東茶園 Azuma Chaen
The family business is currently managed by fourth generation Teruko Azuma (東 てる子) who has been involved in her family’s tea production for over 12 years. Now a certified Nihoncha Instructor, she is excited to share the delicious and natural taste of her family’s tea.
Nestled in the hills of eastern Wazuka, Azuma Chaen is a family owned tea farm founded in the late 1800s during the Meiji era. This area of Wazuka is far from any train tracks or major roads, and its scenery of endless rolling hills of tea fields has been designated a cultural landscape of Kyoto.
Azuma Chaen specialises in the production of low-pesticide tencha, the raw material used to produce matcha. Today, around 90% of their 5 hectares of tea fields is dedicated to tencha production and is harvested only once a year, which means they can avoid using pesticides as all of the tea is picked before the arrival of insects. While all of their tea fields make use of lower amounts of pesticides or even none at all, some of their tea fields are already certified JAS organic, with others in the process of conversion.
In addition to tencha, they also produce small amounts of sencha, houjicha, wakoucha, kyobancha, and oolong. As they primarily produce tencha, most of the cultivars that htye grow are well suited for shaded teas, such as Okumidori, Samidori, Asahi, Gokou. They also grow Yabukita and Zairai among others.
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