霜 (shimo) or frost occurs when a surface cools past dew point. While frost usually forms in low-lying areas, it is also a common occurrence in valleys. Frost usually forms overnight, when the air temperature is significantly cooler.
Depending on the growth stage of the new shoots, frost can severely damage tea trees. Extremely tiny tea shoots are protected by their bracts that encase them. Young tea shoots on the other hand, are exceptionally soft making them the most susceptible. In most cases, these shoots are unable to withstand the frost. Furthermore, as tea fields are often located in an open field, they cool faster and are more likely to reach the frosting point as compared to a shaded area.
Unfortunately the frost this year was extremely strong. Farmers - including d:matcha - with fields in the warmer regions of Wazuka Town were badly affected. While we will try our best to salvage as much as we can, these are the realities of farming!