How Japanese Green Tea is Made Beneath Mt. Fuji
They dive right into the Japanese green tea making process, starting with handpicking the tea leaves.
HOW TEA IS MADE (BY HAND)
The tea leaves must be first heated to preserve their green color. Usually Japanese green tea leaves are steamed, but this time Honda-san cooks them with a kamado stove as a shortcut (this is the method for Chinese tea). Meanwhile, Honda-san and Phoebe toss the tea leaves so they don’t get too hot.
Then, the leaves are transferred to the board (“jyotan”) over a flat, heated stove (“hoiro”) where they will be rolled by hand. The jyotan is made of many layers of Japanese washi paper. Here, the tea leaves are dried as they are constantly mixed by hand.
While the moisture evaporates, Honda-san and Phoebe knead the tea leaves by hand, a step called “yoko-makuri” (rotating the leaves). The next step is “itazuri” ("rolling on a wooden board”), which helps shape the tea leaves.
After nearly 3 ½ hours of hands-on work, the tea is ready for tasting.