The highest quality of Sencha is called "Gyokuro", it was perfected in the end of Edo era.
It used to be roasted and its shape became round as dew (it is long and thin like needles now), so it was named 'Gyokuro' (literary meaning: round dew).
Uji Gyokuro is characteristic because it is sweet and mild with a low level of bitterness.
Tea leaves which will become Gyokuro are cultivated by being covered with reed blinds to limit sunlight from 20 days before the harvest.
This method, for growing delicious tea, was started in the 17th century, and this increases theanine (amino acid derivative commonly found in tea), which produces sweetness, on the other hand it decreases the catechin (tannin), which produces the astringent taste.
The unique aroma (Kabuse kou) is created by covering the plants with reed blinds.
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