Three weeks before hand harvesting, shade structures which filter out up to 90% of sunlight are placed over the tea to develop what is commonly called in Japan "the taste of the shadows. The result is a tea weak in tannins, highly complex and aromatic.
Gyokuro ShuinJade Dew
This multi award-winning Gyokuro is very representative of shade teas from the Uji region.
Three weeks before the manual harvest, the tea bushes are covered and up to 85% of the sun's rays are filtered out to help create what the Japanese refer to as the "taste of the shade". The result is a highly aromatic and complex tasting tea that contains very little tannins.
The vegetal character evokes marine flavours of salt and iodine (fresh wakame seeweed) and green vegetable (spinach, swiss chard, and cooked celery) notes. The soft green liquor is bright and has a lingering delicate and herbaceous taste.
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Here is a "Precious Dew" from the Shizuoka region produced from the Samidori cultivar, often used to make Gyokuro and Matcha.
The Okabe farmers cooperative in Japan offers us this green tea in the Gyokuro style produced following the covered method of cultivation giving it its characteristic taste from shade.
From an organic culture on Kyushu Island, this tea is produced by pan-fried method (kamairi), instead of the conventional Japanese method of steaming. This style of transformation gives a particular balance between bitterness and sweetness, exempt from the typical astringency found in Sencha style teas.