How the Japanese Grow Tea Under-Shade
The Japanese’s method of growing tea under shade dates back to 1835. The method was specifically designed for prestigious Japanese green tea varieties such as matcha and gyokuro.
The adoption of this method is believed to produce tea that has rich umami flavor notes with low astringency. This makes under-shade-grown tea very desired by many green tea connoisseurs.
Experts believe that growing the tea plants under a shade leads to an increasing amount of chlorophyll. Also, it will prevent the forming of catechins, a component that causes the bitter taste in tea. This is why this method is preferred for growing gyokuro and matcha.
Many Japanese tea farmers are dedicating their life to keep this tradition alive. Although some have started to use modern machinery to help them harvest tea, others are still using the manual hand plucking method to ensure only the best leaves are picked during the harvesting process.