JAS Organic Matcha Kotobuki produced in Kagoshima by an expert organic tea producer
Why 1st flush tea?
1st harvest Tencha leaves have better color and draw better nutrients from the soil during autumn, winter and early spring. 1st flush Tencha results in better color and flavor in the final Matcha powder
Matcha making process from Tencha
For organic Matcha Kotokubi, the leaves are covered two weeks before harvest in order to develop mellower flavors in the leaves.
(Kagoshima tea farm's unique direct tea covering)
Covering the leaves from the sun prevents the natural process of photosynthesis. The leaves develop a deeper color and more amino acid (L Theanin), resulting in a mellower, full bodied tea rich in "Umami" flavor
(Tencha right after harvest)
Right after harvest, the young leaves are steamed and dried to prevent oxydization of the tea.
After that, a machine separates the central parts of the leaf from the stems as well as the veins which are coarse and would bring a bitter flavor if they were to be ground with the leaves to make Matcha. What we call Tencha is the steamed, dried, 'meaty' part of the leaves that does not include stems or veins.
(Stems separated from the leaves)
We store the refined Tencha in a refrigerator until someone asks for Matcha, and then the leaves are ground in a stone mill to obtain Matcha powder. This process allows us to maintain the quality of the leaves by keeping them fresh.