“飲んだら元気になるようなお茶づくり – We make tea that makes you feel good.”
In these strange times, who does not want to feel good, happy and healthy. This is the goal of Akira Miyazaki, the owner of Miyazaki Sabou. Last December Miyazaki-san opened the doors to his farm, and showed us around as if we were old friends.
You will find Miyazaki-san’s farm in Gokase town, an area with cold winter and hot summers, right in Miyazaki prefecture, surrounded by the mountains. If you stop by you will receive a warm “Hello” from the team, and Mount Aso, which is right in front of the tea fields.
Miyazaki prefecture feels warm and friendly every time we visit, and Miyazaki-san is no different. We had the pleasure to visit him last December, and were provided with the wam welcome of his farm and his tea.
Miyazaki-san, who received a platinum award for his oolong in this year’s Nihoncha Award competition, is continuing his family tea business. After a close friend died due to pesticides, their mindset about farming completely changed. They moved to organic farming at a very early stage in Japan, when the standard was non-organic, and so organic production was really hard. It is the human nature to make mistakes, as well as to learn from them and take action. At a time when everyone is doing the opposite, it takes a bold heart. To this day Miyazaki Sabou makes tea in an organic way, without the use of pesticides.
At the same time, Miyazaki-san loves to innovate. The farm works with the agriculture centers to create the best mix and match of cultivars that can produce different kinds of teas. Successful ones are planted in Miyazaki-san farm, ready to create new tea flavors. It is like an organic tea lab!
While walking around Miyazaki Sabou tea farm, we had the chance to speak with some of the workers. They emphasize how important it was for them to listen to the feedback of their local customers, and adjust their production around that. In the past, they had clients asking about tea pesticides, organic farming, and even tea bags packaging. The lady tea worker explained to us they keep changing and improving the type of tea bags they use to have more sustainable packaging. They continue listening to their customers to ensure not only the hight quality of tea, but also that the tea good for YOU.
Finally, we had an amazing tasting with almost all Miyazaki Sabou types of teas. He also told us, he is building a facility to welcome visitors to his tea farm and provide various tea experiences. We look forward to visiting him next year!
*The article was written by our Tea Fellow Alba Ameller and the photos were provided by Alba too. You can follow Alba on her instagram page Dokodemocha.