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Summer Tea Farm

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JUNE

Second Harvest - Sencha  
After the first harvest for Matcha which ends around the end of May, the second harvest for Sencha begins in early June, which is approximately 45 days from the first harvest for Sencha.

This is also the time when the month-long rainy season sets in. The high humidity and continuous rain make harvesting difficult and our farmer has to struggle with all problems brought by such harsh weather conditions.


Processing - Aracha          
After harvest, fresh tea leaves undergo two stages of processing - primary processing carried out at the farm by our farmer and secondary processing, which is done at our facility by us, the tea wholesaler. Primary processing produces Aracha, which is crude tea or half-finishingtea for making into Sencha. It involves steaming the freshly harvested leaves to halt oxidation to maintain the color and quality of the leaves and at the same time, balance the flavor by removing the 'grassy' smell. After steaming, the leaves are kneaded, rolled and dried to form Aracha. This Aracha is then delivered to our facility for the secondary processing, which involves mainly blending, drying and sorting of the Aracha to produce Sencha, the finishing tea....(read more)


Second Harvest - Matcha  
Following the second harvest for Sencha, the second harvest for Matcha begins around mid-June.


Processing - Tencha          
After harvest, fresh tea leaves undergo two stages of processing - primary processing carried out at the farm by our farmer and second processing, which is done at our facility by us, the tea wholesaler. Primary processing produces Tencha, which is crude tea or half-finishing tea for making into Matcha. It involves steaming the freshly harvested leaves to halt oxidation to maintain the color and quality of the leaves and at the same time, balance the flavor by removing the 'grassy' smell. After steaming, the leaves are dried in a special furnace called 'Tencha-Ro', sorted and de-veined to form Tencha. This Tencha is then delivered to our facility for the secondary processing, which involves mainly blending and milling to produce Matcha, the finishing tea.... (read more)                         


Skiffing                               
Skiffing is conducted ten to fifteen days after harvest. Skiffing is a process where extended branches are trimmed off to even out the surface for plucking for the following harvest season. The main purpose of skiffing is to ensure that stems or old leaves do not get mixed with the new young leaves during harvest. This is also a way of ensuring evenness in the quality of leaves picked at the time of harvest.




JULY

Struggle with Weeds         
After the second harvest in June, summer sets in and the battle against weeds begin. As the rainy season has not ended at this time of the year, the air is dump with high humidity, making work on the farm doubly hard.

With plenty of sunshine and the compost applied to the soil a few months before the first harvest, weeds grow fast in this favorable condition. As no herbicides are used on the farm, our farmer and his workers are seen pulling weeds with their bare hands, one by one, on the 80 hectares wide farm. They do not use any tools nor machines for fear of damaging the plants. Pulling weeds under the hot scorching summer sun is extremely hard work and weeds grow at a tremendous fast speed in this weather, making the job seems endless.


Struggle with Pests          
Harmful insects come alive in this hot season of the year, feasting on tea leaves. Getting rid of such harmful pests without the use of pesticides is a challenge. Our organic farm started without using pesticides nor herbicides, which helps in not destroying the natural habitat of the useful insects living amongst the tea plants, like spiders and ladybugs, which also come alive to feed on the harmful insects. Our farmer also relies on a simple machine which comes with a blower that emits a strong gust of wind, blowing insects off the leaves, and a sprayer which sprays water at a high pressure, killing the insects simultaneously.


Struggle with Diseases      
Bacteria and viral attacks are not uncommon during the rainy season. Daily checks on the plants for diseases is necessary. Our farmer puts in a lot of effort and time in cultivating strong tea plants with strong roots which do not fall prey to diseases easily.




AUGUST

Weeds and Pests                
The struggle with weeds and pests continues into this time of the year, when the temperature is at its highest.


Watering                             
To prevent the soil from drying up in this scorching hot weather, watering the plants at shorter regular intervals become an additional part of the work of our farmer in summer.



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