Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What is the advantage of hand-picking?

I think that one of the biggest advantages of hand-picking will be evenness of leaf form and it gives less damage to the leaves.  With a machine, some leaves might be cut in the middle, and big leaves might be included as well. 

I said “Really!?” when I leaned a new trivia which will be another advantage of hand picking.   Before I tell you about it, I would like to show you a picture.  Do you realize that there are different shapes of plants?

Some plants on the near side have an even surface, which you can usually find at common tea fields.  They are trimmed for the machine picking for the reason that I explained in the previous entry.  On the other hand, can you find some plants on the back which wildly grow their foliage?   The surface for hand-picking plants doesn’t have to be even.  So, they are grown wildly.

What is the advantage, then? 

What I learned is that the leaves from wildly grown plants have more amino-acid (umami) than ones from trimmed plants.  Isn’t it surprising?  Maybe because, wildly grown plants have less stress??  I didn’t have a chance to ask details.  But if it is the fact, it will be a very reasonable advantage for hand picking. 

I have to mention that all hand-picked tea is not always from wildly-grown plants.  You can hand-pick from trimmed plants.  But anyway, I was so delighted learning a trivia about hand picking.

wildly grown plants

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