Shiraore is a stem tea.
Stem tea has many names in Japan. It is also called: “Kuki cha”, “Karigane”, “Shiraore”, “Bo cha”.
The meaning of each term is slightly different, but it all means stem tea. (The difference comes from the sorting from different parts of the leaf or a different base of tea.)
During the first part of processing (of any Japanese green tea), the resulting tea is called “Aracha” (often translated as crude tea/farmer’s tea). Aracha almost always goes through a secondary processing to sort the leaves and often give it a light roast to bring out the aroma and bring the moisture content a little further down for better storage. During the sorting process of tea, the Aracha is sorted to leaf part and stem part.
The leaf part becomes “tea”, and the stem part becomes “stem tea”. Stem tea is basically a by-product of producing tea, but it is a delicious easy-drinking tea, with often a more round, milder taste and usually lower in caffeine.
This stem tea Shiraore is sorted from Tamaryokucha.
Tamaryokucha is a tea that is shaded like Kabuse sencha, Matcha or Gyokuro. The duration of shading is shorter than these other shaded teas, so we don’t really place Tamaryokucha in the shaded tea category. The short shading does give the resulting tea a rich umami taste.
Umami is also contained in the stem part, and so the Shiraore tea also has a full umami taste with fresh green notes and a fresh grassy fragrance.