Moriuchi Tea Farm

OCHA TIMES
Moriuchi Tea Farm
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A tea farm since the Edo period, which is now run by a husband and wife team and produces a wide variety of tea cultivars at its home factory.


We interviewed Masumi Moriuchi of Moriuchi Tea Farm.


Masumi Moriuchi: “We grow many types of tea cultivars at our farm. I will introduce some of them to you.”

Yumesuruga
“This tea has a significant natural sweetness.”

Sofu
“This tea has an excellent aroma.”

Koshun and SORA
“If you like tea with a unique scent, I recommend these cultivars.”

Saemidori
“This is a tea with an elegant taste. If you usually drink high-quality tea, I recommend this.”

Tsuyuhikari
“This is tea with rich umami that a wide range of people can enjoy. If you make iced tea using this tea in the summer, everyone will really love it.”

Musashikaori
“This tea has a unique and interesting scent.”

Okumidori
“A foreign visitor who tried this tea was so surprised and said, ‘What a silky tea!’”

— “A silky tea? That’s an interesting expression. Foreigners sometimes express things in different ways to us.”

Masumi Moriuchi: “Many foreigners visit us through travel agencies. One day, a Canadian Youtuber visited us. This Youtuber’s reactions were very interesting. I have never heard any Japanese person express themselves in such a way, like ‘I feel energized” and “I’m drinking the water of life’”

↓ A cycling tour can be organized through a travel agency. These cyclists arrived at Moriuchi Tea Farm while visiting other sightseeing spots in Shizuoka city. Mrs. Moriuchi gave them a tour of his farm.

↓Foreign visitors enjoying tea at Moriuchi Tea Farm.

The cultivation method, which can bring out the unique characteristics of tea cultivars, was realized by identifying the land’s characteristics and planting each tea cultivar in the most suitable area.

Masumi Moriuchi: “ Yabukita is the most prominent tea cultivar in the tea industry. Yabukita has a taste with a well-balanced astringency, umami, and aroma. More than 90% of the tea farm areas in Shizuoka are growing Yabukita. However, Moriuchi Tea Farm grows a variety of tea cultivars besides Yabukita.”

— “Isn’t it difficult to grow multiple tea cultivars?”

Masumi Moriuchi: “We have many small hills here in Uchimaki of the Miwa district. The natural conditions regarding sunshine, temperature, and humidity vary greatly depending on the location. We use these differences to grow various tea cultivars. We identify the land suitable for certain tea cultivars to take advantage of the conditions when planting each cultivar. Of course, it’s not easy.”

↓Koshun

↓Yabukita

— ” I see. So you mean that taking advantage of the fact that each area has different amounts of sunlight, you plant the best-suited tea cultivars in each area to bring out the unique characteristics of each tea.”

Masumi Moriuchi: “Exactly. For example, Tsuyuhikari has a strong umami and a beautiful color. This tea’s characteristics can be enhanced by growing it on a slope with less sunlight. In this way, its particular taste and aroma will be obtained as if it were shade-grown.”

— “ also sells black tea, right? I understand that black tea is made by oxidizing. So does this farm also oxidize tea leaves?”

Masumi Moriuchi: “We have been making some oxidized teas since 1999. We received instructions from an expert on black tea production techniques. The expert taught people who exported their tea after the war.”

— “Have you been making oolong tea since 1999?”

Masumi Moriuchi: “No. Actually, a few years later, we invited a Taiwanese expert instructor, and we studied authentic oolong tea production techniques at the Motoyama Kamairicha Study Group. Special pans used to stop oxidation were also imported from Taiwan. Instead of pursuing only the aroma, we aim to make tea with a good balance of taste and aroma. My husband diligently studied and read up about it in related publications.”

— ” Do you even read academic studies on tea?”

Masumi Moriuchi: “Studying publications is important. However, it is necessary to read and study various publications because the contents may be biased depending on the author. If you are interested in learning more about tea, you may want to ask tea research institutes. At research presentation meetings, attendees can sometimes taste teas and get sample teas for free.”

The experience of receiving numerous awards and its designation as a tea farm for the Imperial Court

— ” Moruchi Tea Farm has been given a lot of awards at tea competitions. You received the designation as the Imperial Court Tea Farm in 2002. What kind of tea growing methods are you using?”

Masumi Moriuchi: “At Moriuchi Tea Farm, we are using the hand-rolling technique to make thoroughly rolled glossy and rich-flavored teas.

— “The shape of each tea leaf is beautifully uniform. I don’t see such tea leaves at the market so much.”

Masumi Moriuchi: “This is our tea awarded in the category of 4 kilogram Sencha at the National Tea Competition.

Masumi Moriuchi: “To make this tea, we keep rolling the leaves for about 5 hours.

— “For 5 hours? Really?”

