Master of Kitagawa-en Takuro Kitagawa
■Born in 1968/4th Owner of Kitagawa-en/25 years experience in tea business
Certified Japanese tea adviser : A4-2171
■Examiner of tea products in Oita in 2014-2015
■Takuro has been engaged in consistent practice as an instructor of Japanese tea for individual and groups.
80,000 tons of tea is produced in Japan. Most of tea is produced as green tea, black tea is not produced. Although green tea is produced in other countries, Japanese green tea has its uniqueness in the production process. Soon after picking up tea leaves, we steam it with vapor, massage leaves to dry in high freshness.
With this method, tea contains fresh sweetness rather than bitter taste. The green color is also clear, fresh fragrance is outstanding. Originally tea tree prefers warm climate. Winter in Japan might be tough condition for tea tree.
Therefore in Japan we can harvest tea only three times a year. Growing up slowly, Japanese tea leaves contain much more catechin and theanine compared to leaves from other countries. Preserving energy during winter season, tea leaves turn over in green in April to May.
This is called “Shin Cha (New tea)”, tea leaf with the most excellent quality dealt in high price.
Japanese green tea consists of catechin that tastes bitter and theanine that tastes sweet and “umami” (new factor of taste found in Japan). Theanine, a kind of amino acid is contained only in tea. The better quality tea contains more theanine.
To produce tea with more umami, all the process and leaves must be treated with greatest care by skilled artisans in the highly controlled production line. Usually the wholesale price of Japanese tea is settled in the bid according to product origin and brands. However Kitagawa-en has broad network among various tea manufacturers all over Japan.
This is why Kitagawa-en can select premium Japanese tea with umami and sweetness, can blend original products and can supply tasty Japanese tea with reasonable price.
Although Japanese tea have become famous, there are many customers who still don’t know the real taste of Japanese tea. Don’t you think that green tea is bitter?
Originally Japanese green tea taste umami from amino acid rather than bitterness. The harmony of bitterness and umami is the original, authentic taste of green tea. To seek for the real taste of Japanese tea is like a long, hard journey.
We Kitagawa-en will never cease the effort to find it, and to deliver the real taste to you.