Japanese Tea


Converse about the 34 tea lessons on teaclass.com

Japanese Tea

Postby Charles » Mar 10th, '10, 15:52

This discussion thread is dedicated to questions and comments on the TeaClass lesson: Japanese Tea (http://www.teaclass.com/lesson_0307.html). TeaClass is designed to be a free educational tool so if anything is unclear, let us know! We're also using TeaClass to train our own retail store staff so please feel free to share anything you've heard or read that disagrees with the lesson. Our goal is to continually improve this tool based on your feedback.
User avatar
Charles
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Oct 12th, '
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Japanese Tea

Postby Bourgea » Apr 19th, '10, 17:58

I am having a hard time finding the Khushu growing region. Is it possible you meant Kyushu? I may just be missing it.

"The best teas come from mountainous regions in the southern part of Japan with the best growing areas found in Shizuoka and Khushu." You said that this is where the best teas are from, but is it where most of the teas are grown or just the best?

Where are most of the Larger tea gardens located in Japan?
Bourgea
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 19th, '

Re: Japanese Tea

Postby Chip » Apr 20th, '10, 00:47

Kyushu for the win!

Home of Kagoshima and Yame two name two! :mrgreen:
User avatar
Chip
Mod/Admin
 
Posts: 22137
Joined: Apr 22nd, '
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji

Re: Japanese Tea

Postby tsusentei » May 3rd, '10, 12:58

I was reading this, as well. The language seems very straight-forward, but the content does not seem accurate. The best teas in Japan come from good, honest farmers throughout Japan and there can be no relationship between region and quality drawn. My information comes from years of visiting and living on tea farms throughout Japan. The people who actually grow the tea are not paid an especially high wage, more often they are gouged by wholesalers who make the bulk of the money in the industry by collecting lower quality teas and blending them with low-balled, high quality teas to produce blends that are just barely palatable. The info on gyokuro and other teas is also only marginally accurate, so take it all with a grain of salt. A good overview, but confuses history with fact and is lacking the finer points of Japanese tea.

Large tea gardens can be found throughout Japan, mostly in the wel-know growing regions such as Kyushu, Shizuoka, Kyoto, Aichi, etc. Typically, the larger the tea garden, the lower the quality. A large tea garden requires more machine processing which can contaminate and damage the leaves. I have looked at google maps to locate larger tea fields in Shizuoka. You should try this out, it is very interesting.
User avatar
tsusentei
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Jun 5th, '0
Location: Knee-deep in rain steeped tea~

Re: Japanese Tea

Postby Charles » May 3rd, '10, 16:59

Bourgea wrote:I am having a hard time finding the Khushu growing region. Is it possible you meant Kyushu? I may just be missing it.


You are correct... I've edited the text.
User avatar
Charles
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Oct 12th, '
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Japanese Tea

Postby Charles » May 3rd, '10, 17:32

Tsusentei,

As with any tea producing region, we are forced to make generalizations for the sake of simplicity. Good tea can come from anywhere, so for the sake of accuracy I've edited the text to read, "The highest volume of quality teas come from mountainous regions in the southern part of Japan with the most productive growing areas found in Shizuoka and Kyushu." There are always small growers doing exceptional things, but we need to focus on the gardens that produce in meaningful quantities for export. If it can't be easily found in the US it isn't useful for our "students".

Wages are a relative question. They may not be "especially high" in your opinion, but tea workers in Japan are paid much more than tea workers in other countries. Without questions wholesalers and brokers take large profits in Japan as in any other country in any other industry. The buyer must always beware because there are business people who will take advantage of those they can.

You challenge the information on Gyokuro and other teas... what we've written is in keeping with what you'll find in quite a few different tea books and my own training and experience. Please detail what you find to be in error and what you believe is the correct information and I'll be glad to research. I am always looking for the best information possible.

