Monday, May 19, 2008

World Tea Championship!

At the World Tea Expo (5/30/08 - 6/1/08), a tea-quality contest called World Tea Championship will be held, and there was a preliminary because over 200 entries were submitted from over 30 companies. And, our teas were nominated one of the top 5 teas in Japanese Style Green Tea and Blended/Flavored Green Tea Category!

Our Sen cha and Hoji cha are two of the five finalists in the Japanese Style Green Tea Category, and Genmai cha is one of the five finalists in the Blended/Flavored Green Tea Category. The winner will be announced at the World Tea Expo.

This was not easy decision for me to participate to the contest because our teas have already received many awards in Japan. If we couldn't been selected as the finalists, what does it mean? It makes our reputation and the brand image down. Right now, I'm glad that our tea was at least selected as the finalists. Hope we will win the contest and bring the trophy back to Seattle!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Japanese Tea Adviser Certificate

Finally, I received a certificate of Nihoncha (Japanese Tea) Adviser last month. After I decided to be involved in the tea business in 2003, I started studying about Japanese green tea. Although I was born as the second son of Tea Maestro SUGIMOTO and spent a lot of time in his tea factory, there was a tons of things I didn't know, and it took a long time to learn all of them.

The most impressive thing for me is there are still many unknown things about tea, not only Japanese tea, because the tea has very long history. Where did a tea plant originally come from? Who was the first person drink the tea? Who brought the tea plants to Japan? When was that? These are just a few examples.

Right now, many people start recognizing about health benefits of green tea, but it's just recent that these health benefits have been found. In 2006, there were over 1,000 of studies focusing on the relationship between health and green tea consumption, and now, many studies are still in progress all over the world. I believe more and more health benefits will be found in the future, and green tea will be recognized as the healthiest beverage throughout the world.