Japanese Green Tea
Location: Hoshino Village, Japan
Tea Varieties: Gyokuro ~ Sencha ~ Shiraore ~ Hochicha ~ KabuseCha
Lots: Unblended ~ Monovarietal ~ Chronologically Divided
Operation: Grown ~ Processed ~ Estate Packaged
The most renowned plantations in Fukuoka prefecture are located in Yame. Morning mists and river fogs are very frequent. Curtains of fog wrap green tea plantations, properly blocking sunlight. Yame enjoys an inland climate-high temperature during daytime and very cool and low temperatures at night.
"When the first picking time is getting closer we need to organize ourselves in order to precisely schedule the picking date for each tea field."
The region where our tea production is located has an ideal climate with the right amount of wind and humidity during the most important seasons.
Going from the tea leaves to the actual final tea product seems quite an easy task, but it is a truly complex series of processes with many variables that only a deep knowledge of the land and weather can yield the best results.
The region where our tea production is located has an ideal climate with the right amount of wind and humidity during the most important seasons. Humidity is an important feature for the tea leaves, and while we always depend on the weather, the Hoshino area in Yame is famous.
We grow different cultivars for different tea types : From Gyokuro, to Kabusecha and Sencha. While all teas come from the same plant “Camellia sinensis” there hundreds, if not thousands of different cultivars.
So, this means that any of the above mentioned tea type will have a different process depending on the desired final product, but also because of its cultivar, the location of the fields and of course the personal taste expectation of the farmer.
There are several harvest during the year, the first tea leaves picking is the most important as it is the best one, the first flush or “Shincha” which is praised all over Japan. In the Yame region, usually this happens around mid may. It’s a short period where you must be aware of the leaves maturity on each different crop and basically work 18 hours a day.
For premium quality gyokuro you need to pick only the BEST leaves, and only older people got this knowledge.
Whenever the first picking moment is approaching there is a lot of excitement for everyone involved in the process !
Gyokuro is rare, incredibly difficult to make and requires years of skills to perfect. Its leaves are beautiful and lustrous, and it's considered a luxury even in Japan. Compared to Sencha, Gyokuro is usually smoother, more full-bodied, packed with umami and less astringent thanks to its high levels of L-theanine and the lower water temperature used to brew it.
About twenty days before harvest, tea farmers cover the tea fields to shield the leaves from sunlight. We specialize in the most traditional form of Gyokuro — Dento Hon — and use only rice straw screens, not synthetics fiber sheets. Additionally all tea is hand-picked, as machines are not able to pick only the upper most region of the plant.
Tea is nought but this: first you heat the water,
then you make the tea.
Then you drink it properly.
That is all you need to know.
Sen no Rikyu
Yame Gyokuro was the first tea in Japan registered under the national Geographical Indication (GI) Protection System. This means that the Japanese government certifies and ensures the authenticity, quality and production method of our special tea.