“A rich sweetness – the hallmark of high quality tea”
Gyokuro is processed in the same way as sencha, but there is a big difference in how it is grown. During a fixed period before the leaves are picked, the tea plant is covered, usually with a reed-blind, and grown without exposure to direct sunlight for a minimum of twenty days. Cutting off direct sunlight causes an increase in theanine, responsible for sweetness, and a decrease in catechin, responsible for bitterness, giving the tea a rich, sweeter taste. The highest grade of gyokuro is grown with much time and effort and kneaded by hand. Tea that is shaded for less than twenty days is known as “kabusecha”.
For the frequently-asked questions about the grade A~S, each grade is mainly defined by “Production area x Tea farmer x Crop quality in the season”.
Tea fairs are held in Japan and the tea grades such as aroma, a liquid color degree of a leaf color, and flavor in each season are decided as comprehensive evaluation by the most professional among professionals. Thus, please understand that the grade A~S can be decided in order from the best for each season. There is no grading system by light-steam, normal-steam, and deep-steam as often mentioned. Instead, normal-steam primarily created by Souen Nagatani is original as green tea. Because a tea processed for deep-steamed tea was not a good quality tea due to a strong taste of bitterness and astringency, a deep-steamed production process was developed. As indicated by the Japanese word “WabiSabi”, the pronounced flavor of green tea (even a plain-flavor appearance like a local cuisine of Kyoto) will be preferred in Uji as a main tea growing center.
As described above, since a tea quality does not depend on production process (e.g. Level of steam), it is not always true that a tea would be good if paying for higher value so determining a tea quality can definitely be difficult without a distinguishing insight for tea contents. It will be the best if our insight with the Uji history can assist you to absolutely select and enjoy a delicious tea.
CUSTOMS & IMPORT TAXES
Please note that customs regulations vary from country to country and officials in various countries may inspect your shipment, including intrusive inspection (opening of your package). We cannot guarantee any method to prevent this from happening. We are also unable to mark items as “gifts” as this is both illegal and has no bearing on whether a package is or is not inspected. You are responsible for any import taxes or other duties that may be charged by your the customs and postal services of your country.