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.

Maccha, Start to Finish

Maccha, From Start to Finish
Tea leaves picked in shaded tea fields are steamed and then cooled. As soon as the leaves have cooled off, they are dried at a high temperature. At this point in the process, the leaves still maintain their complete forms with stems and veins attached. The leaves are then cut, and after being dried once more, the stems and veins are sorted out to leave the more tender and more delicious part of the leaves. At this stage, the tea is called Tencha which is then stone-ground and made into powdered tea called Maccha. The grinding process requires great care and a considerable length of time.

In the past, all of the grinding was done by hand

Tea Mortars of the Taisho Period (1912-1926)

Completely Dried tea leaves

After passing through the cleaning room, on the way to the Maccha factory

A Present Day Maccha Factory

So what do you think of traditional tea practices? Today, Shohokuen’s factories have the most sophisticated machinery available for tea manufacture. But our tea manufacturer's spirit has remained the same as that of our pioneer family 350 years ago. We are sensitive in dealing with Mother Nature and are grateful for the gifts she brings us. That is why we do not use any food additives or chemicals and strive to exclusively make products that are good for our health.

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