In Japan, the tea industry consists of both tea growers and tea makers. Tea farmers focus on growing the best tea leaf possible, imbued with the flavor and unique qualities offered by the local terroir. After harvesting and minimal processing, the farmers produce aracha (“crude tea”). Tea makers take this aracha and produce all the different varieties of green tea. Great tea is a cooperative effort between artisan farmers and masterful tea makers.
Sugimoto Seicha works exclusively with a select group of artisan farmers who have a passion for quality green tea. Visit one of our green tea farms and you will see our farmers meticulously tending their plants, tenderly touching the tea leaves, and even talking to them. It’s a nurturing relationship that produces outstanding results.
Our teas are nearly all from farms local to our headquarters in the Kakegawa region of southwestern Shizuoka. Here, the farms are located on verdant mountain slopes – a very important factor in producing high quality tea leaves. The steep terrain prevents the use of large machinery, so all leaves are tended to and harvested by hand tools. This allows the farmers to get right up close and personal with their tea plants.
Among our tea farms are several organic certified farms and high elevation farms, as well as a cooperative that has won the Prime Minister’s Award, the highest honor in agriculture in all of Japan!