An award-winning tea that embodies the pinnacle of gyokuro production. Rich in umami, yet mellow and sweet, with a long finish unique to straw-shaded teas.
Gyokuro must meet some specific requirements to be called Yame Dento Hon Gyokuro. Of course, it must be grown and produced in Yame, Fukuoka. It must also be shaded for over 16 days under honzu straw shading.
Honzu (本簀) shading is the most traditional shading method. Dating back at least over 400 years, the Honzu method uses the same shelf system as kanreisha but uses a screen of reeds as the first layer of shading instead of synthetic fabric. Though considerably more labour intensive and expensive to construct, the reed screen allows for even more air and moisture to circulate around the plants producing higher-quality, more complex teas. The straw also acts as a moisture regulator, absorbing excess humidity. Additional layers of shading are added by placing straw mats on top of the reed screen.
Then, the tea must be hand-picked. While most gyokuro uses a rather open pick of one bud and 3-5 leaves, this gyokuro from Kumaen employed a very fine isshin-niyou (一心二葉 - one bud and two leaves) picking.
Naturally, the processing and finishing must also be at the highest standards.
Meet the Producer
Yamecha Kumaen (八女茶くま園)