YOUR BEST CHOICE FOR JAPANESE GREEN TEA
The first Organic Green Tea producer of Oita
Established in 1963, the Takahashi green tea factory is located in Usuki (Oita pref., Eastern Kyushu) and produces organic green tea since 2001. It was the first green tea farm in Oita to receive the organic JAS certification in 2001. Takahashi san is now the second generation of his family to lead his business and is specialized in tamaryokucha, a green tea known for its jade color (tama), quite similar to sencha, but whose leaves have a curly shape, and not needle-like. The very last stage of the processing method is different: the tea leaves are put inside drums and dried with hot air.
Takahashi san grows seven different tea cultivars, mainly Yabukita.
FROM TEA TREES TO YOUR CUP
A long process to bring you the best of green tea
Takahashi san operating his harvesting machine, it needs to be very carefully calibrated in order to cut the right part of the tea trees.
When the basket is full the leaves are immediately transferred to the nearby factory. Time is the essence and cutting the time from the moment the leaves are harvested to the first steaming process is key to the final result... and tea quality.
The leaves start their process and are carried by a belt conveyor.
Leaves are leveled before being brought to the steamer.
Now the steaming process can begin!
Next step, the leaves are evenly separated before going to the heater.
The leaves are heated and stirred all at once.
Here the dried tea leaves are about to finish their processing.
A large brush spins around and shapes the leaves to give them their unique twist.
Finally the tea is packed by hand.
tHE OITA REGION
Waterfalls, hot springs, Beaches and ancient Forests
Oita prefecture is on the eastern part of Kyushu island and faces the Inland Sea on one end, and with the large Aso caldera at its back.
Compared to other regions in Kyushu, the green tea output of Oita is not very high, but its quality is on par with them.
Tea production is done in various areas, from forest-side to mountainous zones. History of green tea production in Oita goes back to the Edo period.
Japanese black tea (koucha) and pan-fried green tea are among its specialties. More recently, large-scales efforts in land reclamation in the northern part of Oita has allowed the area to increase its green tea production when foreign black tea began to take hold in Japan.
Recently dozens of private and small-sized producers started to make their own green tea with increasing success, locally and worldwide.
The area of Usuki city in particular is now focusing on growing organic green tea, away from cross-pollution risks.
With a bountiful nature, amazing waterfalls, hundreds of hot springs, thousands of shrines nested in ancient forests, and beautiful beaches, Oita is a hidden gem in Japan that is off the beaten track.
It is also one of its warmest, so green tea is grown in the mountains, where it is cooler allowing a perfect temperature difference for growing green tea.
nESTED BETWEEN THE HILLS
Cooler Temperatures in a Warm Climate
The tea fields of Takahashi san are in the hilly region of Satoyama, facing the Inner Sea of Japan, and enjoy the pure and clean air of that area, as well as morning mists and significative temperature differences between night and day — all perfect conditions to grow green tea.
THE TEAS OF TAKAHASHI SAN
Organic products since 2001
Takahashi san’s tamaryokucha is naturally sweet and has a pure aroma. His skilled team works hard to confer to their green tea a sweet and refreshing taste, with high levels of umami thanks to the longer deep-steamed process (Fukamushi). When opening the tea bags, a fruity taste of mango will make your mouth water in anticipation!
After plucking, the tea leaves are vacuum packed and stored in refrigerators to be transformed, processed and deep-steamed at time of order to guarantee optimum freshness. The tea bags are packed by hand by experienced members of the local community, under perfect sanitary conditions.
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