Imuta, Kagoshima, Japan.
I first visited the Miyazono tea farm during my travels through Kyushu, and I was immediately stuck by the uniqueness of the area.
Situated on a gentle slope in a small basin, the farm’s bushes are fed by the dew that is generated by the picturesque Imuta pond.
It’s a lovely farm that I wish we could visit together. For now, let’s enjoy the tea and dream of future travels.
About the manufacturer
President at Miyazono Tea Farm
Tea farmer Kinkichi Miyazono was a fighter jet pilot in the Japanese National Defense Force before he took over his family’s tea farm in Kagoshima. He observes an exclusively organic approach to his tea and mulberry cultivation and strives to maintain the natural landscape of the idillic Imuta volcanic crater lake and surroundings.
About the tea garden
The Imuta pond originated as the crater of a volcano that formed approximately 400,000 years ago. The area consists of wetlands that are home to many aquatic plant varieties and is an important breeding ground for many water birds. In addition, the area is an important place for many dragonflies to reproduce and emerge. To preserve the area’s ecological treasures, the Imuta pond was registered under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in 2005.
Towering over the pond is Mt. Iimori, said to resemble an overfull bowl of rice. This cute yet fierce mountain is the stern but gentle parent that looks over the tea bushes of the Miyazono tea farm.
In respect of the local environment, tea farmer Mr. Miyazono has chosen to not rely on chemicals or external substances. This preserves the beauty and natural stasis of the area, as well as respects the health of the drinkers. Instead, the farm relies on the clean, moist air generated by the pond during temperature shifts in the day/night cycle to have a beneficial effect on the bushes. The result is a tea nourished by a harmony with the environment.
About the tea cultivar species
Cultivar details - Yabukita
This native cultivar has been growing in its present location high up in the mountains in Nara Prefecture, unmodified, for over half a century. It is distinguished by a gentle yet distinct sweetness on the palate.
Discovered at Sugiyama’s tea garden north of his bamboo grove. Hence the naming ‘Yabukita’. Chosen as promoted cultivar in 1945, registered as # 6 in 1953.
Mid-season grower, taken as the yardstick for other cultivars.
Strong growth and good yield; Average cold and disease resistance; Excels in quality criteria.
Fairly strong against cold and average against frost damage.
Versatile. Grows in Shizuoka and Kyushu. Is highly adaptable, which is why it is chosen as the preferred cultivar throughout Japan, now for over 70% in use at tea farms.
Suggested measurements for 1 portion.
Suggested no. of infusions: 
Brew at a fairly lukewarm temperature for the first brew for a longer period of 2 to 3 minutes to fully extract the umami sweet flavor of the tea.
Slightly raise the temperature for the second brew to between 70 and 80 degrees Celsius to also savor the tea’s freshness.
For the third brew, use off-the-boil hot water to fully extract all the goodness this tea has to offer.
Changing the temperature for successive steepings will make it seem as if you are drinking a different tea with each brew.
Feel free to experiment and adjust temperature and steeping duration for different brews of the same tea.
【Gyokuro】Imuta Organic Gyokuro