Shincha update: MOE on 18th April 2017 and the race of the tea varieties

In the last days, we have been en route in several trains even longer than usually, today we actually traveled till Kyushu. Hence we we were not able to post the new pictures from the tea gardens here in the Shincha blog 2017 on time. But now, we are going to catch up quickly.

In the following, you can find a picture of Mr. Matsumoto, showing how the leaves of the Yabukita bushes for the Shincha MOE look like on 18th April – that means 10 days after we showed the first picture of Mr. Matsumoto’s shincha tea garden.

Mr. Matsumoto’s Yabukita bushes for Shincha MOE, picture taken on 18th April 2017
Mr. Matsumoto’s Yabukita bushes for Shincha MOE, picture taken on 18th April 2017

While the harvest of the Shincha MOE at Mr. Matsumoto’s is delayed, like anounced, by about 10 days in comparison to average years, with family Watanabe the case is clearly more complicated. Why that?

At Mr. Matsumoto’s, the Shincha MOE is produced only from a single tea bush variety, namely the Yabukita bushes. The interessting point that defines the Shincha MOE, apart from Mr. Matsumoto’s philosophy of growing tea, is the extremly fine cut. Mr. Watanabe though works differently with his Shincha sorts. For them, he uses several different tea bush varieties, which he combines for his Shincha sorts in several ways.

Table of the Shincha harvest 2017, status 20th April 2017

location tea garden tea bush variety estimated date
of the Shincha harvest 2017
South-Kyushu, Kagoshima Prefecture,
Yakushima Island
Mankichi Watanabe’s organic tea garden Kuritawase cultivar
Harvested on 13th April 2017
South-Kyushu, Kagoshima Prefecture,
Yakushima Island
Mankichi Watanabe’s organic tea garden Yutaka Midori cultivar
Harvest later as it is usual for Yutaka Midori – waiting for latest news
South-Kyushu, Kagoshima Prefecture,
Yakushima Island
Mankichi Watanabe’s organic tea garden Sae Midori cultivar
Harvested on 15th April 2017
South-Kyushu, Kagoshima Prefecture,
Yakushima Island
Mankichi Watanabe’s organic tea garden Asatsuyu cultivar
Harvested on 15th April 2017
South-Kyushu, Miyazaki Prefecture Haruyo and Shigeru Morimoto’s organic
tea garden
Yutaka Midori cultivar
28th April
South-Kyushu, Miyazaki Prefecture Haruyo and Shigeru Morimoto’s organic
tea garden
Saki Midori cultivar
29th April
South-Kyushu, Kumamoto Prefecture,
region Minamata
Kazuya Matsumoto’s
tea garden
Yabukita cultivar
28th April
Honshu, Mie Prefecture,
region Ise
Iwao Hayashi’s
organic tea garden
Yabukita cultivar
10th to 20th May
Honshu, Shizuoka Prefecture comparative tea garden Yabukita cultivar
22th May

The tea bush variety Kuritawase, which sprouts early every year, has been the first tea bush variety to be harvested this year, too. But only two days later, the varieties Asatsuyu and Sae Midori followed as second and third variety, concerning time of growth. This is surprising, because in the last years, the Asatsuyu harvest was delayed several times by nearly a week, after the variety Yutaka Midori had been harvested long ago. This year though, the variety Asatsuyu is harvested proportionally early and the variety Yutaka Midori, which is known for a very early sprouting, is delayed. The climatic differences, concerning warmth, solar irradiation and the amount of rainfall, thus affect the the tea bush varieties’ growing cicles in different ways, so that their temporal point of harvest is delayed not only absolutely, but also proportionally to each other.

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