In Japan, tea production leaves little to waste. Generally, all harvests and byproducts of tea production are turned into finished tea for market. Hailing from an all-organic co-op in Setoya, set in the hills outside of Fujieda, Shizuoka, this Kukicha or "stem tea" is produced from stems sorted out during Sencha production. Toshiaka Kinezuka, head of the co-op for four decades, believes that to have a good yield one must have good soil. In his own words "The taste of good organic tea is made half of tea leaves and half of the hearts of their farmers."
Region: Setoya, Fujieda, Shizuoka
Variety: Yabukita (Stems)
Harvest Date: May 2017
Producer: Kinezuka Family (Toshiaki, Ayumi, Tamiko, and Kazuki)