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Shizuoka prefecture The Green Tea Capital

Posted on 07/17/2023

Let’s explore the beautiful south coast of Japan and the prefecture of Shizuoka. Renowned for its outstanding green tea, this prefecture is referred to as the “green tea capital.” What makes the green teas of Shizuoka so unique?  The answer lies in its distinctive location, climate, and heritage.

 Shizuoka prefecture is situated in the central region of Honshu Island. Its northern border is home to Mount Fuji, an active stratovolcano whose summit elevation of 12,389 feet makes it the highest peak in Japan. The ash from previous eruptions has enriched the soil with minerals, making it ideal for tea cultivation.

Shizuoka's tea production is greatly influenced by the weather. The region benefits from favorable temperatures, ample sunlight, and consistent rainfall, as well as excellent water quality and a picturesque mountainous terrain. Literally, Shizuoka translates to “tranquil hills.”

An additional factor that contributes to the exceptional quality of the tea is the fact that most of its tea plantations are small, family-owned farms that have been passed down for generations. This creates a beautiful tapestry of lush green tea fields that roll across hills and mountains, where people live and work in harmony with nature. The green tea is carefully handpicked from mid-April until October.

Japan has several hundred cultivars of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis.  These cultivars are created by crossbreeding cuttings of the tea plant to strengthen desirable qualities. One of the most popular cultivars is Yabukita, developed by Hikosaburo Sugiyama in Shizuoka prefecture in 1908. Favored for its rich umami flavor, high yield, and resistance to frost, Yabukita accounts for three-quarters of all Japanese tea production. Surprisingly, the original Yabukita plant, also known as “Yabukita Mother,” is still thriving at over 110 years old!

The fascinating legend of Shizuoka tells the story of a Buddhist monk named Enni Ben'en, also known as Shoichi Kokushi, who brought tea seeds from China in 1241 after studying Buddhism there. Upon returning to his birthplace in the fertile mountainous region of Suruga, he planted the seeds in Ashikubo (near present day Shizuoka City).

We take pride in showcasing our selection of Matcha teas sourced from Shizuoka prefecture. Matcha tea is renowned for its umami flavor, a rich brothy, vegetal flavor that embodies the Japanese concept of the essence of deliciousness.

TJ91 Premium Matcha Organic

This Matcha tea offers a delightful combination of strong and subtle flavors. Its rich, sweet taste is complemented by a pleasant toasty undertone. The bright yellow color of the cup adds to the overall umami flavor experience.

TJ93: Competition Grade Matcha Organic

This Matcha tea of competition grade boasts a bright and vegetal flavor profile. Its vibrant jade-green color is truly a sight to behold in your cup. The tea has a silky smooth texture that is sure to please, making it worth the effort to prepare and savor. Whether you're hosting a tea ceremony or simply enjoying it at home, this Matcha tea is sure to impress.

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