Introduce about process of Uji tea making, how to serve good green tea and trivia about tea such as history of Uji tea.
History of Uji tea.
Ujicha date back to kamakura period , when Zen monk Eisai brought back the spedies of tea from china and provided it to Buddhist priest Myoe.He planted species of tea in Kyoto and spread it in various places of Uji.
From Northern and Southern Dynasties through Muromachi period tea guess game called Toucha became popular so that production area of tea came to be aware of just like wine .The demand that people wanted to enjoy the flavor of each localty and difference of taste increased and characteristic tea gained popularity.
In Muromachi period under protection of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu shogun Uji developed as tea production area boasting tea plantation called Uji seven plantation .
In Sengoku period great tea master Sen no Rikyu and Yoshida Oribe who were protected by renowned war lord Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi loved Uji so that Uji more and more established the status as plantation area of tea. In these days for more delicious Matcha tea, field covered with shade to harvest good leaves had started in Uji.
In Edo period Nagatani Soen from Ujidawara Yuyadani invented tea manufacturing method that is rolling tea leaves after drying it by heating power.
His invention contributed to the great development of Japanese green tea.
Until then, the tea used to be yellow or brown color, but thanks to his invention brilliant green color tea could be made.
Also in the Edo period, how to make Gyokuro was established in Uji.
In this way through out long history Many epoch-making events that triggered the development of Japanese green tea occurred in Uji.
The kind of Uji tea.
Kyoto pretecture is typical producing area of Uji tea. Among them Yamashiro district produce high quality Uji tea. This district where is blessed with sunny and rich soil containing moderate moisture brought about from clear stream of Uji river and Kizu river produce fragrant taste of tea . Throughout long history Uji tea has various kinds.
Refined green tea called Gyokuro of Uji tea with its vivid green colors is the highest grade Japanese green tea.
Tea making start before harvest In case of Gyokuro tea leaves are sielded from direct sunlight around 20days before harvest. Then the theanine which is a flavor ingredient is increased in the leaf and the tannin which is astringency original is suppressed in the leaf. In case of Kabusecha, tea plant is shielded for shorter period than Gyokuro, its making method is in the middle of Gyokuro and Sencha. So that it contain both flavor of Gyokuro and refreshing taste of Sencha.
The tea reflect the earthy aroma
The taste of tea depends on the vegetation environment of the tea plant. Most of tea plant cultivated in Japan is called Yabukita this kind has good intake fertilizer force. The tea taste depends on cultivation area and tea plantation , because of different soil. The tea is considered to reflect the taste of water and soil of cultivation area. You can enjoy more and more to search for your favorite tea.
Processing harvest tea leaf is called tea manufacture. In general Sencha and Gyokuro are made in following processing steps.
1. Steaming and cooling.
Tea leaves which are plucked in the tea plantation right start oxidation. Steam them for prevention of oxidation. This method is called Sassei. Steam it while stirring it many on the way and cool them when grassy scent changed to refreshing fragrance.
2. Tsuyukiri (Dew cut)
Dropping the extra dew, separating the overlapped and sticked tea leaf. For better color of the finish and fragrance.
3. Various rolling techniques
Tea rotation massage → Tea ball breaking → Secondary rolling → Rolling massage ・ Tea fine rolling.
Heating Tea leaf and rolling loosening and rolling again that lead to needle shape. Take care not to cause dry unevenness.
Dry the tea leaf spreading evenly and preventing, Original flavor of tea from putting burnt smell.
Effects of tea
The tea which we usually drink used to be used as medicine. The tea has a lot of health effects.
Relax・Keep yourself awake・Improve memory skills.
A chemical in green tea contain various effects such as calming effect , clear one’s head increasing concentration. And improving memoryskills incorporation of green tea into daily life lead to efficiency up of work. In recent years dementia prevention effect is also expected.