Thanks for your feedback
User avatar
Charles
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Oct 12th, '
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Japanese Tea

Postby tsusentei » May 3rd, '10, 20:56

Thanks for the updates Charles. I had checked this out a long time ago, but since the answers to that first poster's questions had not been answered, I thought that at this point I would answer them. I will get back to you on the gyokuro and other corrections, since you are interested. Good to know someone is at the wheel! (^^)
User avatar
tsusentei
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Jun 5th, '0
Location: Knee-deep in rain steeped tea~

Re: Japanese Tea

Postby tsusentei » May 3rd, '10, 21:26

Okay, I still do not appreciate the following statement:
"Tea workers in Japan are considered skilled labor and are highly paid."
Relative to many professions in Japan, which is I believe what is relative when one talks about Japanese tea, tea workers are not highly paid, especially those who do not own their own farms. The vast majority of tea laborers, especially in those regions that produce the largest quantities of tea, are considered skilled labor as apple pickers are considered skilled labor in the US.

"This incredible tea is created by shading the plants with bamboo mats for the final 3-4 weeks prior to harvest." This statement was true in a history long past, but I would say that less than one percent of gyokuro teas available to the consumer in Japan are grown beneath bamboo shaded fields. Most modern "gyokuro" is grown beneath a series of plastic nets that are designed to perform a similar function to the bamboo. Though the idea of bamboo is more romantic, it is typically only used in the production of competition teas; teas that would likely never be made available to the US consumer. One thing I might add to the gyokuro section is the amounts and types of fertilizer used in the production of these teas; a pertinent fact when comparing it to other Japanese teas.

I hope that all helps. I love the idea of this "tea course". It is good to have informed consumers.
User avatar
tsusentei
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Jun 5th, '0
Location: Knee-deep in rain steeped tea~

Re: Japanese Tea

Postby rabbit » May 6th, '10, 09:46

tsusentei wrote:I have looked at google maps to locate larger tea fields in Shizuoka. You should try this out, it is very interesting.


coordinates?

[edit] - Nevermind! You can find a tea farm by pretty much just zooming in on ANY location, lol!
User avatar
rabbit
 
Posts: 713
Joined: Feb 14th, '
Location: A briar patch.

Re: Japanese Tea

Postby JeiKun4114 » Sep 15th, '10, 03:14

Bourgea wrote:I am having a hard time finding the Khushu growing region. Is it possible you meant Kyushu? I may just be missing it.

"The best teas come from mountainous regions in the southern part of Japan with the best growing areas found in Shizuoka and Khushu." You said that this is where the best teas are from, but is it where most of the teas are grown or just the best?

Where are most of the Larger tea gardens located in Japan?


the best growing is in Shizuoka and also the biggest...if im not mistaken it is in the city of Shimada. Out of all the tea Ive had here in Japan the best has come from Shizuoka prefecture.
User avatar
JeiKun4114
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Sep 13th, '
Location: South Texas/ Yokohama, Japan

Re: Japanese Tea

Postby entropyembrace » Sep 15th, '10, 13:15

Charles wrote:
Wages are a relative question. They may not be "especially high" in your opinion, but tea workers in Japan are paid much more than tea workers in other countries.


In absolute terms maybe...but the cost of living is much higher in Japan than other major tea producing countries so in real terms they are not paid very well.
User avatar
entropyembrace
 
Posts: 1911
Joined: Mar 3rd, '0

Re: Japanese Tea

Postby JeiKun4114 » Sep 15th, '10, 18:07

entropyembrace wrote:
Charles wrote:
Wages are a relative question. They may not be "especially high" in your opinion, but tea workers in Japan are paid much more than tea workers in other countries.


In absolute terms maybe...but the cost of living is much higher in Japan than other major tea producing countries so in real terms they are not paid very well.


you are absolutely right! very expensive :shock:
User avatar
JeiKun4114
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Sep 13th, '
Location: South Texas/ Yokohama, Japan

Re: Japanese Tea

Postby Shihali » Feb 1st, '12, 00:02

Do you have a figure in yen for typical wages? That would make it easier for everyone to judge. I presume it's enough to live in a house with a floor, have 24-hour electricity, and cook white rice in an electric rice cooker with protein for dinner every day, which by tea worker standards is pretty good.
Shihali
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Nov 13th, '


Instant Messenger

Permissions
You cannot post new topics
You cannot reply to topics
You cannot edit your posts
You cannot delete your posts
You cannot post attachments
Navigation