Limited Edition 2021: Contest Grade Asahi Ceremonial Matcha


Limited Edition 2021: Contest Grade Asahi Ceremonial Matcha

FREE FAST 3-Day Delivery on orders over $29!

*Extremely Limited Quantity*


Our Tea Master, Shimooka-san, maintains a select few fields for Japan’s storied tea contests. The Asahi cultivar, though rare, is often chosen for these competitions for its verdant color and delicate flavor. This year’s entry was shaded for an astounding 41 days, hand-picked in May 2021,  then stone milled in June 2021.

"Asahi features a unique mellow flavor and a soft mouthfeel peculiar to hand-picking. We are planning to exhibit this year's offering at the Kansai Tea Fair & National Tea Exhibition Fair. The judge will asses the entries based on appearance, water color, shell color, aroma, and taste."

Why is this offering so rare?

  • Contest Grade: Japanese tea competitions are held several times a year and are the lifeblood of the tea industry; bringing together hundreds of renowned tea masters and farmers, like Shimooka-san, where thousands of tea offerings are judged on the criteria of appearance of the tea leaves (tencha), aroma, color, texture, and flavor. It is rare to find contest grade offerings outside of tea competitions held in Japan. We are deeply honored to share an extremely limited amount of this top-tier, contest grade matcha with you.
  • Cultivar: The cultivar Asahi is typically reserved as a high-end cultivar, making it virtually impossible to find at a fair price within the United States. We are proud of the relationship we have nurtured with our Tea Master Shimooka-san who reserved a limited amount of this special offering for us.
  • Shading: Tea leaves cultivated for matcha are traditionally shaded for a period of 25-30 days, this offering was shaded for an astounding 41 days to deepen the aroma. Before tea leaves are harvested and processed into matcha, it is shaded from sunlight to encourage the tea leaves to produce more chlorophyll. This method produces higher levels of L-theanine, inviting more sweetness and a richer umami, while reducing the levels of catechins which are responsible for the bitter notes sometimes present in matcha. 
  • Shincha Matcha: This offering is considered shincha (translating to “new tea”) matcha, which refers to the first tea harvest of the year. Traditionally, tencha leaves are cold-aged for a period of months (sometimes years) before it is stone ground into matcha. The maturation period allows the tencha to develop a more complex and nuanced flavor profile. While it is common for tea farmers to release shincha offerings for other categories of Japanese tea (like sencha), it is still a relatively new concept to craft shincha matcha. With his shincha offering, Shimooka-san is showcasing the bright, fresh aroma of this year’s harvest while highlighting the refreshing, delicate notes that are worth appreciating. 

Kyugoro Shimooka, Jade Leaf Tea Master
Meet Shimooka-san >

Ujitawara, Kyoto, Japan

Harvest Date:
Hand-picked May 12, 2021 (41 days shaded)

Grind Date:
Stone Ground June 2021

Single Cultivar:
Asahi, Contest Grade

Tasting Notes:
Buttered spinach, ripe mandarin, roasted macadamia, refreshing umami with a long, velvety finish

Learn more about our Limited Edition Collection >

Preparation Guidelines

Traditional Preparation - Usucha (Thin Tea)

Traditional Preparation - Koicha (Thick Tea)

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Kyler S.
United States United States
Best tasting matcha I’ve had, but…

I decided to splurge on this limited edition, and I’m extremely happy with it. It’s naturally sweet and very spinach-y. The color is incredible. I see why they are using this in their competition because the quality is amazing. There is one small downside; the powder clumps easily and doesn’t dissolve completely. I use a sifter and a chasen, and typically the standard ceremonial grade dissolves perfectly. That’s the only complaint I have; it’s otherwise perfect!