Step One: Growing The Tea
By far, the most productive tea-growing regions are in Shizuoka, producing nearly half of Japan’s tea at 45%, and Kagoshima, producing about 20%. Surprisingly, Shizuoka’s topography is dominated by mountains and hills, not allowing for large-scale plantations or big farming equipment. The vast majority of Shizuoka’s tea farms are still operated as family farms or small farming cooperatives. Kagoshima is likely home to the best organic tea farms in all of Japan.
Among our tea farms are several organic certified farms and high elevation farms, as well as a cooperative that has won the Prime Minister’s Award, the highest honor in agriculture in all of Japan! Our team works exclusively with a select group of artisan farmers who have a passion for quality green tea.
Visit one of our green tea farms and you will see our farmers meticulously tending their plants, tenderly touching the tea leaves, and even talking to them. It’s a nurturing relationship that produces outstanding results.
In Japan, the tea industry consists of both tea growers and tea makers. Tea farmers focus on growing the best tea leaf possible, imbued with the flavor and unique qualities offered by the local terroir.
After harvesting and minimal processing, the farmers produce aracha (“crude tea”). Tea makers take this aracha and produce all the different varieties of green tea.
Great tea is a cooperative effort between artisan farmers and masterful tea makers Our matcha is grown in full sunlight, then shaded 3 weeks prior to harvest.