On May 2, 2015, the Kurihara family gathered volunteers in the town of Yabemura where they live to handpick tea leaves that will be made into a small batch of gyokuro for submission to the national tea evaluation competition.
In the past, the Kurihara farmers have won 2nd place nationally for their tea (2014) and 3rd place (2013). This year, we are cheering them on and hope they will take the top spot finally!
You can see in the photos that the tea is shaded with organic material, a kind of straw found in Japan. This is the traditional method of making heritage gyokuro (dentou hon-gyokuro, 伝統本玉露), and it is said that the dew dropping from the shading flavors the leaf.
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