in the snowy Mountains
For three generations now, Harashima san’s family has dedicated their lives on the farms to grow and produce tea leaves of the highest quality. Harashima san is a Master in Sencha Tea Ceremony of the Kofu Sencha Reifu school, as well as a Nihoncha Instructor.
He joined his family tea company in 1983. Founded in 1950 by his grandfather, Chiyokichi, his tea business switched to organic and EU-regulations farming in 2008 under his direction. Today, in addition to growing and processing tea, he runs a beautiful tea shop overlooking the Yabe river with his wife Eri and their daughter who prepares delicious tea-based lunches and desserts for their customers.
Harashima san explains: « We employ a unique farming method using hand-picked fermented organic fertilizers (bokashi fertilizers) and adjusting each step according to the specific weather conditions of the season or the year, in order to achieve the highest standards.
We hope to present a new way of life that brings tea into our daily life. Our vision is to create a new lifestyle with tea as we carry out workshops that teach the way of tea-making, as well as carry out farm visits for tourists to our mountainous village. »
Harashima san’s mountainous village, blessed with a cool weather, is covered with snow in winter. Due to these conditions, the tea leaves on the mountains bud later than their counterparts on flat lands. Furthermore, there are less pests and the tea plants are able to grow without the use of chemicals, leading to the production of natural organic tea leaves.
Tasting Harashima san’s koucha was a true revelation for our team. We didn’t expect so much sweetness and flavor in what we thought was simply ‘black tea’. After only a couple of sips, we realized we had found one of our new favorite teas from Yame !