Just like any fine wine, the habitat in which the tea is grown can greatly influence its unique flavor profile. There are two main types of tea you can buy based on region:
The truth about tea is the quality of its harvest varies each year, directly affecting the overall tea grade, flavor and shelf life. This leads for big-named brands to mix tea leaves from different estates and countries to retain a consistent flavor formula. The ratio of the teas are proportioned to ‘craft’ into their own cookie-cutter blends, conformed each year accordingly to the outcome of the crops. Other companies blend multiple origins together to produce a medium quality batch that mitigates the shortcomings of the different terroirs. With premium quality tea leaves, on the other hand, compensation from a single-estate tea is never a concern.
The edge single-origins have over blends is that it celebrates the diversity of flavours in its purest form as the tea master heartfully-designed it. It is intended to capture the most out of its complexities coming from one region. As locations become renowned for a certain special quality in a product, consumers utilize the origin as an important indicator to a set-standard. More knowledge and understanding of the locality it came from, tracing all the way to the single farm that cultivated it gives you the full “farm to cup”- feel. What kind of environment is the product coming from? Are the farmers treated well? Do their practices support a sustainable agricultural system? The more middle-men you cut out, the more clarity you have in what you are exactly putting inside your body.
Our green tea is sourced from a single family farm in Kagoshima, Japan. After cutting the field in half to focus more on soil regeneration, our tea became more finite than ever. That gives us more of a reason to minimize the amount of crossovers and extraneous contact, to maintain its purest quality at its most optimal level.
What many consumers don’t know is that most matcha tins sold in stores labeled “from Uji, Kyoto” is in fact a blend of powderized green tea from multiple mass-producing regions such as Shizuoka and Mie. They are processed to become a single product to be marketed as a Kyoto commodity. Although tea is presumed to be an industry with wholesome and natural products, it is currently experiencing a phase of modernization that emphasizes convenience as more new concepts (similar to blending) are beginning to emerge. As a lover of tea and what it does for our body, it is important to refine our knowledge, ask more questions to reap the most benefits of tea at its highest health.