This was my first visit to Japan, learning about the historic roots of matcha tea in Kyoto and Uji on behalf of The Independent.
The undulating slopes surrounding Uji, cloaked in retractable black curtains used to create chlorophyll-boosting shade in the final three weeks of growth, serve as the epicentre of matcha cultivation.
“Every year, Japan produces about 80,000 tonnes of tea,” Shimooka told me. “About half of that becomes matcha – and there’s been an increase of 30 per cent in just five years.” Matcha is now more popular than ever and about 1,000 tonnes are being shipped to Europe annually.
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July 3, 2017