Checklist when choosing a tea

In Norway, you can buy Japanese tea in various shops. Many people might have sencha at home.

But do you know enough about the tea you have?
Is the tea good? Have you ever compared it to other teas?
Just as Norwegians enjoy a wide variety of coffee and wine, there are many different types of green tea in Japan.
It tastes and smells different depending on the farm, the producer, the variety, the year of production, and the time of harvest.

Here, we’ve created a checklist of things to do about tea.
If the tea is of a fine quality that is sold with confidence, there should be mention of many of the items on the checklist.
If you have a cup of tea on hand, check your checklist.
You may also find the shop’s website helpful.

Check list

◇Where is the tea made?
Kyoto? Shizuoka? Kagoshima? Sayama? Or other place?

◇What are the varieties of tea?
Yabukita? Yutakamidori? Sayamakaori? Kanayamidori? Okumidori? Benifuki? Or other?

◇Can you smell the earthy aroma from the tea leaves?
Just as the soil is important in a wine region, the soil is important in tea making.
Tea leaves without an earthy aroma can be said to have been grown in a place where the soil is dead.

◇Which tea farmer made the tea?
The quality of the tea varies greatly from farmer to farmer.

◇What kind of field did it come from?
What’s the direction og the farm? How much sunlight? What is the elevation of the tea plantation?

◇When was the tea harvested?
The earlier it is harvested (late April or early May), the more expensive the tea is.

◇Is it a blend tea?
What kind of blend is it?

◇Is the umami ingredient, monosodium glutamate, added to the product?

◇How is it steaming?
Is it shallow steamed? Deep steamed?

◇Are there any concerns about residual radiation?

◇How much pesticide is used?