Antibacterial and antivirus action
Tea in particular Gyokuro and Sencha contain much Catechin and are very effective for bacteria and virus such as cholera・typhus・trichophyton・helichobacterpylori,influenza . Drinking the green tea after meal in food will be bad breath prevention and effective for food poisoning prevention. In addition to this fluorine contained in the tea is also effective for cavies prevention tricophyton attached to the skin such as athlet’s foot seems to be changed for the better by putting used tea leaves.
Antioxidant effect ・increase immunity・ cancer prevention
Green tea is known as whitening effect. By its containing Catechin, Vitamin C, B-carotene, etc. Those component of tea are said to be effecting for heart disease, arteriosclerosis and cancer prevention.
※ In case of serious problem , Please consult a specialist doctor immediately.
How to make good tea
Tasting the tea by carefully putting is especially good. You can find your favorite taste and how to make.
Gyokuro (3 servings)
You can enjoy the unique taste the best by putting it carefully with low temperature of around 50°C
Warm the tea pot and tea cup
put 2 tablespoon of tea leaves and 50～60°C hot water of 90ml in the tea pot
Steam for 1～2minutes
Pour evenly in to the tea cup with uniform depth and pour out to the last drop!
You can enjoy freely using café au lait bowl and mini whisk instead of the tea utensils.
Place half a teaspoon of Matcha in a warm bowl
Hot water is added and stirred using chasen(a bamboo tea whisk) with air until finely bubbling.
Sencha (3 servings )
Sencha representative Japanese green tea . It is characterized with its refreshing, elegant and bitterness taste.
Put 2 table spoon of tea leaves in the teapot.
Pour 70～90°C hot water of 210ml in the tea pot.
30 seconds～1 minutes.
Pour evenly in to the tea cup with uniform depth.
Bancha・Hojicha・Genmaicha (5 servings )
It vary depending on the kind of tea such as boiling down in the kettle for few minutes. Please make the tea as instructed in the tea bag.
Put 3 table spoon of tea leaves in the tea pot.
Pour boiling water fully to the tea pot.
Steam for 30 second and pour evenly to the tea cup with uniform depth.
We want to enjoy the green tea which we buy like it, long and deliciously. What we have to be careful of the most in the tea preservation are following two points.
1. Not exposed to the air as much as possible.
2. Block the direct sunlight.
Tightly close tea bag opening , put the tea bag in the light proof tea canister choose tea canister with high degree sealin put desiccant in the tea canister.
Drink all of it up as early as possible.
Buy the green tea little by little just like coffee in order to drink it in fresh condition at any times.
Matcha in particular had better being preserved in low temperature from before opening tea canister .When putting it in the refrigerators, It is better to put the canister into plastic bag not to move the smells.
When Sencha resulted in moisture and lost flavor , roast it in the frying pan then it turns into Hojicha ( roast green tea ) when Hojicha is re roasted it can regain its aroma.
Ujicha no sato is a sales office operated by JA Yamashiro .
Nakabayasi12, Gonokuchi, Ujitawara-cho Tsuzuki-gun, Kyoto, 610-0255, Japan
Open: AM 9: 30 ~ PM 4: Open all year round (excluding the New Year)
At the store which was renovated in May, 2016 you can select items after tea tasting expert staff members will help you to choose tea hearing your favorite . In café corner you can enjoy various Ujicha such as Gyokuro Sencha and Matcha along with sweets to fit the tea.
In May the first picked tea of this year that the tea farmers painstakingly raised are lined up.
The taste of tea are different a great deal by climate and the age of tea plant . JA has full know ledges of characteristic of Ujicha and is able to snuggle up to tea farmers.
That’s why local JA can deliver blended delicious fresh tea.
A variety of processed goods using a tea such as Matcha roll cake, green tea pudding, Tsukudani of tea are prepared.
Direct sales place of local fresh vegetables called 307 Furusato ichi ( Home town market ) is attached to home of Ujicha .
In this market, in addition to seasonal vegetables, You can find various products of hand -made processed goods.
Such as fermented soybean paste, cut flowers, seedlings, shiitake mushrooms in early spring and rice in autumn.
It is direct sales place where is full of tasty of Uji.