Sugimoto tea farm
We’d like to introduce Sugimoto tea farm in Shizuoka prefecture.
This tea farm run by a big family with grandparents in their nineties has adopted 100% ‘pesticide-free organic cultivation’ since 1993.
By using weed as fertilizer, they don’t use even the organic fertilizer
(JAS certified organic tea farm).
Surrounded by mountains, Sugimoto tea farm is located in a deep pocket of Japanese rich nature.
While they are working in the farm listening to birds singing, guests unusual in other places in Japan visit them: wild rabbits, boars, antelopes etc.
In such an environment, they work hard (of course!), eat lunch, take a nap and work again.
What a comfortable life! Coexistence with nature, as the words really mean.
Luckily we can watch their environment through the video recorded by the recent high technology: drone.
Please enjoy the majestic view of their organic tea farm.
Here, we’d like to introduce three types of 100% organic tea offered from Sugimoto tea farm:
– Hoji tea
– Genmai tea
– Powdered green tea
Hoji brown tea
Sweetness:★★★☆☆ Astringency:★☆☆☆☆ Aroma:★★★★☆
- This is a tea made by roasting steamed green tea (Japanese tea is made by steaming and drying tea leaves which are the same type used in black tea).
- With almost no caffeine, we often drink it at night before sleeping.
Sweetness:★★★★☆ Astringency:★★★☆☆ Aroma:★★★★★
- This is a tea made by adding roasted rice and powdered green tea. Although this type of tea is called Genmai (brown rice) tea in Japanese, polished rice is used to make the finished tea more aromatic.
- This tea is good for diet because it is rich in orizanol which reduces the absorption of fat and cholesterol.
Powdered green tea
- This is a tea made by grinding steamed green tea in machine. Each particle is generally a bit bigger than that of Matcha which is made by grinding another type of green tea and because of this fact it does not become so lumpy.
- We can offer two types of powdered tea: MEGUMI and IBUKI.
Using the whole leaves, including the stems and stalks, it allows us to take all the nutrients in the tea plants. Directly dissolving into water or oil without making waste, it can be used in various types of drinks and foods :
i) for special seasonings by adding salt, oil or Miso
ii) for healthy alcohol drinks (whisky, vodka etc)
iii) for cakes and cookies
MEGUMI (blessing of spring) :
This tea is finished by using tea plants collected in the spring.
IBUKI (breath of life):
This tea is finished by using the tea plants collected in both spring and summer.
Kanebun tea farm
Here we would like to introduce a tea producer called “Kanebun”. Kanebun grows tea plants, produces tea including finishing process called “firing” and sells them by themselves. In Japan, most tea farmers sell their raw tea (unrefined tea leaves) to wholesalers and these wholesalers finish and in most cases blend them. Through this system, the quantity and quality of Japanese tea can be stabilized, but in another viewpoint it can be uniformed.
Kanebun uses only the leaves unique to their farm and finishes their tea in their unique style. Kanebun has kept this self-producing and self-selling style for more than 110 years in the Yoshihara district (Shimizu-ku) in Shizuoka prefecture.
Yoshihara sandstone bed provides well-drained soil called “Maguso” (literally “horse dung”) which can be easily grained and best suited for tea cultivation. The highland climate provides the temperature difference and rainfall amount ideal for tea cultivation.
Located 500m up in the mountains, Kanebun’s tea farm commands a majestic view of Mt. Fuji with Cloud Sea. As we are also offering a 3-day-tour to Shizuoka in which you can experience a tea picking at Kanebun’s farm, you have a chance to enjoy this spectacular prospect with your own eyes.
Among Kanebun’s products, we’d like to present “Kirihae-no-tetsumi” tea and “Oki-no-kubo, Ginza” tea.
Kiribae（切り生え）: “Kiri（切り）” means cut and “bae(生え)” means grow. “Kiribae” is a name for a cultivation method in which branches are cut near the roots after the first tea harvest. By cutting to the root, branches become bigger and more vigorous to send more nutrients to fresh top.
Tetsumi（手摘み）: On the other hand, “Tetsumi” is a name for tea-leave picking method. “Te（手）” means hands, “tsumi（摘み）” means pick and so “Tetsumi” means hand picking. For the tea leaves naturally grown, machines cannot be used and each leave should be carefully harvested by skillful tea pickers.
The tea plants for “Kiribae-no-tetsumi (切り生えの手摘み)” are grown in shelves which are covered for around 10 days before the harvest and they can be roughly categorized as “Kabuse-cha（かぶせ茶）”. But it boasts umami as strong as that of Gyokuro (玉露) and it makes an excellent cold brew.
The area around Kanebun’s tea farm is called as “Oki-no-kubo（沖のくぼ）by the neighbors. Along the road crossing the farm, there are many best shooting spots for Mt. Fuji which are called “Ginza（銀座）” among photo lovers (As you know, Ginza（銀座）is one of the busiest downtown street in the central Tokyo which is well known for the highest land price in the world).
Just like photo shooters waiting for a photo opportunity, we are expected to wait for the best tea produced by Kanebun. “Oki-no-kubo, Ginza” is Kanebun’s first organic tea which started to be cultivated in 2017. Let’s see how it is grown.
1) Soon after the spring comes, they have to get rid of dead leaves and cut down stumps and branches to the same height.
2) In the middle of May, tea leaves are gradually growing.
The harvest time is coming.
3) Finally, it’s the harvest time. The leaves are all finished into tea by Kanebun. Although the quantity is totally limited, it is a great and memorable step for Kanebun tea farm.
Through our Blog, we would like to bring you seasonal information of Kanebun with awesome view of Mt. Fuji.