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Professional's Guide to Japanese Tea RSS



Introduction to Japanese tea, a short guide

Download the PDF Japanese Tea Guide by Yunomi Included is a brief intro to steeping standard green teas as well as premium teas such as gyokuro, an introduction to matcha, and a list of 30+ teas and Japanese tea terms. Feedback and questions are more than welcome! Leave a comment so that others may benefit from the questions & answers.

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2016 Statistics on Tea Production in Japan

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has just released data on 2016 production of tea in Japan. PDF report can be downloaded here (Japanese only):http://www.maff.go.jp/j/tokei/kouhyou/sakumotu/sakkyou_kome/attach/pdf/index-11.pdf Excel data (Japanese only) can be downloaded here:http://www.e-stat.go.jp/SG1/estat/Xlsdl.do?sinfid=000031534571 Key takeaways Total production of tea increased to 80,200 tons of processed but unfinished tea leaf compared to 2015's dip to 79,500 tons (which was the first time production has dipped below 80,000 tons in several decades). The increase was in bancha production, not shaded tea production despite the growing demand for matcha. All other categories saw a slight decrease. The latest data for average price of unfinished tea is still from 2015. And was 1302 yen / kg for regular sencha (down from 1590 yen in 2011),...

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Pesticide Residues in Japanese tea - government regulations, positive list system

I have always found it very frustrating that no one seems to know much about pesticide residue regulations (both as a buyer and a seller). Japanese producers have very little access to information for regulations outside Japan, and importers have little access within Japan. I believe in honest, transparent business practices, so let's try to make things a little clearer. This post is a work in progress and I invite you to share your own expertise in the comments whether or not it relates to Japan or tea. Positive List System Japan follows a positive list approach like the EU and USA. Each country has their own list, and if not on the list, each country has their own default value. USA, Australia and...

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Japan's tea production volume and area

Year Area (hectares) Total production (tons; dry, unrefined leaf) Ooicha (shaded teas; tons) Sencha (tons) Tamaryokucha (tons) Bancha (tons) Others (tons) 2011 46200 82100 5840 53400 2200 18700 1890 2012 45900 85900 6420 54900 2320 20300 2050 2013 45400 84800 5990 53800 2270 21000 1860 2014 44800 83600 6260 52400 2060 20800 2070 2015 44000 79500 7000 47700 1790 20300 2680 Notes 2013 and 2015 data is taken from statistics from major production regions. 2011 and 2012 data is also not representative of total production due to the limitation of commercial shipments due to contamination from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant meltdown. Data taken from Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries report: http://www.maff.go.jp/j/tokei/sokuhou/syukaku_tya_syusan_15_2/

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How matcha is made

This is a quick primer on matcha production. We learned all of this because we work with both tea farms and tea factories. Matcha from small-scale family tea farms / factories are at http://www.yunomi.life/collections/matcha The manufacturing process of matcha Tea fields are fertilized for flavor. The heavier the fertilization, the stronger the flavor. This is one reason why organic matcha is said to be not as good for the same price. Of course, flavor preferences are subjective, and so we've even recruited a farmer who uses zero fertilizer (and zero pesticides). Tea plants are shaded for 4-5 weeks after the new buds come out. In general this is spring as spring leaves have the strongest flavor, but lower quality matcha will...

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