A tea with an excellent green character. Hmm. A Japanese style Sencha made in China? Yes - and an extremely good one at that, with a deep emerald leaf, bright liquor and full bodied, grassy cup lightly touched with round notes of honey and sweet butter. Still, the Japanese tea purists amongst you may ask - a premium Japanese tea from China? It’s not as odd as it sounds. Now, before you go away thinking that something doesn’t sound right with this picture, or that this tea couldn’t possibly be as enjoyable as a Sencha from Japan, consider the following:Japan’s tea roots are in China.Tea was introduced to Japan by the Chinese many hundreds of years ago. Travelling Japanese monks, studying Buddhism in China, brought home tea customs that would later evolve into the Japanese tea ceremony, tea seeds and production methods. Interestingly, the Sencha process during which the freshly plucked leaf is steamed was actually developed in China. (Thousands of years ago too, so they’ve had practice!)Globalization has opened the playing field.Think of the world of wine. There was a time when Cabernet Sauvignon was made only by French winemakers, Sangiovese only by Italians and Riesling by Germans. But as populations have moved around the world and set up shop in various corners, premium offerings of French, German and Italian wines are now grown everywhere from Australia to Argentina. So it is with tea - premium Senchas can now be found in China, Oolongs in India, White teas in Africa and so on.Our Hunnan grown Akita Super Sencha, while different in character from a Shizuoka grown Sencha, is nonetheless a fabulous tea. In recent years our supplier has become something of a master of steamed Sencha production. One large difference is that where Japan’s famed gardens pluck many Senchas by machine, in Hunnan they are still plucked the old fashioned way, by hand. Each leaf is carefully selected for color, breadth and length to ensure an even grading. A testament to our supplier’s craft is the fine waxy appearance of the finished leaf. Akita Super Sencha is a stunning tea, worthy of carrying its Japanese name.