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Cultivation and Production Steps of Tencha

We would like to introduce Tencha cultivation and production steps.

Fertilizing at Tencha, Matcha, and Gyokuro Tea Farm
Tea trees for Tencha, Matcha, and Gyokuro are fertilized three times as much as other kinds of tea, such as Sencha, in order to create the characteristic deep sweet taste. Please see the pictures below from a Tencha (Matcha) tea farm where the tea trees are fed about three times the usual amount of fertilizer as well as another tea farm.

Twenty to thirty days before harvest, green tea trees for Tencha, Matcha, and Gyokuro are covered with special curtains. These curtains are used to shade tea trees from direct sunlight. Tea grown this way has a sweet and mild flavor, because without sunlight there will be few bitter tannins. Carefully grown in the shade for twenty days before harvesting, a cup of Tencha, Matcha, or Gyokuro has several unique features: an elegant aroma, a sweet taste and a light green color. Shading tea sprouts from the sun creates Theanine, a natural element that gives Tencha, Matcha, and Gyokuro a mellow taste. Tencha Pinnacle and Tencha Super Premium are carefully harvested by hand.

Aracha Processing of Tencha
Tea leaves which have not yet been ground into the fine powder of Matcha are known as Tencha. Fresh tea leaves are processed just after harvest. At the most, they should be processed within 24 hours after harvest. Tencha (Matcha) processing includes 1) Steaming, 2) Cooling down, and 3) Drying. Matcha tea leaves before ground into powder are called Tencha.
In contrast to that, processing steps for Gyokuro and Sencha are 1) Steaming, 2) Kneading, 3) Shaping, and 4) Drying. Tea leaves for Tencha (Matcha) are not Kneaded at the processing steps.
By the kneading process, the cell walls of the tea leaves are broken down, so that the flavor (and beneficial nutrients naturally found in tea leaves) can easily infuse into water. Because Matcha is ground into fine powder, kneading is not necessary to break down the cell walls. So, Tencha is not kneaded. Since Tencha does not go through the kneading process and is not ground into powder, this is one reason why the flavor of Tencha is quite unique, pure, noble, and elegant.

Fertilized at tea tree roots

Farms built "Tana" canopy

Tea leaves for Tencha in "Tana" canopy

Hand picked harvest

Tea leaves for Tencha (Matcha) are not Kneaded at the processing steps.

Tea leaves are uniformly spread and conveyed to the steaming process.

Tea leaves dry in a three or four level fire pit, heated from underneath by a burner.

Tea leaves emerging from the fire pit

Tencha Teas - Now Available

[Limited] Tencha Super Premium (30g/1.06oz) US$22.00
This Tencha Super Premium has specially been arranged in order to be brewed in the same way as Gyokuro or Sencha. The taste is deep and mellow, and the subtle noble aroma lingers in the mouth for a while...
[Limited] Tencha Premium (60g/2.12oz) US$25.00
Tea leaves for Tencha (Matcha) are grown in the same way as Gyokuro, but processed differently than Gyokuro. The growing and processing bring the unique excellent flavor of Tencha. Of course, this Tencha also makes a lovely iced tea. The flavor is uniquely elegant...
[Limited] Tencha Pinnacle (30g/1.06oz) US$29.00
Traditionally, Tencha was not brewed like Gyokuro or Sencha, because this was not included in the traditional Tea Ceremony teachings. And so, for many years, brewed Tencha has quietly been enjoyed in secret among only a few Matcha manufacturers...

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