I'm a tea enthusiast, Andy. Recently, I've been studying tea leaf management in Kyushu, Japan, and pondering a crucial question: Is hand-picked tea truly tastier? This article will explore the shift from machine harvesting in Japan to hand-picked tea leaves in Taiwan.
In today's tea leaf production, labor shortage has become a pressing issue, especially in Japan, and Taiwan is soon to face a similar challenge. Currently, large-scale machine harvesting is the predominant method of tea production in Japan, while Taiwan's premium oolong teas are primarily hand-picked.
Although Japan also practices hand-picking, the price is quite astounding, approximately 200,000 Japanese yen per kilogram. One of the advantages of hand-picking tea leaves is that it avoids damaging the leaves. However, with the continuous advancement of technology, there are now more precise tea leaf harvesting machinery and automated equipment for selecting tea leaf quality.
In the future, high-quality machine harvesting will become a trend in Taiwan's tea leaf production. It's worth noting that due to Taiwan's tea gardens often being situated on hilly terrain, ride-on tea harvesting machinery cannot be used, necessitating the use of single or double-person tea leaf harvesting equipment.
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