Evanescent aromas, flavors and Qi that come and go like a dream. The Zen aesthetic of Ichie Go Ichie or One Chance, One Encounter is beautifully epitomized by the subtle qualities of green tea. For this reason, tea along with Buddhism, became mainstays of Japanese culture during the eighth century by way of monks who appreciated the stimulative qualities that supported long hours of meditation. Japan produces only green tea, with some of the finest rivaling the green teas of China. However, the manufacture of green tea has long been the prerogative of China (Fujian, Zhejiang, and Anhui provinces are the birthplace of some of the most famous of Chinese green teas). The tradition of ancestral techniques, which varied from region to region, or even from village to village, still persist to this day. These traditional methods produce a quality of tea which is remarkable for the delicacy of its aroma, the fine presentation of the leaf, the gentle flavor of the liquor and the refreshing, uplifting Qi.
Green teas do not undergo oxidation. While the methods of manufacture may vary greatly in detail according to the region or country where the teas are made, the three manufacturing stages aimed at preventing the leaves from oxidizing remain the same: firing, rolling, drying. Firing kills the enzyme which causes oxidation; the leaves are fired immediately after the pluck. Rolling shapes the leaves, which will influence the predominant notes in the liquor: a lightly rolled leaf will produce softer notes, a more tightly rolled one will be more full-bodied. Drying dehydrates the leaf, seals in the flavor and roast, conserves the leaf, and prepares the tea for packaging.