Sometimes, the finest things in life come full circle. So it is with Sencha, arguably one of the world’s most popular green teas. While Sencha is by tradition a Japanese tea variety, green tea originated in China and was found its way to the island nation via traveling monks in ancient times. In 1740 a Kyoto tea master named Soen Nagatani, developed the method of steam processing green leaf, resulting in a very fresh, flavorful cup and Sencha was born. Nagatani’s tea quickly took hold, evolving to become a daily drinker, favored by the common populace, as opposed to the more ceremonial varieties of matcha favored by the wealthy. Sencha production became widespread, and so the years safely passed.
900 years of history would change on 11th of March 2011 with an earthquake, Tsunami and subsequent meltdown of the Daiichi Nuclear Plant in Fukushima Japan. On that day, Japanese tea farming suffered a devastating blow that would see our company, and many others around the world, cease the importation of Japanese teas due to the risk of radioactive material making its way into the supply. Our decision, while heartbreaking, was deemed necessary in light of the fact that food safety has always been our number 1 priority, and continues to be so moving forward.
Thankfully, in the decades preceding the incident, Japan’s population had grown large enough to necessitate the importation of green teas for domestic consumption. Subsequently, many Japanese companies had already begun investing heavily to develop Japanese-style tea farms in China, particularly in and around Zhejiang Province. These tea farms, overseen by Japanese tea master, produce Japanese style teas that are as good, and in some cases better, than their Japan grown counterparts. Sencha Kakagawa is one such tea. Remarkably smooth, flavorful and grown in the heart of green tea’s original home, China, Sencha has truly come full circle.