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Yamecha gyokuro specialist, tea farmer Akio Kurihara sent these photos today: “Heritage gyokuro. All I want to do is make really really good gyokuro.”

In the photos you can see 2014’s first flush growing. If you notice carefully the top of the branch, the apex, has been cut off. This is a special technique used to prevent the growth of the branch thereby concentrating nutrients into the growth of lower leaves. Gyokuro is more than just green tea shaded for 3 weeks. The “heritage” of heritage gyokuro refers to the traditional method of shading using either handmade bamboo or straw material. It is said that the dew drops that fall from the shading flavors the leaves as the grow.

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