Processing by Traditional Method (Limited / Blended Sencha)Processing by Traditional Method (Limited / Blended Sencha)

Processing by Traditional Method

To produce a substantial amount of tea, today's processing machines are very convenient with amazing high productivity relative to some decades ago. To process highest grade tea, especially highest grade Sencha, precision is required in each process like sorting, blending, drying, and so on. In this case, processing by skilled hand is ideal. Processing machines of some decades ago are quite close to hand processing methods though old-fashioned and primitive in design, and not superior in productivity relative to modern ones.

Blended Sencha is processed by the traditional method using old-fashioned machines and by skilled hand. We introduce a few processes in detail below.

At sorting process, tea leaves are sorted into uniform size for good appearance and easy brewing. At first, tea leaves are sorted into very small size, small size, and large size. Large leaves are cut into small leaves, and then mixed with small leaves. The batch size of old-fashioned machines and hand processing is about 30 to 120kg (66 to 265lb). ARACHA (processed by farmer) packaging size is 30kg (66lb) each. Modern sorting machines produce about 4 to 6 times more than old-fashioned machines and require about 500 to 800kg (1,100 to 1,800lb) per batch. Traditional methods enable us to check the quality by small batch. To produce the highest grade tea, we run each farm's tea separately in a small batch in order to evaluate the quality each small batch and provide feedback to the farmers who grow the tea with the goal of improving the next year's crop. However, to process by modern machine, tea producers have no other choice but to mix teas from different farms to make a large batch. It is impossible to check the quality by each tea farm.

At blending process, we blend about 90kg (200lb) of tea leaves in 15 minutes by hand, and 900kg (2,000lb) in 15 minutes by modern blending machine. The modern blending machine productivity is 10 times the amount of processing by hand and the results are quite good.

Traditional processing method by old-fashioned machines or by hand is ideal to produce highest quality tea and provide feedback to farmers, though it is exhausting work. The productivity of modern processing machines is superior to the old-fashioned way, but the batch size is too large to produce highest grade tea.


Old-fashioned sorting machine, which is very close to hand-processing.

Modern sorting machine. Though the productivity is about 4 to 6 times superior to the old-fashioned way, the batch size is too large to produce highest grade tea.

Blending by hand, which is very exhausting work

Modern blending machine, which blends 900kg (2,000lb) of tea leaves in 15 minutes.

Old-fashioned drying machine. It is heated by gas. All factors like temperature, time, and so on have to be monitored and adjusted.

Modern drying machine, similar to a microwave. It can control temperature, rolling speed of belt conveyor, and so on automatically.

Competition Grade Tea / Blended Sencha Items: Now Available!

We have arranged to add three limited edition Competition Grade teas and two limited edition Belended Sencha teas.

Competition Grade Tea is extremely rare and available only at the National Tea Fair of Japan, attended by those within the Japanese green tea industry. The flavor is unique only to teas contributed to the exclusive competition and quite different from usual tea.

Belended Sencha has concurrently two different characteristics: the aroma of Sencha and the taste of Gyokuro. They are composed of fine and unique breeds of tea with special characteristics. Each individual tea is more sweet and mellow than basic Sencha, characteristic of Gyokuro. But, it has a more refreshing aroma than Gyokuro, characteristic of Sencha.

Competition Grade Tea is limited edition of just 650 packages each and Blended Sencha is limited edition of just 850 packages each ONLY AVAILABLE this winter season.

Competition Grade Tea
[Limited] Competition Grade Gyokuro Pinnacle (30g/1.06oz): US$38.00 (Now Available)
This Competition Grade Gyokuro Pinnacle has an excellent, deeply mellow taste. The National Tea Competition is held in order to improve Japanese tea agricultural and manufacturing techniques, and to congratulate and encourage those that have produced outstanding tea...
[Limited] Competition Grade Sencha Pinnacle (40g/1.41oz): US$30.00 (Now Available)
Competition Grade Sencha Pinnacle is available only at the National Tea Fair, attended by tea connoisseurs and those within the Japanese green tea industry. This fine green tea has an excellent, deeply mellow taste...
[Limited] Competition Grade Matcha Pinnacle (20g/0.71oz): US$46.00 (Now Available)
This Competition Grade Matcha Pinnacle has an excellent, deeply mellow taste. The National Tea Competition is held several times a year in Japan. Sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and attended by executives of the Japanese tea industry...
[Limited] Competition Grade Matcha Pinnacle Refill (60g/2.12oz): US$115.00 (Now Available)
This Competition Grade Matcha Premium Refill package is an excellent value. The price is actually discounted 17%. This has an excellent, deeply mellow taste. The National Tea Competition is held several times a year in Japan. Sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries...
Blended Sencha
[Limited] Blended Sencha Super Premium (80g/2.82oz): US$25.00 (Now Available)
Blended Sencha Super Premium is a blend of Ohiwase and Meiryoku breeds of green tea. These tea leaves are sprouts that are small and soft and not fully-grown...
[Limited] Blended Sencha Premium (80g/2.82oz): US$20.00 (Now Available)
Blended Sencha Premium is a blend of Sencha and Gyokuro. This tea is composed of four breeds of green tea: Kanayamidori, Sayamakaori, Yabukita, and Okumidori...

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