Video: Matcha and Gyokuro Processing.
My Facebook friend, Jean-Philippe Maurer, who is based out of Shanghai, China, and works with THEODOR tea company, sent me a link to this video, which is produced by O-Cha.com. It shows how gyokuro and matcha Japanese green tea are made in Uji, Japan.
In the beginning of the video, we see a green tea field in Uji, Japan, where workers are putting up an elaborate system of frames and sun shades, which are put in place for 20 days before the harvest to shield the leaves from the harsh sun, allowing them to achieve a quality of green tea found nowhere else. I found this description on the Chanoya Web site:
Gyokuro is the finest Japanese tea, known as “precious dew.” Carefully grown under diffused sunlight for 20 days before harvesting. It has a rich, sweet, dense infusion with a hint of marine flavor and a long, lingering aftertaste. Nothing like in other teas. Uji, Kyoto is traditionally specialized in Gyokuro and Macha production. Their tea leaves are often blended with other prefectures’ tea due to their small product quantity.
The video shows the entire process, from the leaves being stripped from the tea plants, to the steaming, the twisting (by machine), and the three times the gyokuro is baked.
In addition-- beautiful video here-- the matcha is shown to be heated, then the tea is air-dried by dropping in a mesh cage from a height of several stories up, down to a conveyor belt below that carries them on through to being heated and ultimately pulverized into the traditional matcha powder.
For all you green tea lovers, definitely something to take a few minutes to watch.