Goishicha tea is a specialty product of the Tosa region. Originally brought from ancient China, goishicha has a history of approximately 400 years. It is made by steaming the leaves of a tea variety called “sancha” (literary “mountain tea”), fermenting them, then stuffing the tea leaves into a barrel with a cover, and fermenting them again. The tea is called goishicha because spread out on the woven mat to dry, the tea leaves resemble the black stones of the board game “go.” Rich in lactic bacteria, the tea has a specific acidic flavor and fragrance similar to red wine.
Organically grown sancha tea leaves are steamed, then fermented using bacteria first by stacking and covering the leaves with straw mats and then by storing them in wooden barrels. Since ancient times tea porridge made with goishicha has been used as a staple healthy food good for the stomach. This product is manufactured using the traditional 400-year-old methods of the last family of tea masters, the Ogasawara family. (Aki Tomura)