The harvest begins in the beginning of April on the 88th day of the year. The leaves in the fields are covered to block out sunlight, which helps change the components to produce the different, sweeter flavor that matcha has. It also gives the tea its bright green color.
The next step involves bringing the picked leaves to a processing facility, where they are steamed which stunts the enzyme activity and helps them keep their green color. Afterwards, they water content is slowly removed to dry them. These leaves are called aracha, which means "rough" or "crude" tea.
This step involves removing the stems and veins from the aracha, leaving only the leaf parts. The leaves are sorted by size and color as well. These leaves are known as tencha, which are the refined leaves.
The next step involves grinding tencha into the fine powder that is matcha. This step is very time and labor intensive. Only about 40 grams per hour can be made due to the care needed to be taken.
After being grinded, matcha is thoroughly inspected. Only products passing the final inspection are shipped.