Tea Craft: Growing the Tea Bush

Tea cultivation is a modern science - new bushes are propagated from the best tea bushes, creating ‘clonals’ - cultivated variants or cultivars for short. The parent bushes may have been chosen for natural drought or pest resistance, helping farmers economically.

The new plants go to nursery for up to 2 years, and are then planted into a small segregated area of the tea garden, where they be left unpicked for a further 2 years until they reach roughly the height of a picker.

From then, regularly pruned down to a metre in height, the bushes will start to grow sideways and become the familiar sea of bright green leaves.

In 3 to 5 years of pruning, the tea plants are ready for their journey to the cup.

Find out more about when tea is picked.


Gyokuro Green Tea Pouch 50g

Net Weight: 50g

The most precious of Japanese teas. Made from young shade-grown leaves, hand-picked and processed with extreme skill. High concentrations of chlorophyll create the characteristic sweet and mild flavour and forest green colour.

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Gyokuro, meaning 'jade dew', is Japan's best quality and most expensive green tea and it is grown with great care and attention to detail.

The Japanese technique of shading the tea just prior to harvesting is done to increase the concentration of chorophyll in the leaves, create a deep green colour.

The levels of caffeine and theanine are also elevated and it's the latter, in higher than normal concentrations, that creates the rather savoury 'umami' flavour of the tea.

Our Gyokuro comes from the Hattori family estate in Shizuoka.
The Hattori family are quite unusual; crafting single estate, small batch green teas, whereas Japanese green teas are almost always produced at a large factory from leaves from multiple farms, lacking a single-origin character.

Hattori-san grows his leaf completely chemical-free, and his approach combines the best of modern and traditional styles.

Instead of the traditional shading the tea plants with cloth to block out the sunlight, he has installed solar panels over the plants, allowing for the harvest of premium tea, and of clean energy, too.
Delicate pale green liquor - hence the Japanese name 'pale dew'. We recommend a white porcelain cup or glass to enjoy the delicate colour.

An aroma of sea breeze.

A mild, slightly grassy and sweet flavour with a touch of savoury umami too.

A complex tea that we think is best drunk savoured on its own. After the first infusion, it's normal to make a second or third with the wet leaves, each infusion creating different nuances of flavour.



100ML OF WATER AT 60-65ºC

Brewing Time



Japanese Green Tea.


Store in a cool, dry place avoiding direct sunlight and strong odours. Once opened, store in an airtight container and consume within 3 months.


What is Green Tea?

Just like Black Tea, it all starts with a small ‘just-plucked’ green tea leaf, usually about 5 cm long.

The leaf pickers deliver their leaves to the local factory for immediate processing. The core difference v Black Tea - the oxidation process that darkens the leaf is completely missing. The green leaf remains… green.

Step 1 - ‘Withering’: the whole leaves are spread out in warm air for up to a day to reduce the water content by about 10 to 20%. The leaves literally wilt and starts to lose some of its vibrant colour.

Step 2 - ‘Steaming/Pan Frying’: The critical ingredient to produce Green Tea. After withering, the wilted team is steamed or pan fried to destroy the enzymes that would otherwise be the catalyst for oxidation.
Step 3 - ‘Rolling / Shaping’: the soft leaves are shaped to requirement, either on a machine or by hand. This is where the world of green tea explodes in creating many unique teas, where a specific village may craft the tea to a characteristic and ownable shape. What emerges maybe the very large and thin leaves of Dragon Well Green Tea or the tight bullets of Gunpowder Tea.

Step 4 - ‘Drying’: the process varies from producer to producer and is sometimes integral to the shaping process. But in a nutshell, the Green Tea is heated in pans or ovens to remove remaining water content and ensure it is dry and stable for packaging.

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  • FAQ

    Does green tea include caffeine and is there more or less than black tea and coffee?
    Yes it does, and it varies. All tea leaves, just like coffee, contain caffeine. Tea usually has a lower level of caffeine than coffee, which averages around 95mg for a normal cup of coffee. But it is impossible to give a precise answer, because there are so many variables at play - the length of brew time, the amount of tea used, the age of the leaf, the provenance of the leaf. Even the temperature of the water. Our best advice is to treat all tea and coffee similarly if you need to manage your caffeine intake.

    I’ve heard that tea contains theanine. What is it and what does it do?
    Tea does indeed contain theanine, which is an amino acid [the building blocks of proteins]. Tea is one of only a few sources of theanine. It represents about 1% of dry weight and is at its highest concentrate in shade-grown teas like matcha and gyokuro. Whilst not yet proven in scientific studies that would permit specific health claims to be made, it is believed by many to be able to reduce mental and physical stress, promote relaxation and a sense of well-being. But not only that, it is more recently being thought to aid cognitive function. It’s one explanation for tea’s famous ability to create calm in a crisis [the Great British solution to all problems – ‘putting the kettle on’] and to stimulate when a little boost is required.

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