Our guidelines for Quality-control

Organic tea

The teas I curate are either organically grown, or cultivated in an exclusively natural way. By this I mean ways that are in harmony with nature, and that are not harmful to our environment, nor to ourselves. 

Seed-grown tea plants 

Most tea farms are currently populated by bushes of a specific cultivar species. Such species are developed at research centrums and require propagation from cuttings. I believe that growing tea bushes from seeds is the most natural way to develop new plants, and therefore choose to select for the majority of our teas products that are obtained from native plants, or seed-grown species. 

Least-possible human interference 

I believe that a flavor and aroma that is ultimately natural can only be obtained when the plants are allowed to grow in a strictly stress-free, natural way. This is why I prefer absolutely naturally grown teas over organically produced products, and of course over conventionally produced commodities. This translates itself in cultivation methods where fertilisation is limited or abolished, and the bushes are allowed to grow in environments where they naturally thrive. 

Regional diversity 

To let bushes develop from seed, and allow them to grow without any unnatural additives, means that they will express traits that can only be obtained in their particular area. In other words, the terroir predominantly decides the outcome of the tea. Since the terroir is different in every region, this also renders the tea different and allows for a greater diversity of taste, flavor and enjoyment as a greater variety becomes available to us to savor. 


Tea has been consumed in Japan for centuries. In those years methods have developed for producing ultimately delicious tea. it is only in recent years that advances in science and mechanics have allowed for major changes in the production process of tea. I believe that a truly authentically traditional tea can only be obtained when its manufacturing methods too have not been polluted by popular tricks and methods.

This is what I ultimately understand under the term ‘traditional tea’: 

Organic production

Before chemical substitutes were introduced, all farming was organic. 

Hand picking

Before machines were introduced, all harvest was done by hand. 

Natural irregularity

The growth of the tea bush is susceptible to natural circumstances. So was the manufacturing process susceptible to human differences. This natural irregularity teaches us that the outcome of a tea is always different. 

This brings us down to three main indicators

Small batches

I prefer to introduce small, unique batch teas that were carefully and heart-fully produced by passionate manufacturers with an authentic vision and beliefs.

Fragrant teas

Natural teas tend to be less thick in flavor than highly-fertilized teas. Yet it is this fragrance that defines the quality of a delicious and revitalizing organic tea. In addition, most teas in the past are believed to at least have undergone a bit of withering before processing, which imbues them with a floral aroma similar to that of an oolong tea.


Each year’s batch is naturally different. In fact, every harvest is different. If so, it shouldn’t be surprising that the tea obtained from a different area or region too has its differences. Actually, every tea garden produces unique characteristics. It are these characteristics; the terroir of the tea, that define the final product. And it is for those traits that we should savor and assess the tea we taste.

Photos and images used on this page, courtesy to © Christian Kaden (JAKYO | Japan-Kyoto)

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