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Growing gyokuro tea takes a lot of time and effort. Every day you have to go to the fields and inspect the leaves and hypothesize and take some action or other. It’s a constant task. You can’t take things easy even when you’ve finished picking.
You have to start preparing for next year. The summer, when the plants are susceptible to insects, is an especially worrisome time. You lovingly rear the plants with next spring in mind. So growing gyokuro is a job you have to spend, or rather stake, the whole year on.
I find it hard to put into words, but gyokuro tea isn’t just another drink. It’s not just for quenching the thirst, right? It’s the ultimate cup of tea, the kind of thing you may or may not come across once in a lifetime. It could change a person’s life. It’s a special experience. One day I’ll produce a tea that doesn’t merely taste great but moves the soul.