Masumi Moriuchi: “That’s right. Imagine a piece of steak. Steak should be crispy outside and soft and juicy inside. This means capturing the juices and taste inside when you cook it. On the other hand, when we roll tea leaves, we remove the moisture while maintaining the softness on the leaves’ surface. Each tea cultivar has an optimal balance between shape and quality. So it is important to find the right balance while rolling tea leaves. There are a lot of Youtube videos related to tea rolling. Please check them out if you like.”

Rolled tea leaves using the hand-rolling technique of Moriuchi Tea Farm. Beautifully long tea leaves are the result of the constant pursuit for the ultimate in tea production.

Enjoy tea at the house of the farmer who runs the 150-year-old farm (reservation required)

Masumi Moriuchi: “You can compare some different kinds of tea at our house. We are usually working in the tea fields, so reservation in advance is required.

↓Comparing the tastes of different kinds of Sencha

↓Comparing the tastes of different kinds of oxidized tea

↓In the summer, you can also enjoy premium ice-brewed tea using prize-winning tea leaves.

↓You can eat steeped tea leaves with tea seed oil and rock salt.

— “I heard that tea leaves can be harvested at the earliest three years after planting. Is that true?”

Masumi Moriuchi: “3 years is actually very short. It usually takes longer.”

— “That’s amazing, such a long time to wait for harvest!

Masumi Moriuchi: “Yes, Harvest can take about five years from planting the tea trees.

— “Is there any difference between tea fields for hand-picked tea and machine picked tea?

Masumi Moriuchi: “The most commonly seen tea plantations are a halfpipe shape, so they can be efficiently picked by machine. The rounded shape allows the sun to reach all the trees. In general, it is called ‘Une-jitate (ridge-style)’ or ‘Kojo-jitate (arc-style)’ tea plantation. When harvesting by machine, a high volume of tea can be harvested per hour.

On the other hand, a Shizen-jitate (natural-style) tea plantation, grows tea trees straight up. By growing in this way, the natural shading effect works on the tea trees. The harvesters can then pick only high-quality sprouts by hand one by one using their highly trained skill.

In this way, only a surprisingly small amount of tea leaves can be picked in one day. It cannot be compared to mechanical harvesting.

— “I know that the taste of hand-picked tea and machine-harvested tea is very different. I remember when I tasted some tea made from hand-picked tea at a tea farm, it was amazingly delicious.”

Masumi Moriuchi: “If the number of tea buds harvested from the Une-jitate tea plantation is 200, the number of tea buds from Shizen-jitate tea plantation will be about 80. However, these 80 buds contain the same nutrition and taste of the other 200 buds. So hand-picked tea has a stronger flavor.”

— “The taste of the tea from Shizen-jitate tea plantation was genuinely amazing. I believe that I could never find it at any ordinary Japanese tea house.”

Masumi Moriuchi: “Hand-picked tea is really delicious, but it will not be served at any ordinary Japanese tea house because the unit price is too high.”

— “I think that if workplaces were to provide employees tea like this, the work efficiency would definitely be improved.

Masumi Moriuchi: “You are right. Work efficiency will surely be improved (laughs).”

— “I read about an event called ‘Cheese and Tea Marriage’ on your blog. Since I love sake, I knew that sake and cheese would be a good match, but I didn’t know that Japanese tea and cheese go well together.

Masumi Moriuchi: “That was an event held by a group of tea companions called ‘Ocha to shoku wo musubu kai (Group Connecting Tea and Food)’. Japanese tea and cheese go well together. As for the cheese, I used a type of French cheese that is not available in Shizuoka. The chef was surprised and said, “I rarely get this cheese!” Initially, we planned for 20 participants, but it quickly reached the expected number, so we increased our seats. Eventually, the participants numbered about 30 people. I would like to hold such an event again sometime between April and June when tea farmers are not busy harvesting.


The Moriuchi Tea Farm has continued since the Edo period. This farm is a home tea factory managed by a husband and wife. They are making tea from sprouts of tea picked from their farm. They produce teas with a rich aroma and refined taste using their in-depth knowledge of the characteristics of tea sprouts from their farm.

About Moriuchi Tea FarmHow to Purchase・About tours

Address 705 Uchimaki, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka, 421-2118, Japan
Website

How to Purchase

About tours

https://moriuchitea.wixsite.com/moriuchi-tea-farm
(↑Moriuchi Tea Farm’s Website)https://cha2962383.ocnk.net/
(↑You can purchase products via this online store as well.)https://www.shizuoka-tour.com/tours-activities/bike-tour-to-a-green-tea-farm/
(↑About tours)
Phone number 81 54 296 01210
E-money and credit cards For purchase at the farm, only cash is acceptable
Open Contact Moriuchi Tea Farm
Closed Contact Moriuchi Tea Farm
Parking lot Available
access About 15-minute drive from Shin-Tomei Expressway Shinshizuoka IC

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