Whenever we go tea sourcing we are often selecting tea from Maocha. This is unfinished tea which has the majority of the attributes and hallmarks of the farmer's hard work but is lacking that extra refinement that comes from the sorting and roasting.
We have to select from Maocha as this is the stage when most high end wholesalers will grab the truly top drawer tea at a better price and then finish to their own specific requirements. If we wait until the tea is finished then chances are that the batch will all be sold to the domestic market and we will have missed out on the prime pickings of the year. We can't allow that can we?
So we taste Maocha and then we finish according to our specifications. But the taste of Maocha is never as good as the finished article.
Depending on the type of tea, Maocha (or Aracha in Japan) varies in how close it is to finished tea. For Sheng PuErh, Maocha can mean totally finished loose tea which has not been made into cakes and is therefore pretty much complete (the cake making process does alter the taste slightly). For Greens and unroasted tea, Maocha is unsorted tea so it simply requires removing unwanted stems and large leaves. However, for roasted Oolongs the difference between Maocha and the finished tea is a big one.
Watch as we show you and taste the differences.