Our Matcha Harvest
Meet Ko. our 4th Generation Tea Master. The Art of Fine Matcha is determined by location and soil condition, the quality of the plant, and the Tea Master, and Ko is one of the very best. Our farmer is highly respected by neighboring farmers for his expertise, knowledge and experiences in quality organic farming.
Our matcha is grown in mineral rich, nutrient dense, volcanic soil bringing the highest quality matcha on the planet!
1. Its mineral rich soil nourished from nearby volcanoes
2. Vast tea fields of mainly organic farming, with minimal risk of pesticide contamination from neighboring non-organic farms
3. Thick mist acting as a natural shade to the plants, enhancing the production of more L-Theanine, the amino-acid (natural sweetness element) found in the leaves.
4. The drastic change in the day and night temperature enables the plants to produce exceptionally s sweet and flavorful tea.
5. The definition of Ceremonial Grade Matcha in the Japanese tea industry states that it MUST be made with shade-grown, first harvest tea leaves. This process of shade-growing for the last 3-4 weeks of harvest takes a lot more time and work for our matcha farmer but creates the only true ceremonial matcha!
SOIL MANAGEMENT - the key in organic production. The quality and flavor or matcha depends greatly on the farmer's experience, especially with soil management. Healthy plants need nutritious soil. Fertilizer is a source of nutrients for the plants. However in organic cultivation, the use of artificial fertilizers is often not allowed. At our organic farm, our farmer makes our own natural organic fertilizer that is called `compost'. Compost is made from mixing mountain soil with a specially selected grass, and left to ferment for four years. This is extremely time consuming and tedious for organic farmers because the compost has to be overturned periodically to allow for better fermentation. With good fermentation, the compost generates a generous amount of beneficial bacteria breathing in the soil, creating good nutrients and a healthy environment for the plants to grow. Many organic farms ferment their compost for about a year, but our farmer does so for four years, in order to produce compost with the maximum beneficial bacteria.
Strong Roots, Strong Plants
It is a common practice for farmers to harvest the leaves of tea plants which are three years of age (from the date of planting).In organic farming, the use of pesticides or artificial fertilizers are not allowed, so it is extremely important to cultivate plants which are strong to fight against pests, so they need to be at least five years old.
By not disrupting the growth of such plants before the plants reach five years old, we are allowing the plant to grow more deeply into the ground, thereby drawing up more nutrients which helps in building stronger roots. When the roots are strong, the plants do not fa‖ prey to diseases easily, and will not weaken easily from too many times of shadings. This is also our way of ensuring a stable quality supply, year after year.
Thriving Assemblies of Beneficial insects
In summer, our organic farm wi‖ be thriving with insects and bugs like spiders, ladybugs and praying mantis, a‖ helping out as`natural pesticides' in getting rid of harmful insects.The presence of these beneficial insects is a solid proof of the absence of pesticides on our farm.
Weeds and Hand Power
The struggle with weeds is never ending on organic farms. Our farmer insists on not using any chemicals to get rid of weeds although there are some natural ones which are approved for use. Instead, a‖ weeds are removed by hand. Our farmer goes to that extent.
The blending of our organic harvested is carefully conducted by our tea sommeliers to produce consistent flavor and color for our organic Matcha. The tea leaves of the organic Matcha harvest, which are picked during the short window of time that organic Matcha is harvested, are then blended together. Our Matcha has resilient spring green color, unfolds delicately in the mouth, and the flavor is robust yet mild and sweet.