Kyoto Uji Tencha 京都宇治碾茶
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To produce high quality tencha (碾茶), the very first, most tender leaves of the spring season are used. Tencha shares its harvesting standards and processing methods with gyokuro which is the highest grade of Japanese green tea. The tea plants are covered with black sheets 3-4 weeks before harvest to block direct exposure to sunlight, resulting in leaves that are low in astringency and rich in theanine which gives the characteristic umami taste. The stems and veins are also removed from the leaf because tencha is usually the intermediate product in making matcha. With stems and veins, matcha will be smoother without astringency.
Medium heavy in body with a rounded quality, this tea is umami with underlying notes of zucchini and peach. Its light turquoise color is accompanied by a pleasant herbal aroma with hints of parsley.
Tencha is usually ground to drinking grade matcha including ceremonial matcha. Tencha in leaf form is fairly rare even in Japan.
We have been to the farm and seen their processing. Practically no hands touch the leaves from harvest till bagging. At the factory, the entire process is done by a chain of machines hygienically.
Packed in loose in small tea caddy