Wazuka – The Japanese tea heaven!

Hola chai lovers, as you know the season of tea is here already so I thought to enlighten y’all with not so famous tea heaven on earth. People don’t know much about this place and consider it like any other town. This place is known as ‘Wazuka’, a small town somewhere in Kyoto, Japan.

Tea Farm

Daiki – The Farmer/Businessman

A person named Daiki who was born & raised in Tokyo later moved to Wazuka with his family. He realised that Wazuka is pure heaven where you can grow different variants of tea.

Japanese green tea is quite famous all over the world, most of which comes from Wazuka itself. Wazuka specializes in producing tea and cultivates a huge amount of tea to satisfy the worldwide demand for green tea.

Daiki found this place interesting and with hope along with his family and friends they studied agriculture thoroughly. This town has been growing tea for 800 years, so to put their studies into action they continued this tradition & started their very own tea company at Wazuka.

Tea Farm

Tea Company – D:matcha Kyoto

They named their company as “D:matcha” Kyoto which specializes in tea, from producing to selling tea and educating the commoners & visitors from abroad visiting the farms of Wazuka.

Uji, Kyoto is the origin of Japanese green tea, which is one of the biggest tea production sites in Japan. At Wazuka, the tea is cultivated on the mountain landscapes. The foggy weather on the upper hills brings the sweetness in tea leaves, it acts as a natural layer that guards the tea farms against direct sunlight.

There are more than 320 tea farms in Wazuka, it totally depends on the quality, that’s the way how the farmers compete with each other. Daiki wanted to do something different and unique. So what he did was to provide guests with a tour of the tea fields. This was done with the intention to reduce the gap between tea drinkers and farmers. He thought that being able to feel, see & drink the tea is the only way to acknowledge & value the process of making tea.

Their farm is way up on the mountain away from the other farms. They trim their tea plants so they can later harvest the new buds that will soon emerge. For making the matcha powder they cover the leaves for 3 weeks to preserve the amino acids & thus the sweetness retains. They make use of fans with an automatic temperature sensor that pushes the warm air downwards to prevent forming frost.

After the tour the tea leaves that the guests chose is brewed and then the green tea tasting and education continues. They provide multiple varieties of tea, just like there are many variants of wine.

As we all may have different choices, D:matcha provides different types of tea that will match your idea of a perfect tea. Daiki explains the process into three flushes from black tea to matcha. The difference between sencha, oolong and black tea depends on how much they are oxidized during the process.

The sencha tea is processed by steaming the leaves immediately, while the oolong is partially oxidized. The black tea, which has a stronger taste is fully oxidized. So this processing phase explains why green tea has anti-oxidants and the black tea contains caffeine.

The tea is harvested thrice a year, best one being in between April to May which is sencha and matcha. The second one is during July when the tea gets a lil bitter in taste that’s what are used in chai latte, etc The third phase is the one in October which is usually bought by big companies.

The tea plant Camellia Sinesis can be used to make multiple types of tea viz. Matcha, Oolong, Sencha, Gyokuro, Houjicha, Black tea, etc.

Houjicha is processed same as for Sencha except that it is roasted that’s why it is also known as roasted green tea. Gyokuro is also processed like sencha except that before harvesting, the leaves are covered for 3 weeks to preserve the umami(taste) and sweetness of tea leaves.

Matcha tea is covered like Gyokuro for 3 weeks before harvest, but it only gets steamed and dried not rolled, instead the dried leaves are grounded into a powder. These types of tea are further blended together to get different flavours like Genmaicha. This tea is simply a blend of sencha and roasted green tea.

 

My thoughts..

This is something new for me, before this, I didn’t know much about matcha tea nor about Wazuka. I had heard about matcha getting eminence recently. There are so many different processes of preparing green tea which is actually fascinating. The best thing to know is that all these types of tea come from the same plant -‘Camellia Sinesis’. Just the process changes but the leaves remain the same.

The story of Japanese green tea is endless. There’s so much to write about it. We’ll cover more and more aspects as soon as possible and keep y’all posted. Till then keep loving us and make sure to ‘Just Say Chai’

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