On slopes too steep for machinery, the Kinezuka family has been cultivating and handpicking green tea in Fujieda, Shizuoka, for 40 years. For 35 of those they have also produced a black tea they call Wa-kocha. The former is made from the tender first-flush leaves of spring; the latter, from the second-flush leaves picked in early summer. These, it turns out, are better suited to fragrant black tea thanks to the presence of the leafhopper bug.
At first harvest in spring, ambient temperatures are low enough that the leaves remain free of insect damage. But by the June harvest, in response to hungry leafhoppers the plant has released protective acids that later benefit the fermentation process and result in a more fragranced tea. The Kinezukas follow practices learned from producers in Sri Lanka, and work with local consumers to keep pesticide-free tea production sustainable.
（The Cuisine Magazine /September 2016）