Japan produces only green tea. Unusually rich in vitamin C, these teas are invigorating and promote digestion. They are also good during a break or rest, as they help to relieve tension. They have a special taste. Genmaicha (“Japanese Rice”). The tea is typically Japanese. This medium-quality tea is mixed with toasted rice and corn. Even out of curiosity, you should try it.
Historical tea-gathering plantations.
The main tea plantations are concentrated in the south of Honshu Island and the islands of Shidoku and Kyushu. The most important production center is Shizuoka Prefecture at the foot of Mount Fuji, where half of the country’s tea products are produced, including the famous Sencha tea. Also of great importance is the Uji district of Kyoto, which has been supplying the most famous royal tea for centuries and serving the world market with priceless green Japanese Gyokuro tea and the best Senchi varieties.
Seasons of tea collection.
Japanese tea is harvested up to 4 times a year, depending on favorable weather conditions. The first training camp falls in May – mid-June and is rightfully considered the best. The tea collected during this period has a tart taste, a deep green infusion, and the highest content of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. The refined taste is combined with an unobtrusive astringency. From 1 collection, Sencha tea is produced. Tea of the second collection (from mid-June to August) is less tart, has a weakly expressed green infusion. Teas of the third (mid – August-September) and fourth collection (from mid-September) – as a rule, the least high-quality teas. The second, third and fourth fees are called Bancha-this just means less high-quality tea.
The method of collecting tea.
The collection of tea leaves is the most time-consuming process in the entire technological chain of tea production. Before the young plant is fully used to obtain the final product, it is usually waited several years for the bush to grow and grow stronger. Every year, the plant is pruned three times to remove excess branches and allow the bush to grow in width. This makes it possible to pluck the leaves from a larger surface and facilitates the process of harvesting the tea crop itself.
Tea on Japanese plantations is collected mainly by women. Each bush has leaves of different quality, so good tea is usually hand-picked. The use of special scissors is allowed. Moreover, only two tender leaves are plucked (cut), long and sharp, like a spear, and the unopened bud, covered with down, is completely unopened. Because it is this part of the tea bush that has a special cherished taste and aroma. During the day, an experienced picker gains about 10-15 kg of tea leaves.
Japanese teas.
Gyokuro (“Pearl Dew”)
The smooth, rich green leaves of this tea have a pointed shape at the end, resembling pine needles. They are easily recognized by their appearance. This is the most refined of Japanese teas. The drink obtained from this tea is green in color, its taste remains in the mouth for a long time.
Matcha.
This tea is in the form of a powder, to which the Gyokuro leaf is crushed (although there are also less refined Matcha teas made from other leaves). The drink obtained from Matcha has the color of green jadeite, it is concentrated and nutritious.
Sencha Honyama.
Like Gyokuro, this tea is one of the best teas in Japan. However, it should be noted that there are many types of Sencha tea, and only a few of them are classified as the best varieties. The pale green color of the drink has a fresh floral taste.
Before proceeding to the stages of making tea types with their detailed description, let’s take a little look at the types themselves. There are the following names of types of tea: white tea, yellow tea, green tea, oolong (the names yellow or red tea are applied to it), red tea (sometimes it is also orange), black tea (sometimes it is also red).
Tea production is a universal process, despite the differences in volumes and technological solutions that include standard processing steps for the collected tea leaf. For more information about this, see the section tea production.