Tea Travels to Japan! Part 1: Uji Tea Harvest

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Gyokuro Harvesting Tea Tip

It’s time for fresh tea!

Our travels to Japan have yielded some great tea and great tea experiences. Most notably, was a rainy afternoon filled with Tea Gardens and the end of season harvest of Gyokuro.

Gyokuro Shading Methods. Traditional Rice Straw & Modern Black Plastic

Gyokuro is similar to Sencha, Japanese green tea, only it is covered with shade for at least 4 weeks before harvest.

This yields a rich deep green cup that is one of the most prized teas in the world.

There are two kinds of shading methods used today. The traditional rice straw method, and the modern black plastic technique. Any differences? On a rainy day like today, the rain drops through the covering, imparting a touch of it’s flavor. Rice straw enriches the flavor, giving a subtle richness not present in the modern technique. Our Organic Gyokuro is covered with traditional rice straw.

While visiting one tea garden, we were fortunate to receive a lesson on Gyokuro tea picking, and help out for an afternoon!

See our video of tea harvesting here!

Gyokuro is harvested only once a year, and thus the end of May is also the end of the Spring harvest season in Japan. Thus we move into the Tea Factory! Coming soon…

2 thoughts on “Tea Travels to Japan! Part 1: Uji Tea Harvest

  1. Hurray to hear from you! What beautiful yummy looking tea leaves. We here are in lovely heat and humidity with thunderstorms rumbling through the valley and echoing in the mountains. The yellow swallowtail butterflies have been filling the air the past few days. Are you seeing any lightning bugs there? Perfect afternoon for a little Gyokuro here. To your health!

  2. Hey Jon, so glad you got to go to Japan! Love the pictures. Missing you here in Boulder. Hope things are going well back in Middlebury. Is business good? I really miss the hours I used to spend at Stone Leaf, hanging out getting those great tea highs!

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