A leading local tea exporter now offers his leaves to the domestic market.
Who William Leckey has been producing green tea from his boutique plantation near Alexandra in Victoria for more than a decade, but it's only recently that his teas have started making waves in Australia. Where in the past his tea was produced exclusively for the Japanese market, today it's available back home under the Two Rivers label.
How Camellia sinensis, the tea plant, is dormant through winter, so harvest commences in spring. The first harvest, rich in nutrients accumulated over winter, produces shincha, a tea popular in Japan for its intensity and sweeter ending notes. The next harvest occurs 45 to 55 days later, after the plant has had a chance to bud anew, producing the more commonly recognised sencha: a lighter-bodied, aromatic green tea.
Why Producing green tea that meets Japanese standards hasn't been easy, but Leckey has managed to pull it off, offering a range of impressively authentic Japanese-style teas. He's a firm believer of farming in tune with nature, so you won't find any harmful chemicals in his products. Another thing you won't find is a hefty price tag - because Two Rivers is produced locally, it comes at a more reasonable price than many imports of its calibre. Prices start at $10/100gm.