Tea farming in Japan is a popular activity that involves the cultivation and harvesting of tea leaves. Tea harvesting in Japan is done manually, and it is a labor-intensive process. In this article, we will explore the process of tea harvesting in Japan and its different types.
Tea Harvesting in Japan
Tea farming is a seasonal activity in Japan. During winter, tea plants hibernate and wait for spring to arrive. In March, buds start flushing, and new leaves start developing. It takes about a month before the tea leaves are ready for the first harvest. The first harvest is called Ichibancha and is usually harvested between late April and early May. Ichibancha is known for its high quality and taste.
After about two weeks, new buds start growing, and in approximately 45 days, new leaves are ready for another harvest. This type of tea is called Nibancha. While Nibancha is of good quality, it cannot beat the aroma and taste of Ichibancha. This is because Ichibancha has been storing plenty of nourishment during winter, and it grows slowly from the time the climate is still relatively cold. Additionally, Ichibancha contains three times more theanine than Nibancha, which is a main source of taste in tea.
The third type of tea, called Sanbancha, is harvested in summer. The total amount of Nibancha is about the same as Ichibancha. However, most farms stop harvesting tea after they finish harvesting Sanbancha.
Tea harvesting in Japan is done manually, and it is a labor-intensive process. Tea is first picked by hand for about 3000-4000kg per hectare, and then scissors are used to harvest approximately 10,000-15,000kg per hectare of first flush tea. The best time to harvest tea leaves is when they are still tender and young. The harvest period of tea is relatively long because the leaves keep growing during the harvest.
Once the tea leaves are harvested, they are immediately transported to the processing factory for further processing. When fresh leaves are processed, the weight of tea is reduced greatly. Approximately 100 kg of fresh leaves make 20-22 kg of crude tea.
Tea harvesting in Japan is a labor-intensive process that involves manual picking of tea leaves. The best time to harvest tea leaves is when they are still tender and young. The first harvest of tea, Ichibancha, is of the highest quality and taste, while Nibancha and Sanbancha are of good quality. Tea harvesting is a seasonal activity that requires special attention and care to produce high-quality tea leaves.