Kyoto’s tea region: the birthplace of Japanese tea

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Tea cultivation methods were first introduced to Uji from China around 800 years ago. Tea farmers and distributors in the region developed their own horticultural processes, and their unique methods produced uniquely Japanese varieties of tea. These new varieties include sencha (green tea) produced from steamed and kneaded leaves, gyokuro (premium green tea), and matcha (powdered green tea). Both gyokuro and matcha are made from leaf buds grown in the shade to increase their theanine content, but matcha has its stems and veins removed before being ground on a stone mill. Eventually these techniques spread across the country, but tea cultivation has continued in Uji since its inception.

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