Japanese tea

TEA GROWING FROM THE ROOTS UP

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.

QUALITIES OF THE SOIL OF A TEA GARDEN

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.

EFFECTS OF TERROIR ON THE QUALITY OF TEA

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.

TEA PICKING METHODS AND RELATED EQUIPMENT

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.

[CASE STUDY] GROWING A NEW CULTIVAR TEA GARDEN FROM SEED

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 …

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BENEFITS AND DEMERITS OF TEA CULTIVARS

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.

Japanese tea cultivars

INTRODUCTION TO JAPANESE TEA PLANT VARIETIES: CULTIVARS

In 1953 the Japanese tea cultivar registration system, administered by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), was established and tea plant varieties were for the first time officially recognized and listed for proper nation wide use. In the 1960s the government developed and established a pragmatic standard for reproducing cultivars from cuttings, and …

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