The growing popularity of matcha-infused sweets and beverages sold at cafes and pastry shops in Japan is triggering fierce competition among green tea producers in their own backyard.

Growers of tencha, the green tea leaves grown in particular conditions and processed into the finely ground tea powder used to flavor matcha lattes and an assortment of Japanese confectionery, have intensified production to try to keep up with demand.

Prefectures such as Kagoshima and Shizuoka, which traditionally have mass-produced varieties of tea leaves for Japan's most popular green tea called sencha, have expanded their production, while growers in Kyoto, famous for its matcha Uji tea brand, are distributing new matcha varieties more widely.