Four conditions must exist in order to grow the highest grade Sencha. First, limestone soil rich in calcium must be present. Second, there must be a misty climate provided by sloping hills and lush valleys, warm days and cool nights. Third, the tea leaves must be picked by skilled hands, not by machine. And fourth, the tea plants must be regularly fertilized with the right balance of nutrients.
The limestone soil and the geographical features and climate are the most important elements. Because of all these conditions that must be present to grow ideal Sencha, there is only one small place in all of the world which is perfect for farming this top quality tea – a tiny area of land located right here in the Uji region of Japan.
Tea leaves for this item grow at the tea farm in Obuku area where is the birth place of Uji tea and known for the highest grade Sencha producing center. (For more information, click here.)
Effort to Grow
Although trimming tea leaves by machines has become mainstream today, it is an imperfect technology. By machine, it is unavoidable to trim old tea leaves together with sprouts. It is also difficult to trim a uniform size of tea leaves. Picking by hand ensures that only fresh new sprouts of uniform size are picked. In addition, tea leaves which are hand picked have a remarkably enhanced flavor that is far superior to leaves which are harvested by machine. This is because tea trees whose leaves are harvested by hand grow much better than tea trees whose leaves are harvested by machine. These elements strongly affect the taste and aroma of the highest grade Sencha.
The window of opportunity for harvesting top-grade Sencha is very small. From the time the sprouts appear to the time the leaves become too large to harvest is just a few days! It is very difficult to harvest much tea by hand in this short period of time. (For more information, click here.)
Therefore we can only produce a very small amount of this highest grade Sencha. The features of this tea are the excellent flavor brought about by being hand picked and the perfect astringent aroma which is produced and enhanced by the mountain ravine geography.
To grow the finest-quality Sencha takes not only time and effort but also tea trees passed down from prior generations, geographically ideal soil conditions, and technical succession – it must be by the very grace of God that we can all enjoy excellent Sencha of this quality!