In Japan, the tea culture has developed with great success, and production methods themselves are similar to the Chinese. It is believed that the tea plant was introduced into Japan from China in the IX century, about 810 years, that is, two thousand years ago. Not far from Osaka is a temple, founded according to tradition, in the IX century in honor of the Chinese who brought tea bush. In Japan, the tea grows well in the South, most of all in the districts Omi and Tamba, and in the north reaches 73 degrees north latitude, but here its production meets some difficulties, and as a consequence a great harshness of the climate, it is necessary to cover the plantation matting. The best varieties are produced in the districts of Kyoto, Udzhei and Ogura.
Here there is also a small landholdings, and tea plantations represent fractional portions, rather patches of land. On the culture of tea takes care of the government itself. The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture publishes various rigorous regulations concerning cultivation, fertilizers, plantations protection from sun and wind, time of collection, and more.
Tea plant reaches full development in the sixth year and provides 300 pounds per acre, fresh leaves, that is, less than in China. The processing of the leaves is slightly different from the Chinese. They are more dry. Normally tea is dried at a temperature of 70-80 degrees, followed by sieving through a bamboo sieve. On some plantations are screened only once or twice, from which the tea is still a significant percentage of dust and scrap. On the other screening is particularly complex operations simple varieties go through three screens, average grades 4-5, the best at 6, and the highest in 7-10. One employee can make a day of 30 to 38 pounds of tea.
Prepared on the tea plantation consists of long rolled leaves brownish-green color. Prior to the sale of its holding in large clay vessels clogged, then subjected to pre-sort and stack the best grades in porcelain jars, others in wooden boxes. Buy this tea merchants and agents who bring it in this form to the ports, in warehouses, where it pour into large, deep frying pan, put on long foci, and subjected to secondary drying, because after the first drying the sheet remains 10-11 % moisture, from which tea can be damaged. To impart a desired color it still triturated in cold boiler, and then sorted again sieved and finally packaged for shipping overseas.
Tea in Japan is improving each year, when it introduced new and enhanced processing apparatus to facilitate the drying process.
Japanese tea is different from the Chinese darker and slightly burnt taste as a consequence of more frequent toasting, with it, of course, can not have that flavor. Not high class does not have the ability to maintain long as Chinese tea. Leaves them in a year made sticky and take a reddish hue.
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