Shizuoka, part 2.
In my travels to Japan I am continually reminded about how these certain teas could be made nowhere else. It is true that the soil, location, fertilizer, and altitude are all major factors, but something else rises above the rest: teamwork, personal passion and whole hearted commitment to farming.
All of those things were in full effect as we made our way from Kawane into Honyama today. Everyone we meet is happy to greet us and share their passion.
As we continue visiting smaller farms this trip, we are always greeted by the wife, daughter or mother of the farmer. The role as hostess, tea expert, and spokesperson for the farm is invaluable. These women are experts about process, product and the farming itself. They are articulate, warm, and are happy to talk about their love of tea. We were absolutely charmed by our visit to the Tsuchiya and Moriuchi families farms in Kawane and Honyama, Shizuoka. Both farms are producing “shuppin”, or competition, style teas. These are small batch, hand harvested teas.
Tsuchiya san and Moruchi san are famous advocates of low pesticide, low impact farming as well. They have spear headed campaigns to use minimal spraying, investigate organic approaches, and cease application of any synthetic fertilizers more than 30 days before harvest.
While the farms are in different regions of Shizuoka, they clearly are on the same page. We tasted some of the finest senchas we tried from both farms.
We are looking forward to working with both families this year. You should be excited too.