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  • An enso made with our Zairai matcha powder - the long tail is indicative of the fineness of the particles.
  • A closeup of Zairai matcha powder.
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Northeast Tea House

Old Bush Zarai - 20g Tin

Regular price $60.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $60.00 USD
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Zairai is a catch-all term for tencha grown from seed, rather than cloned cuttings. Nowadays, most matcha you find is from cuttings - that way the farmers can control precisely what cultivars they have in their fields. Growing from seed is more of a genetic toss-up, as the tea bush that grows from will be slightly different than the previous generation. Since most farmers don’t grow from seed anymore, finding Zairai tencha is not only rare, but often a sign of older tea bushes from a bygone era. These bushes, for instance, are at least 60 years old, though the farmer thinks they could date to before WWII. The effects of bush age on matcha quality are not really discussed, since so few have any old bushes in the first place. But, it is generally agreed upon in the rest of the tea world that older tea plants yield more complex tea with more powerful energy. This tencha is very strong, and not the best for beginners. It is bright, somewhat bitter, invigorating, and replete with notes of tropical fruit! Definitely a unique experience. 


This batch of Zairai is perhaps the strongest tasting matcha we’ve offered yet. It has very pronounced top notes, with a slight lime-zest flavor accompanied by notes of banana and other tropical fruits.


Northeast Tea House stone mills fresh matcha daily, on granite matcha mills imported from Japan, and sources tencha - the specially grown tea leaves that become matcha - through a friend who lives in Wazuka Japan and works directly with local growers. Fresh matcha is, without a doubt, the best matcha.