Monday, June 29, 2009


All of our teas are grown in Shizuoka-prefecture, Japan. Shizuoka is rural area located at the middle of Japan's main island, and known as home of Mt. Fuji. Also, known as production center of quality tea, Shizuoka is to tea in Japan what the Napa Valley is to wine in the United States.

Today, almost half of green tea in Japan is produced in Shizuoka. As you can see on the photo, tea farms spread as far as you can see. Not surprisingly, there are thousands of tea farmers and producers in Shizuoka.

Our tea producer (= my father = Tea Maestro) only buys teas from 11 farmers. He believes "tea quality is determined by tea farmers." Therefore, he works with these farmers and makes sure their farming processes are expert enough. Most importantly, all of his farmers have tea fields on the mountain hills. Unlike other flat tea growing areas, plants grows on steep-sided hills become strong and rich in aroma. Why? The secret is dramatic temperature fluctuation between day and night. It makes tea strong and flavorful.

If you take West-bound "Shinkansen" bullet train from Tokyo, you will pass through Shizuoka. You can see beautiful tea farms from windows.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Harvest

From the end of April to the middle of May, we had Shincha (literally means "new tea") harvest in Shizuoka prefecture. After the Shincha harvest, tea plants gradually grow its second shoots and about 30 days later, Summer harvest begins.

My father, Tea Maestro, just finished the purchase of the Summer-harvested tea leaves. Just like Shincha purchase, his tea farmers brought their tea every morning, and my father tasted every samples and decided how much he wanted to buy. Tea leaves from different farm has different characteristics, and interestingly even the tea leaves harvested from the same tea farm vary its flavor from day to day. My father tries every sample carefully and seeks which tea will have good chemistry when it's blended to other teas.

Nutritiously, tea leaves harvested in Summer have more Catechins than Spring harvest. Catechin is the healthiest nutrition of tea and has astringency of taste. Many studies say Catechin helps you to prevent cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. For more detail, please visit the "Health Benefits" page of our website.

Our ENRICH series of green tea are mainly made of Summer-harvested tea leaves. If you like astringent taste of green tea, I recommend this series of teas.