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Yame Dentou Hon Gyokuro, Japan’s finest tea, is produced with the involvement of seasoned professionals at all stages: cultivation, harvesting, processing. Each is an essential task, but as a grower involved in cultivation what I take particularly care with is the screening process, which affects the development of the shoots. When adjusting the amount of shade to match the condition of the shoots, you need to decide how much coverage to provide in light of the weather and temperature. There you have to rely on your experience and intuition.
I’ve been in the business of growing gyokuro for fifteen years, but I still have a lot to learn. It’s truly an art, which is what makes it challenging, but also what makes it fun.
Placing first at competition time certainly won’t be easy, because gyokuro is the finest grade of Japanese tea, and being the best in Japan means being the best in the world. The more I get to know about this business, the more I become convinced of that. Still, if I keep my nose to the grindstone, I believe that one day I will reach the top.