At the beginning of May, we start picking Sencha leaves, and about two weeks later we begin to harvest Gyokuro and Tencha (the tea leaves used to make Maccha). The first harvest of the year, which is called “New Tea” (or “ First Flush Tea”) is said to have the highest quality of aroma and flavor. For later harvests, our production methods combine the best technologies with a human touch to bring out the true potential of each tea variety.

Traditional Hand-Processing vs. Machine Processing

In days of old, the tea harvest was done completely by hand as a matter of course, with work days that started early and ended late. Still today, hand-cultivation is used for fields that are difficult to cultivate by machine, tea varieties that require shaded fields, and for especially high-grade teas.


  • ◎Start harvesting at the bottom of the field and move upward.
  • ◎Start picking the leaves nearest to the root and move outward.
  • ◎Pick only the top three leaves, leaving the small leaves just below them.
  • ◎Throw away old leaves and any foreign substances which may find their way into the basket.
  • ◎Do not put any pressure on the leaves in the basket.
  • ◎Do not leave picked leaves for long periods of time.

Harvesting Sencha does not require shading the leaves with reeds, so for the most part machine cultivation is used. Compared to the days of hand processing, the cultivation process at each stage has become less labor-intensive and more efficient.

Rough Tea vs. Processed Tea

Rough tea is tea that has been rolled and dried but still includes stalks, tea dust and unusable leaves. Processed tea has been sorted to remove these impurities and pan roasted to remove bitterness and refine flavor. Processed tea is generally what you find in the marketplace.

New Tea or Aged Tea?

Thanks to the development of low-temperature-storage technology, it is now possible to keep the flavor and quality of New Tea throughout the year. In earlier days, New Tea leaves were put in earthenware pots and kept in tea storehouses or icehouses to keep them as fresh as possible. Tea that "spends a summer in the pot" naturally loses some of its fresh aroma, but it also becomes more mild in flavor and acquires the richness that only a maturing process can bring out. This is why autumn tea is also said to taste so good.

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  • Traditional Hand-Processing vs. Machine Processing
  • Sencha and Gyokuro, Start to Finish
  • Maccha, Start to Finish
  • Tea Safety Measures