Thursday, April 28, 2011

Shin Cha Report 3 - Making of Temomi Shin Cha

On April 27, the tea field was covered with beautiful young leaves and ready for harvest.
Maestro Sugimoto was a bit concerned about the weather since it looked like it could rain anytime. If rained, green tea cannot be harvested since wet leaves would affect steaming time, flavor and everything else.
Fortunately, the sky kept holding up for the entire morning and harvest was done successfully. Gathered leaves had to go through different processes immediately while they were still fresh and not oxidized. Maestro Sugimoto invited ten Temomi artisans for this occasion. It took about 8 hours from picking of leaves to the final product.

Temomi (hand-kneading) is vanishing technique in Japan. It is a long process and requires strength to perform hours of kneading. Temomi masters hope that young people carry on this tradition from generation to generation.

We are very pleased to introduce this special tea to the US consumers.
Temomi was shipped out from our factory yesterday and it's on its way to Seattle.
It will be sent out to our customers during the first and second week of May.
Thank you for waiting.

Farmers carefully pick young leaves.

Gathered tea leaves in a basket

Tea leaves being steamed.

Temomi artisans letting moisture escape quickly.

Different kneading technique is applied at each phase.

Ten Temomi artisans were invited to make this special tea.

How amazing each tea leaf is shaping into a roll.

Final drying process is crutial.

Temomi Shin Cha is completed!

Temomi Shin Cha 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

Shin Cha Report 2 - Live Pictures from the Tea Farm

Our green tea is growing soundly and getting ready for the harvest. We are very excited to bring you the fresh green tea very soon.

April 5, 2011
Due to the cold spring weather in Shizuoka, green tea buds were still not showing and the harvest was expected to be later than usual.

April 16, 2011

Buds have finally started showing. The tea field was gradually turning into vivid green.

April 24, 2011
The tea field is covered with gorgeous young leaves, and the harvest date is set to be April 27.

A section of the tea field is reserved for Temomi Shin Cha (hand-kneading green tea) and takes extra care.
On the harvest day of April 27, the traditional Temomi Shin Cha making will be performed to make the freshest green tea just for those who have pre-ordered this special tea.
If you have pre-ordered Temomi Shin Cha, please expect it to be delivered to you during the second week of May.

Bonus pic :-)
Tea Maestro's grand-daughter loves to play in the tea field.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

FDA Assures Safety of Imports from Japan

As we have received a new shipment from Japan, a consumer safety officer of the FDA came over to our warehouse yesterday to examine our green tea.

Due to the current situation surrounding Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, the FDA has been taking a very vigorous screening process for imports from Japan and working closely with import brokers and port authorities to continue to ensure that imported food is safe.

We felt very grateful that the FDA took time to come over to our warehouse and assured the safety of our green tea. As the officer continued examining our products with a special device, the radiation count kept showing absolutely "0" with all of our products. We have learned that the scale is set from 0 to 9. "The level 9 is when I would run screaming." said the officer. We laughed.

The officer spent nearly one hour in our "chilled" warehouse thoroughly checking the products and he did not find any trace of contamination.
The FDA does not have concerns with the safety of imported food products that are in distributions, and they will continue monitoring all the imports from Japan.

We assure you that we will provide safe green tea in full compliance with FDA regulations and instructions and continue to schedule on-sight examinations.

So enjoy our green tea with no worries.
Have a nice tea time!