also where this precious leaves are curled. For more information:

http://www.video.marimo.eu/kabuse-tamaryokucha-go-en-2014.html

MATCHA - POWDER GREEN TEAS FROM THE MORIMOTOS - all Morimoto tea sorts are produced and certified organic

MORIMOTO MATCHA GYOKUJOU (organic)

Only the most delicate leaves of the tea bush variety Oku Midori are ground gently into a fine powder. Before this, the tea bushes are shaded for about two till three weeks with black nets (kabuse). Haruyo and Shigeru Morimoto chose this bush variety for this elegant matcha because of the Oku Midori’s depth in flavour with a pleasant and delicate umami and because of its fine sweetness. The shading supports all these characteristics.

Compared to the Morimoto Premium Matcha Minami Sayaka, which can be found above, this tea is even more full-bodied and also deeper and in that sense classical.

Even though this tea was ground on a ceramic mill and not on granite, its texture is very fine. This is due to the top-class leaves that are only used for this matcha.

MORIMOTO PREMIUM MATCHA

MINAMI SAYAKA (organic)

After being covered with black nets for two weeks preceding the harvest, only the very fine leaves of the tea bush variety Minami Sayaka were gently ground into a fine powder. Haruyo und Shigeru Morimoto have chosen this variety for their special Matcha because of its intensive green colour, floral fragrance und fine sweetness. These characteristics of the Minami Sayaka emerge even more due to the long shading.

An elegant and exceptional tea, that enchants with its finely flowery fragrance.

MORIMOTO MATCHA (organic)

The Morimotos’ best Sencha, Miyazaki Tokujou Sencha, is gently ground into a fine powder on a ceramic mill. The powdered tea that is produced this way is vibrantly green in colour and very balanced in taste. Just mix it with cold water or prepare it as a milk shake. But using warm water also produces an outstanding and vibrant green tea.

MORIMOTO MATCHA

KABUSE 2 PREMIUM (organic)

For this sort of Matcha, the Morimotos chose the tea bush varieties Oku Midori, Oku Yutaka and Minami Sayaka. Thanks to the Shading (Kabuse) and the very careful grinding, this matcha is surprisingly fine and bright green, even though the leaves were taken from the second flush harvest.

Morimoto Matcha Kabuse 2 Premium is a quality of powdered tea, which is suited for green tea pastries, cocktails, shakes and other food products on connoisseur level, but can also be recommended for pure consumption. Just like the simpler grade (see above), it has a very good cost-benefit ratio.

KAFUN CATECHIN TEA (organic)

Powdered tea made from leaves of the tea bush variety benifuuki. Benifuuki is the only plant, which contains a remarkable concentration of methylated EGCG. Furthermore it also contains high concentrations of other catechins, which is the cause for an, in comparison to the other teas, quite strong taste.

Results of a compound analysis can be found on the backside of the packaging. We analyze this tea every year, so there is always the corresponding analysis on the packaging. The already very high concentration of catechins seems to increase with the age of the tea bushes. This can be observed over the years by storing the backside labels of this tea.

As a rule of thumb: the stronger the taste of a tea, the higher the concentration of catechins. As tea plants only produce catechins during the exposure to sun, benifuuki bushes are never shaded for the Kafun Catechin Tea. The Morimotos only harvest their benifuuki bushes, when the sun has shined for three days straight. If there is one cloudy days, the harvest gets postponed. They do this in order to guarantee the extraordinary high concentration of catechins.

Since not only the infusion is ingested, but also the powder, which has highly dispersed in water, all ingredients of the tea leaf can be ingested.

Haruyo makes fantastic MORIMOTO MATCHA shakes. MARIMO took this video in April 2012 in Miyazaki Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan, in the organic green tea garden of the Morimotos, together with all 4 generations of the Morimoto family.