Mr. Okuda – Uji
When Mr. Ajiro, began working in the tea plantation of his friend Mr. Okuda, he began to realise more and more that chemicals and flavourings were replacing the traditional planting methods and handicraft work in tea production. This was the start of his dream of having an ecological tea plantation and dispensing completely with aids and flavourings to produce traditional tea.
In the late 70s, Mr. Ajiro created his own tea plantation in a remote field in the middle of a forest. His first attempts at cultivation were very laborious and time consuming, due to constant pest infestations. However, over the years, he optimised the growing conditions; acquired more land at a better elevation and has developed a great ability in handling and processing the tea leaves.
Today, Mr. Ajiro’s son is continuing the project and is indeed teaching his own son the secrets of manufacturing Matchaand Gyokuro, according to ecological principles.
As the production process of high quality teas is very complex and time consuming, Mr. Ajiro and his son now no longer have time to take care of the planting. To overcome this, a close joint venture between the two neighbours was created. Mr. Okuda cultivates the tea fields, while the Ajiro family deals with the production of Matcha and Gyokuro. This friendship with Mr. Okuda, who has for a very long time specialised in the cultivation of organic Matcha and Gyokuro, has resulted in a very successful cooperation, producing very high quality organic Matcha and Gyukuro.
“The taste of Uji Matcha and Gyokuro makes us imagine, what the aristocracy in Kyoto, centuries ago, would have drunk; at a time when Kyoto was still Japan’s capital and the Uji tea regarded as the true (Hon-Cha) Tea”.