Machine-Harvesting Japanese Green Tea (shin-cha)

This short video shows how machines are used by Japanese tea farmers to cut green tea leaves from the plant. The cutter is operated by two people and it is very common in our part of Japan (Shizuoka, near Mt. Fuji) to see husband and wife pairs working together at this job. The couple in the video likely own the tea field where they are working and may process the tea themselves if they have the proper equipment. Such tea may then carry the family’s own label and display their company or family name. Alternately, the tea they harvest may be brought to a nearby tea processing facility operated jointly by the various tea farmers in the area. Tea processed in this fashion will usually then carry a brand which is common to all of the members of the tea collective.

12 thoughts on “Machine-Harvesting Japanese Green Tea (shin-cha)

  1. This probably the kind of tea I buy, cheapest. ^_^
    I saw other videos seemingly high end priced tea production, detailed every step of the way. It kinda justifies the price difference.

    I still like the taste of the tea I drink though.

  2. dang, you know these guys could buy a machine combine harvester to do this for around 500,000yen (like 5000usd) and save a lot of work on wages each year!

  3. not necessarily, in the grand scheme of things, and since the guy is wearing no hearing protection it’s really bad for him to operate like this. they could do all of their fields with a small combine in an hour or so. no hearing loss either.

  4. It looks to me like it’s shaving off the outer layer of leaves, leaving the bush intact. Wouldn’t a combine destroy the bush?

  5. @WaruiTanuki Thanks for watching. This machine operates just like a hedge trimmer. There is a stationary cutting edge against which a sliding blade moves back and forth across numerous serrated teeth. An interesting aspect of the design is that the whole cutting mechanism is curved into the graceful shape you see with the tea plants. Flat cutters are available as well though only a small number of farmers use these. ~Kurt 🙂

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