Let's know the Japanese tea - first part 2020/07/10
Tea is the most popular beverage in Japan and an important part of Japanese food culture.
We can divide tea into three kinds: Japanese tea, Chinese tea and black tea. Most of the tea produced in Japan is green tea. Although in the 1940s, black tea was produced everywhere, but in terms of quality and price, it was still inferior to India and Sri Lanka. In addition, from 1979 to 1985, oolong tea became popular in Japan. There were also places where oolong tea was tried, but it was as bad as black tea. Therefore, the tea produced in Japan is mainly “green tea”.
In some areas of Kyushu, there are pan fried green tea (jade green tea, etc.) for local consumption. From the point of view of tea production, fried tea accounts for 2/3.
Japan’s most popular green tea, Sencha is the most commonly drunk representative of green tea. Fresh tea leaves were steamed to inhibit fermentation. Green tea is a kind of “non fermented tea” that has been heat treated (steamed or fried) in a fresh state, so the oxidase is stopped. This kind of tea that “heat-treated the raw leaves, adjust the shape of the leaves, reduce the water content to a certain extent, and make them in a state of enduring preservation” is called coarse tea making, while the most common method of making coarse tea by steaming and kneading is called “Sencha”.
When the new shoots begin to open 2-3 pieces, the tea garden should be covered with straw or yarn for 20 days (covering cultivation). This kind of tea is “Gyokuro”. The formation of amino acids (theanine) in catechins can be inhibited by limiting light to cultivate new buds, which has less astringency and rich taste. One of the characteristics is the aroma similar to seaweed.
The same green tea used for covering cultivation has “Kabusecha”, but the covering period ofKabusecha is about one week shorter than that of Gyokuro.
It refers to the tea cultivated by covering the tea garden with straw and cold yarn for about a week to block the sunshine. In order to cultivate new buds without sunlight, the green of tea becomes thicker, less astringent and contains a lot of delicious food.
Also as covered green tea, there is the “Gyokuro” introduced above, but the time of covering Gyokuro is about 20 days longer than that of crown tea.
Looking forward the next one to introduce the Japanese tea
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