We import teas from renowned tea growing regions in Japan including Shizuoka, Kagoshima, Uji and Fukuoka.
Shizuoka is the largest tea-producing region in the country. Much of the tea grown here is sencha, typically characterized by a delicate sweetness, grassy aroma and perceptible astringency. Situated on the southeast coast of the island of Honshu, Shizuoka’s mountainous landscape boasts a varying climate with morning and evening mist that creates shorter daylight hours, fertile land enriched by Mt. Fuji’s volcanic soil, good rainfall and excellent water quality. In particular, green tea plantations in the town of Kawane sprawl along the mountain valley on the upper part of the Ōi river which flows from the Southern Japanese Alps. This clear river water is said to be one reason why Kawanecha is so good.
Kagoshima is the second largest tea producing region in Japan. It is in the southern tip of the island of Kyushu and has a subtropical climate with strong sun, ocean breezes, abundant rainfall and soil that is rich in mineral content from prior volcanic activity. In addition, flat terrain makes it ideal for mechanical harvesting. Kagoshima is best known for sencha and bancha with aromatic, deep flavor profiles.
Uji, Kyoto is considered to be Japan’s birthplace of tea. Located in Honshu along the Uji River, it has a mild climate that is conducive to growing outstanding quality teas such as its world-famous gyokuro and tencha for matcha. The shading method for gyokuro and tencha for matcha originated here, as did new methods of cultivating and processing tea without the need for shading.
Yame, located in Fukuoka prefecture, is renowned for gyokuro. Nearly half of all gyokuro in Japan is said to come from the Yame area. Sencha is also produced here. Both Yame gyokuro and sencha have a reputation for being rich, full-bodied and sweet because they are cultivated in a good climate with morning fog, sloping hills and fertile soil.
Yamecha from Japan Tea Ambassador Reiko Wake
Our Yamecha comes from Japan Tea Studio 108 which was founded by Sensei Reiko Wake. Reiko-sensei is a Fukuoka native and one of 38 Japan Tea Ambassadors in 18 countries dedicated to celebrating and educating their communities about Japanese tea. She has lived in the United States since 2015 and shares her expertise in classrooms, exhibitions, festivals and workshops around the Bay Area. She also offers introductory group, private and corporate lessons. We have been fortunate to have Reiko-sensei host demos and clinics at ChaTo and are excited about collaborating on new content that we will post online soon. The entire Japan Tea Studio 108 collection is grown in the lush tea fields of Yame. Yame Gyokuro is sold exclusively at ChaTo.