The Kyobancha Harvest

What a first day in the field for the new Interns Obubu!

At 9 o’clock this morning, Kali, Kamiko, Lana, Nathan and Patrick, joined their senpais Kirstine and Jenifer for the first harvest in Aoimori, the Blue Forest tea field. Ready with gloves, boots and rain pants, at 9 o’clock the team went up the mountain together with the staff and us assistant managers through the narrow road that runs across the forest and along the stream.

We harvested large leaves of Okumidori cultivar, that have been growing throughout winter, to make Kyobancha. Divided in three groups, the tea harvesters dissipated across Aoimori, to then meet back in the central area with many harvesting bags full of beautiful leaves. In the meantime, another group has been in charge of trimming, with a special vertical trimming machine, to make the sides of the tea bushes clean and neat, and allow enough space to walk between the bushes. This is a kind of maintenance work that we do in preparation for the most-awaited spring harvest, that will take place towards the end of April.

After harvesting for half a day, we brought the tea leaves to a factory that will process the leaves in Kyobancha. Kyobancha is a tea that we harvest in winter, long before the first spring harvest, and it is a tea typical of the Kyoto region. It is steamed for 30 minutes, then dried and roasted. The leaves are not rolled, and keep their wide and large shape at the end of the processing.

Finally, what best way to congratulate ourself for the good job done than a cup of warm and soothing Kyobancha?

Posted in Adventures In Tea!, Interns, Japanese Tea.

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