The Organic Village of Isagawa
During our trip to Japan in April 2019, we had the great privilege of meeting some farmers at Osada. This is a family-owned tea company in Shizuoka, that has been producing tea in this area for generations. Although the company is becoming quite large, they still have a heavy emphasis on organic green tea, and they still try to source from small scale farms in the countryside. Because of their strong values, they decided to source some of their tea from an area called Isagawa, a small village in the mountains of Shizuoka.
In the organic village of Isagawa, all the nearby farms are completely pesticide-free, so there is no risk of cross-contamination. One of the things we learned on our many trips to Japan is that even if a farmer doesn't apply any pesticides to their own field, they could still miss getting an organic certification because of cross-contamination from other fields. This is something farmers avoid either by positioning their organic fields nearby other organic fields, or using trees as a natural barrier to block the pesticides from running off into their field.
Organic Sencha Isagawa
You may have noticed that we sell a sencha under then name Isagawa. We wanted to find a sencha that encapsulated the region in which it was grown. This dry, mineral-dense sencha, is very characteristic of a mountain tea. These mountain teas tend to be a little bit fresher and slightly astringent, but it is a great way to break up all the sweet umami teas in our assortment.
We also have the kukicha osada from this region as well as the matcha koiai and kakisubata. The farmers at Osada produce some really great products so we really wanted to make sure our customers get to try a little bit of everything!
These teas overall tend to drift into the more citrusy or fresh direction, but that is typical of a Shizuoka tea, particularly a mountain tea. If you are not much of a Gyokuro fan and you prefer more dry senchas, I would really recommend you give these ones a try. This is a great way to support the small organic village of Isagawa, while at the same time enjoying some unique and delicious organic japanese green tea.