Japanese Tea Report – November 2023

Japanese teas are becoming more and more popular abroad. To take advantage of it, 5 cities and 2 towns in Shizuoka Prefecture are teaming up to export agricultural products including the local specialty – tea. In Kyoto a highschool in Kizu City has received Global GAP certification for the 7th consecutive year. The certificate signifies that agricultural practices of the school meet international standards. In other news from Kyoto a tea wholesaler from Kyotanabe City has won the National Tea Judging Skills Competition. The competition involves tea professionals under the age of 40 and this year 140 people took part at the national level.

Among other news the convenience store chain 7 Eleven has rolled out freshly brewed tea, called ‘seven tea’, in a few select shops. The hope is to expand it across the whole network from 2024. Another convenience store chain – Lawson, announced that from December it is switching to 100% recycled plastic for its original bottled drinks including hojicha, jasmine tea, rooibos tea and others.

On sustainability and waste reduction, one of the largest tea companies in Japan – Ito En has teamed up with the domestic stationary maker to produce recycled paper holders, that can hold A4 size paper. Paper holders are made using spent tea leaves that helps to reduce the need for raw paper pulp. Each folder contains the amount of tea leaves equivalent to making one bottle of Ito En’s tea.

In Fukuoka, new potato chips with matcha from Yame were released in November. The development of this new product took about a year and was timed with the 600 year anniversary of Yame tea. Continuing with the anniversary celebrations, tea tasting and selling events were held across the prefecture.

In Mie, Ise Tea Festival was held in Take Town to celebrate the local teas. During the festival 14 tea vendors from the prefecture opened their stalls, and participants could even taste some award winning sweets.

Ujiwatara City in Kyoto Prefecture is organizing a Chakabuki Challenge, where participants will receive a set of teas to brew at home and guess. Saijo City in Ehime Prefecture has also organized a tea tasting of the local tea – Ishizuchi kurocha. This year the production of this ancient tea has been designated as an important intangible folk cultural property.


The article is based on the Japanese media articles:

Image source: Ujitawara City

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