Tea Culture,  Tea Reviews

A Glance at Japan’s Black Tea Culture Hidden Potential Through the Lens of Our Wakoucha Mariko

Yes, it is true. There is a culture of making black tea in Japan. It’s kind of natural, if you think about it. Not only does the Japanese tea scene mostly consist of green tea, but people do not always want to drink green tea. Tea producers might also want to experiment with different styles of tea production, learning to master the natural processes of picking, oxidation, “fixing” the leaves, etc.

The Wakoucha Mariko is a beautiful tea. This video cannot convey the experience of brewing the tea, smelling the leaves, pouring and almost glowing amber-red brew. It is remarkably sweet, especially given the size and shape of the leaves. A lot of black teas around the world, particularly Indian black teas, can carry a strong astringency and bitterness. I think this is partially because these teas are produced with the expectation that the brewed cup of tea will be combined with spices, milk and sugar like in the case with masala chai.

The Wakoucha Mariko, however, does not require sugar or milk at all. Most teas with smaller leaves or leaves cut/broken tend to brew a lot faster, having more of a bitter taste and astringent mouth feel. This isn’t really the case with this tea. While this tea can definitely be over steeped, it retains its sweet character though it can develop some astringency if brewed for too long.

We’ve noticed at the office that this tea in particular has quite a calming aroma, flavor, and body feel. Den, the owner of the company, has also said something similar about this tea: “This tea has brought me many calm times and made me imagine that ‘If there was black tea in Japan 1000 years ago, it would be used for Zen training by Buddhist monks like Matcha.”

We hope you get a chance to check out this tea and feel the calming effects yourself. This tea will not be available forever so we hope you have a chance to pick some up. Follow our instagram and tiktok for more content like this and feel free to subscribe to our newsletter by entering your email address in the designated area at the bottom of any page of our website.