What is Sencha?
Sencha (煎茶), which means `brewing tea´, is the most popular type of tea in Japan and is unique in its distinctive emerald green colour. In fact, 80% of all green tea produced in Japan is considered Sencha. After being picked, the Sencha leaves are immediately steamed for about 40 to 50 seconds to stop them from oxidising. This step is followed by several rolling processes (rough rolling, strong rolling, middle rolling, and finally fine rolling) carried out by man-operated machines. These imitate the hand rolling process from earlier times and transform the leaves into evenly formed shapes.
Traditionally, the cultivation of Sencha is divided into three harvesting periods. The first leaves that are picked from April to May are the youngest, most tender ones and therefore provide the best quality Sencha. In June and July is the summer harvest, and the last harvest of the year is carried out in September. Each harvest gives Sencha a unique characteristic.
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. While at university, 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.