Temomi-cha (Hand-rolled Tea) (手揉み茶)
Temomi-cha (hand-rolled tea): Hand rolling is the primary process of making sencha. Picked tea buds are steamed for between several seconds and several minutes so that drinkable ingredients can be extracted more easily and the tea has a longer shelf-life, before going through processes including crumbling, kneading, and rolling by hand on a plate called a hoiro (tea drying hot plate) heated to around 40 to 50 ℃ as the tea leaves dry out and become sencha.
There are many schools of hand-rolling and each of them has different procedure according to region, but generally, it takes four to seven hours to obtain several hundred grams of green tea at a time and it is hard work that requires muscle strength, so successors are lacking. In addition, it is getting harder to obtain high-quality tea leaves whose quality can be made even better with hand-rolling, so its rarity value is on a upward trend.
Finished temomi-cha tea leaves are needle-shaped and shiny, but the original shape emerges when immersed in hot water. The tea is bright yellow and has deep aroma and flavor unique to temomi-cha.