Matcha Yu Tea are just back from our trip to Japan and and easing into the daily routine again.
It was so lovely to return to a place which means so much personally, it really is like going back to a second home, full of wonderful memories and life long friendships.
One of the main purposes of us returning to Japan at this time was to get a rare chance to learn all about Ichibancha (otherwise known as first harvest) and witness this very important time in a tea farm's calendar when the tea that is covered with shade cloths and ultimately becomes Matcha is hand picked with care by a team of experienced hard workers.
(Tea workers at Kifukuen Tea Farm, Uji)
Once the fresh vividly green tea leaves are picked, they are steamed and dried to then be known as Tencha.
The final step taken to become Matcha is then when the leaves are stone ground down to make a beautiful fine powder.
Traditionally this was done by hand but now there are automated stone grinders to help produce larger quantities of Matcha quicker.
This is me Erin, trying my hand at stone grinding Tencha tea leaves to make Matcha Green Tea Powder. It takes a bit of muscle that's for sure so can fully appreciate the process of this manual task from the past.
It was so wonderful to meet the tea workers, they were so welcoming and friendly and more than happy to show us around the tea farm and how to pick tea leaves.
What a rich history the tea farm has - 8 generations of the same family have worked at Kifukuen in Uji and we feel honoured to offer their Premium Matcha for you to enjoy.
Seeing firsthand all the trophies and certificates received by the family was also incredibly special.
We are so proud to have an extremely esteemed tea supplier like this and look forward to bringing you more of their story in the not too distant future.