This is Wazuka It’s a small town in the prefecture of Kyoto about an hour’s drive south east of the capital city also named Kyoto Wazuka is a town in decline, in 1955 The population peaked at seven thousand six hundred and fourteen. Now the population is half that at three thousand six hundred and twenty-eight so, why did Daiki Kanaka, born and raised in Tokyo decided to quit his corporate job and move to this small town with his Wife, brother, and his brother’s friend? To be in this lovely brochure about life in Wazuka Well, not exactly so happens. That Wazuka specialises In producing tea and worldwide demand for green tea if you can trust expensive reports like this one is on the rise Before opening up their tea company They all studied Agriculture at university and this was their chance to put their studies into action while continuing the 800-year-old town tradition of making tea The company is called D matcha and it specializes in tea from producing to selling to educating both Japanese and visitors from abroad If you’ve ever wondered how your cup of tea got to you from green tea oolong to black tea Keep on watching as we’ll walk through the fields go into the factory and taste the final results And by the way, since I’ve been doing a few sponsored videos recently, this is not a sponsored video But rather a chance I got to go behind the scenes. Thanks to a friend of a friend So let’s go The Wazuka is very famous as The main production site of the Uji green tea may be almost over 90% of people know Uji Green tea is the most premium branded Japanese green tea But very few people knows about the actual production site The biggest production site is Wazuka this area is very suitable for The premium category of Japanese green tea more than thousand thousand years ago. This area was under the lake So the soil has a lot of minerals that’s good for nicer tea and because of this mountain Landscape, especially in the morning in spring. We have a so many fog, very foggy here The fog is also quite important to produce sweeter taste of tea Because a leach tea has a lot of amino acid inside the tea leaves But if they get the sun sunshine, the amino acid becomes a bitterness So the fog is kind of natural curtain and to get the certain amount of Sun. So the Background creates a lot of farmers. In Wazuka there are more than 320 tea farm families so they are competing each other In the quality but the same time in the farmers in Japan are co-operating in the processing So several farmers are sharing the processing factories So we never kick out of others, but it’s like a very healthy competition each other Something unique that Daiki’s family does In comparison to other tea farming families is Provide tours of the tea fields as part of their effort to bridge the gap between tea drinkers and farmers They think that being able to feel, see, and taste the tea is an easy way to understand and fully appreciate the process So to the top there is a Temple which was a start of the tea in this region to that temple it is 2.1 kilometres, but to go to our tea farm Which is not 2.1. It’s around 300 meters Well, you might have noticed is that this particular tea field is way up on the mountain It used to be farmed by an elderly lady But because you know It’s hard to get to and not the easiest to farm. Daiki’s younger crew has taken it over and even they struggle at times To gain a foothold What they’re doing right now is not harvesting the tea But rather trimming the trees so that they can later harvest the new leaf buds that will soon emerge. During the tour, I couldn’t help but notice two things. Fans and covers This is why they’re used As we heard the fog in Wazuka Creates a natural curtain from the Sun that helps prevent too much of the amino acids from turning into Catechin which accounts for the bitter taste for most teas they produce the natural barrier is sufficient But for premium Gyokuro and Sencha which is used to make matcha powder They cover those leaves for three weeks to preserve the amino acids, and thus the sweet and umami taste profiles And then there’s the fans they use fans with automatic temperature sensors to prevent frost damage The fans works because the air just meters above the ground can be many degrees warmer. So they simply push that warmer air down Preventing frost from forming and damaging young tea leaves After the tour the tea leaves the guests picked are turned into tempura and a green tea tasting and education session ensues What she’s explaining is that they will taste test three varieties of Sencha before this I had no clue that varieties even existed But if you think about wines and there are many varietals from Cabernet Sauvignon to Merlot, it makes sense Even me I did not know there are so many different variety of the tea But like actually the reality is the taste is quite different depending on the tea variety So those parties of people are really enjoying it. The one varieties It’s not good or bad, hundred people have a hundred different choices. So that’s what we want to Explain, you know also show them now here’s what really made me realize that I knew nothing about green tea Not only is there this huge registered and unregistered list of Japanese tea cultivars. But there are three different flushes or harvests as well as multiple processing methods that results in different types of tea from black to matcha. So in this region, we have it three times a year. But the price and the quality is a very different depending on when you harvest the best one is we call it Ichibancha