In May 2023, with our good friend Gábor Somoskői, creator of Kezemura ceramics, we traveled to Japan for our annual tea sourcing trip. We aimed to explore new teas, special varieties, so we travelled to the island of Kyushu.
First we discovered the mountains around Yame, where teas are produced at the highest altitudes in the country of 500-650 metres. We met Harasima san and his lovely wife who are the third generation of tea makers. The tea garden was founded by the grandfather. In 2015 they decided to go completely organic. We learned that at this altitude, the harvest starts 20 days later. In winter, the tea bushes are covered with snow, which favours organic cultivation as there are far fewer insects attacking the tea bushes. Only green-based fermented plant manure is used.
Their aim is to showcase each tea’s unique character, beside the umami and robust flavours to make a tea variety stand out. Their teas are elegant and dynamic with natural energy.
Harasima san is very keen on experimenting, and uses different processing methods. It’s exciting to taste and explore the results in our selection.