The roots of the tea bush grow towards gravity. The bushes that grow on a horizontal surface first penetrate the shallow top layer of soft arable soil and then gradually reach the deeper layer of hardened subsoil. Topsoil is softer and contains more air, which makes it easier for the roots to penetrate and grow deeper. On the contrary, subsoil is a more densely compressed stratum in which it is more difficult for roots to spread into.
Mountains are creations of nature that have taken millions of years to reach their current grandeur. Mountains are formed of layers of soil that can be traced back to different eras in history. These layers of soil are formed of a variety of soil and rock types, housing different microcosms of bacteria and little organisms that produce nourishment for vegetation and regulate how nutrition is maintained or transported in the pores of the soil.
In similarity to wine grapes, tea bushes too are sensitive to the circumstances, the terroir of their surroundings. Weather conditions, altitude, the farms direct surroundings, soil composition, etc. are features that not only affect the taste and character of the final product, it often also imbues the tea with a distinct local trait; an individuality that only can be obtained at this specific farm.
While Japanese green tea and matcha are rapidly gaining in popularity, the information available about the product in English is still scarce.
As a long term resident in Japan, certified tea ceremony instructor and Japanese tea sommelier with specialisation in organic and artisan teas, I have produced a book that will fill this gap.
Mechanized harvesting methods require an even surface and regular pruning in order for the harvesting equipment to be effective. Just before spring, before the first shoots appear the bushes are pruned once at a set height. During harvest, the leaf that has grown above this surface; ea. the fresh spring buds, are harvested by mowing the surface at approximately the same height as during pruning.
The original image of a traditional tea farm is long gone. Only a handful of places either maintain a small area of a truly traditional tea garden as an image of what was current in the past, or – as in Mandokoro in Shiga prefecture and Kasuga in Gifu prefecture – traditional tea harvest and …
The majority of tea gardens in Japan are cultivated from registered cultivar species. While cultivars became available to farmers during the 1960’s, most producers only began converting their tea gardens to cultivar farms from the mid-1970’s onward due the high initial cost of conversion. At Fumiaki Iwata’s tea garden in Nara, Tsukigase too, his parents …
The consideration of the manufacturer is the ease of cultivation and harvest of the bushes he chooses. In addition, the consideration for the major industry is a matter of how they can develop a generic flavor in the tea.Their interest is the facilitation of mass production for a commodity with equal and predictable flavor. This flavor must just sufficiently appeal to the greater public, but nothing more.