"The color of Shizuoka, the fragrance of Uji, the taste of Sayama"
In Japan, people drink green tea on a daily basis.
Here we will try to introduce Japan's three most notorious types of tea, which are the Shizuoka tea, the Uji tea and the Sayama tea.
The term Uji-cha refers to the tea that results from blending tea leaves from various regions and produced by tea manufacturers from Uji and Kyoto in Kyoto Prefecture. Although they are using tea leaves from
Nara, Shiga and Mie Prefectures, the tea industry regulations state that leaves produced within the Kyoto
and Osaka area must account for the biggest part of the final product.
Working with traditional techniques to process the tea, using tea leaves harvested in different regions and selected for their taste, fragrance and astringency, the characteristic taste of Uji-cha is well-regulated.
Approximately 2000 tons of tea leaves are produced in Wasuka, Minami Yamashiro, Ujitawara and the
southern part of Kyoto and Osaka Prefectures.
Shizuoka Prefecture is the biggest producer of tea in Japan. This is mostly because of its mild climate. Even during the coldest days of Winterm it doesn't snow very much within the Shizuoka Prefecture, which
makes it most suitable for tea cultivation. Besides, one very important point in the Shizuoka-cha
processing is the deep steaming.
The steaming method is so important that it is said that "a crude tea's character is settled by the way it is steamed". Roughly speaking, the steaming methods can be divided into three categories : regular
steaming, light steaming and deep steaming.
Shizuoka-cha is almost only deep-steamed green tea. Compared to other steaming methods, the deep
steaming one results in crushed, short leaves and produces a lot of powder. To those familiar with regular
steamed tea, the powdery look of the Shizuoka-cha may make it look like a low-quality tea. However,
those small leaves are what makes Shizuoka-cha's flavor so tasteful and rich.
Sayama-cha is produced in the eastern region of Saitama Prefecture. Because it is located more in the
North than other regions which cultivate tea, the tea leaves production is limited and the cultivation
method also differs from other regions.
The relatively cold climate as well as the different harvest time causes the leaves to grow thicker than
usual, which gives Sayama-cha a particularly strong and astringent taste compared to the tea produced in other regions.
The characteristic of Sayama-cha is its intense flavor, which can be savored all the more to overcome the
cold Winter. Furthermore, the unique Sayama heating technique used in the final process results in a sweet and rich green tea.
source : http://welcomejapan.jp/ginza_en/culture/japanese-tea-tasting/