What is Yame Traditional Hon Gyokuro?

There are locations in Japan that are famous for tea production, such as Shizuoka, Kyoto, etc. However, Yame Traditional Hon Gyokuro, grown in Yame City in Fukuoka Prefecture, boasts both the highest production volume and highest quality of gyokuro in Japan.
Yame Traditional Hon Gyokuro boasts high quality and is currently well known throughout the world as Japan’s representative tea brand.

What is Yame Traditional Hon Gyokuro?

Even in comparison to other types of Yamecha, which produces a lot of Gyokuro, Yame Traditional Hon Gyokuro is grown using traditional manufacturing techniques that are able to bring out the delicious umami flavor of Gyokuro.

Yame Traditional Hon Gyokuro is classified as “Ooicha,” which is cultivated by covering the tea plants with natural materials such as rice straw. Shutting out sunlight enables the tea leaves to acquire a beautiful luster as they grow, and as soon as they are brewed, they create thick, delicious tea with little astringency.

Covering the plants using natural materials maintains temperature and humidity conditions perfect for cultivating tea buds.

In addition, harvesting the leaves by hand enables workers to pick only the soft parts of the new buds, which means the tea leaves will all be of the same size.

Yame Traditional Hon Gyoku, created with great care through this time-consuming process, incorporates lots of amino acids such as teanine, a flavoring component, but contains a reduced amount of catechins, which bring out astringency.

This is why it creates such a smooth, full-bodied flavor when brewed.

The Geographical Indication (GI) label from the Minister of Agriculture


Yame Traditional Hon Gyokuro has acquired the Geographical Indication (GI) label from the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. GI is a system for protecting the intellectual property rights of the names (geographical indications) of products able to achieve unrivaled levels of quality due to special production techniques developed locally over long periods of time as well as due to regional characteristics such as climate, topography and soil properties.

Even among types of Gyokuro, only brands that have painstakingly pursued the highest level of quality using traditional cultivation techniques in Yame are able to acquire the GI label. On December 22nd, 2017, Yame Traditional Hon Gyokuro Tea became the fifth such brand to be registered.