WHAT IS KABUSECHA ?
Kabusecha means “covered tea”, referring to its production process that is quite similar to gyokuro. As a matter of fact, kabusecha is right between gyokuro and sencha, and combines the flavors and tastes of those two kinds of tea. If you enjoy the refreshing flavor of sencha and the sweet and umami taste of gyokuro, you will definitely appreciate kabusecha. Actually, it is the degree of umami that makes the actual difference between the three kinds of tea:
gyokuro is the one with the highest level, followed by kabusecha and finally sencha. For making kabusecha, young tea leaves are shaded but for a shorter time (up to 10 days, and not 21 like for gyokuro), and the shading percentage is lower, with only 50%, as opposed to 70-90% for gyokuro.
Kabusecha is a delicious and fine tea but quite rare as it represents less than 5% of the total production of green tea in Japan. Tea producers that grow gyokuro also usually make kabusecha, and therefore it is not surprising to see that in Kyushu, a lot of kabusecha comes from Yame area.