Why we cover tea trees by the black sheet?

When you visit the green tea production site especially Kyoto, you can see the tea trees covered by the black sheet. Why we cover? 

Short answer is to produce high quality Japanese green tea such as Gyokuro, Kabuse-cha and Tencha (Tea leaves of matcha).  By covering the black sheet, the tea leaves can sustain and increase the amount of Theanine, a kind of amino acid and the key of the taste. The balance between Theanine and Catechin is the key to the taste, that is sweetness/umami and bitterness/astringency. By covering with black sheets, we can control the amount of Theanine that becomes Catechin. To achieve the high quality of Gyokuro, we cover with black sheet around 20 days.

Theanine has the relaxing effects . Also in a study, Theanine was proven that it can provide a composition for improving and/or preventing dementia, particularly dementia associated with senescence and the like.

 In addition to it, the color of the leaves can be changed a lot by covering. The picture shows the difference. All tea trees in the picture are same species and only difference is whether the trees were covered or not.  Trees in forehand was covered by more than 10 days. The color became much more darker. 

left side was not covered. 

The color is also the important factors for the tea market. In general, the dark green one is much more expensive than others because the dark color means the leaves contain a lot of Theanine, a source of rich taste. 

Only skilled farmers can achieve the best balance of Theanine and Catechin. Although covering requires a lot of work, the process can create the right amount of umami in the tea leaves. 

After we covered for 14 days, we harvested Tencha at July 13th. 

You can enjoy our this year matcha as matcha latte in d:matcha cafe & kitchen in Wazuka Kyoto. 


d:matcha Kyoto Cafe & Kitchen 

17 Kyomachi Kamatsuka Wazuka-cho Souraku-gun Kyoto-fu Japan 


Copy right 2017. JUly 28th Daiki Tanaka 

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