- d:matcha's tea fieldsï¼ˆby Hiroki.A ）
An update from the fields.
After 25 days of bancha mowing, the nibancha or second flush has started to grow out. Nibancha are buds that grow out from the lower growth point after the apical buds have been trimmed. The timing at which the Nibancha emerges is heavily dependant on factors such as: when the first flush takes place, the timing of the first bancha harvest, as well as the depth at which the bancha is harvested.
The earlier the harvest time of the first flush or the first bancha, along with a shallower cutting surface of the bancha; the earlier emergence of the second flush will come out. For example, 10 days after the first flush is harvested and if the bancha is cut shallowly, the Nibancha is more likely to emerge at a relatively earlier timing. This is also because the branches grown from the previous year were not completely cut.
If the first bancha is cut at a much deeper level and approximately 15 days after the first tea was harvested, the tea for the second flush will likely emerge at a much slowly rate. There are different methods of first bancha cutting as this allows tea farmers to adjust and maximise the harvest timing of the second flush.
When it comes to harvesting bancha however, you need to be precise and ensure the cut is even. This is particularly important when the harvesting time for tea trees in the same plantation take place at a different time. Furthermore, the most important thing about Nibancha is that it must be completed in the same tea field, at the same time. I feel that adjusting and controlling this timing is one of the most difficult tasks for a tea farmer.
On the left：You can see several new leaves, but they have grown at different rates.
On the right：These new tea shoots have grown at an equal rate.
- d:matcha staff's tea life ï¼ˆby Natsuki.S）
I have been taking lessons in the art of tea ceremony at least once a week ever since I started working at d:matcha. Attending my tea lessons always makes me feel refreshed and I enjoy studying the rules regarding how matcha should be made. For the last two months however, I wasn’t able to attend any of my lessons due to the coronavirus. Luckily, my tea classes have recently resumed!~ I have been waiting patiently and excitedly for this day.
Drinking matcha isn’t just about enjoying a cup of tea, but the process also allows us to experience the changing seasons. This is especially poignant in Japan, where each of the four seasons have their own distinct charm and unique characteristics.
My days at work as usually quite busy, so the time spent during the tea lessons are precious to me! I am still a newcomer, so there is still a lot more for me to learn regarding how to serve matcha for customers. Either way, I'm happy that our daily life has resumed again!!
- We completed the first flush for 2020!ï¼ˆby Chisei.T）
We have officially finished the first flush of the year, and this harvest was even more meaningful as we produced all the sencha at our very own factory.
The leaves harvested were always in varying conditions depending on the weather or the location of the field. Yet we were able to harvest the new shoots when they were at the same stage of growth. As we had full control over the post processing process, we were also able to fully maximise the potential of the tea leaves.
As I observed the leaves during the processing, I was able to pinpoint and discern the strength and weakness of each tea leaf. This also allowed me to make the necessary adjustments to ensure the end product is in the best quality desired.
My ultimate goal is for our customers to be able to taste the various characteristics of each tea, so they can enjoy the tea from a refreshing new perspective. I also hope this allows them to expand their knowledge of tea, as well as widen their ‘world of tea’.
- Special cold brew senchaï¼ˆby Saki.N）
The weather is getting warmer these days! Have you heard of cold brew sencha? I really recommend you to make cold brew sencha for Summer, especially special cold brew sencha made using with "tencha".
Tencha are tea leaves that have been processed specifically for the production of matcha. Furthermore, the method of producing special cold brew sencha is extremely easy!
Pour 1 litre of soft water into 15g of tencha, and leave the bottle overnight in the fridge. While the cold brew sencha is not as common, and the taste is milder compared, I personally really enjoy it. Let's try it at home in this summer!
- About Kyobancha ï¼ˆby Ryhan）
I feel that when people think of tea from Japan, these two types are always the first to come to mind: green tea or matcha. The last few months have however, taught me that there are so many other different variations! For example, recently I have helping out in the factory to produce 京番茶 or “Kyobancha”.
Unique to the Kyoto Prefecture, Kyobancha is a type of tea that is made from tea leaves harvested between the first and second flush. Similar to Houjicha, the last part of the process involves roasting the leaves. The difference for Kyobancha is that the leaves are not rolled during processing, thus the final product is often bigger. This tea possess a unique earthy aroma, which is accompanied by a dark deep chocolate-like taste.
Personally I enjoy the taste of roasted tea especially on a cooler day. Now that the rainy season is almost approaching, maybe you should come have a cup with me~
- New tiramisu flavoursï¼ˆby Misato.T）
We recently launched our new tiramisu product! The "Ujicha Tiramisu Seven-Gyokuro Special" is now available to customers within Japan, and has been reviewed as the perfect mid-year gift and dessert for Summer.
At d:matcha, all the photographs of our new products and tea fields are taken by members of the team. Photos are an extremely important way showcasing the appeal of our new products to our customers. I spent two days in the tea plantations to shoot this new product.
While we may not be photography professionals, I bet that the love for our products in second to none! I will continue to do my best to showcase our products through our photographs. Please do support me!
- about d:matchaï¼ˆby Daiki.T）
This year, I am excited to try new things at d:matcha!
First of all, we are planning to expand the area of our tea plantations and to build an outdoor terrace with seats where our customers will have the opportunity to enjoy nature, as well as the beautiful landscape of Wazuka. We will be managing the number of customers at the time to also ensure it does not get too crowded. Our main aim is for everyone will be able to enjoy their time in the tea fields comfortably. Perhaps except for Winter, as it might be too cold!
We are also developing and expanding the availability of products in our online store. Thus far we have added new flavours of our highly acclaimed tiramisu, cold zenzai, and mini cheesecakes for Winter! Aside from cakes, we are also producing chocolates with a different matcha flavour profiles. All in all, we are thinking of ways to provide new opportunities and unique experiences, whether it is from a tea farmer’s perspective or through the online site.