Tea Reviews

Japanese Culture and Fermented Tea: Looking at our Organic Mori-machi Dark Tea

A Japanese fermented tea. Yes, there is a culture in Japan of fermenting teas. There are many cultures around the world that have been fermenting teas, especially in China. In China, it is known as hēichá (黑茶), literally “black tea”. However, perhaps a little known secret to most of the world is that Japan also has a culture of fermenting teas. It is known there as kurocha.

Japanese dark tea is unique in the way some of the fermented teas are produced. Our Organic Mori-machi Dark Tea, for example, uses kuro koji to ferment the leaves. This gives the tea a slightly sour note that is common in some Chinese dark teas but doesn’t really come out in the same way as they do in the koji-fermented dark teas. With Chinese shóu pǔ’ěr, for example, there isn’t any additional bacteria that is added to the leaves to cause them to ferment as Aspergillus spp. and other microflora are already present in the fermentation process.

The color of the brewed Mori-machi is also slightly different than most other dark teas. Especially with Chinese shou pu’er, the color can vary from a dark amber red color to jet black With the Mori-machi, the darkest color you’ll get out of it is more of a brownish-red, still transparent, if not more of a orange-red. The flavor is incredibly smooth and some might say it is more approachable in flavor than a strong sencha of fukamushi-sencha, though you wouldn’t want to brew it too strongly on an empty stomach. Really, this goes for most teas and especially green teas and shēng pǔ’ěr.

So far as pairing the tea with food, the Mori-machi seems to pair really nicely with cashews. Dark tea has traditionally been paired with really oily, rich foods as the tea does a great job at balancing them. In fact, the fermentation process that this tea undergoes produces gallic acid. This gallic acid works with Catechins to unite with bile and to control its activity. Bile emulsifies fat and makes it absorb into your body. Thus Catechin and Gallic acid are thought to work together to block fat deposits into your body.

We hope that you give this unique tea a try. Let us know if you have tried this tea before and what you thought of it by emailing us at info@denstea.com. Follow our instagram and tiktok for more content like this and feel free to subscribe to our newsletter by visiting our website and entering your email in the designated box at the bottom of any page.