What is Tencha?
For producing high quality Tencha (碾茶) the very first, most tender leaves of the spring season are used. The tea plants are covered with black sheets 3-4 weeks before harvest to block direct exposure to sunlight, resulting in leaves that are rich in theanine. This creates a smooth, mellow and sweet taste. The leaves are then steamed at 200°C to prevent oxidation, and dried in the factory. The result of this processing method is flat and grumbly leaves that are rich in their green colour. Tencha leaves are rarely sold in shops in Japan as they are usually ground straight away to make Matcha.
Akihiro “Akky” Kita is our president and lead farmer here at Obubu. His desire to make this tea available to the general public is the foundation of Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms. In college, Akky took up a part-time job as a farmhand in Wazuka, and fell in love with the tea of this region. He made the decision then to leave college and devote his time to mastering the art of tea farming. Recognizing the need for independent farmers like himself to spread the joy of drinking Japanese tea, he travels each year during the winter off-season to bring Japanese tea to people all over the world.