In English, it is the first flush, is in April to May. So, so for the Sencha. We only use that one for the brewing for the customers and also for the matcha. The first flush is used for the tea ceremony and ceremonial stuff and the second one is in July. Which is a little bit bitter because of the Sun and also tea already used some nutrition for the first flush. So it’s a little bit bitter. So we are using that one for latte and confectionaries and the third one is in October. We don’t use it. But big companies using that one for bottled tea or confectionaries, those kind of different usage so After harvesting we We must Carry immediately to factory same processing start So… We put the tea leaves here. This is conveyor. Come here, Then we steam tea leaves here Then we stop the Fermentation then comes the tea leaves here and go like this This is like a dryer we dry. The tea leaves step by step Then come here. Then this one will move like this. Then come here we roll like like this. Press out the moisture of the tea leaves the shape become. Sharp so this machine will. Move, rolling it dry on low and come here We take by hand here that you’ve come this must move like this. The tea leaves become like a chop By this machine under dryer Then come comes a dryer find out find out right here. So it gets dried So many times. Yeah, but we want we want to. Dry also inside too So we must dry it step by step then come here. This is a Dryer find out right here And this is conveyor like moving Also it goes ok. Yeah. Yeah, sorry. There By wind And come here Oh ok What you just saw was the process of making Sencha the type You’re probably thinking of when someone says green tea, however, green tea and oolong tea and black tea is like a different fermented stage stage Yeah, when you’re processing tea the difference between Sencha, Oolong and Black is how much you oxidize the leaves generally speaking to Make Sencha you steamed the leaves immediately stopping the oxidation process, while with Oolong You partially oxidized the leaves and with black you let the leaves fully oxidized. This is why green tea contains more antioxidants. Whereas Black Tea contains more caffeine and tannin. But we’re not done with our Tea lesson just yet because there are many more types. And what surprised me the most was that they all come from the same tree the Camellia Sinensis. Yes, there are different cultivars, but it’s all the same tree. So matcha, Gyokuro, Sencha, Houjicha, Oolong and Black all use leaves from the Camellia Sinensis. Houjicha is processed the same as Sencha except it’s also roasted which is why it’s named in English is Roasted Green Tea. Gyokuro is also processed like Sencha except before harvest the leaves get covered for three weeks to preserve the umami and sweetness Now Matcha on the other hand gets covered for three weeks before harvest like Gyokuro But it only gets steamed and dried, not rolled instead. The dried leaves are ground into a powder This is a hand grinder. So in a factory it would be automated but still the process takes long and uses the highest-quality leaves. So it’s more expensive. So to recap all tea comes from the same tree the Camellia Sinensis. There are three harvests. The first being the most premium, there are hundreds of Cultivars and There are many ways to process and mix the tea to make a multitude of types. I mean, I didn’t even mention my favorite Genmaicha Which is typically a blend of roasted rice and Bancha or Sencha, even though it’s a lower grade and cheaper tea What can I say? I like the nutty flavor. This is why Daiki Wants the world to know that green tea is quite similar to wine. The biggest motivation is We would like to make that green tea the industry like the wine industry. Because, Umm There are lots of different quality and the grade of the tea but in the market it’s very difficult to identify So like such crappy yellow just bitter tea is also served as Tea but in reality is the taste is very different depending on the locations and the tea field. So like we would like to create those kind of brand and that lets guests Understand easier to the difference in the production side. Daiki and his wife Misato are expecting their first child soon So I asked if it was scary to be running a relatively new business. Green tea is Part of our culture, so I want to inherit this and then pass my success to them My baby Not so scary. Sometimes I work all day from morning. To night But like, um, I’m sleeping, but you know At a good time like before 12 o’clock and I woke up like seven or those time kinda so that’s totally healthy. I’m Actually really enjoying To… Do this whole stuff. Like a hobby? Yeah Very exciting and enjoyable. Like even when I’m washing dishes I feel happiness. So I don’t think it’s really work It’s like kind of my part of my life. So I mean Yeah… At the end of the day, the thing I like the most about their whole setup was that they ate as a group. No, not everything had tea in it, but it was nice to see everyone share a meal. But if you do visit you can get tea and most anything at the cafe. From your Tantanmen and pasta to an assortment of desserts and sweets to the multitude of drinks and if you can’t visit They also have an online store where they deliver tea around the world. However, I’d really suggest visiting in person if you’re looking for that authentic Japanese experience not only were the sites in the Small town beautiful, but the food and drink admittedly like most areas in Japan were a real treat. Thanks for watching! See you next time. Bye.