Q What do you think makes your tea more unique or better than others?
A"We grow or take care of even the soil. And we do the whole process by ourselves, from start to finish. Thus we can assure you with safe green tea with all the history of production. We can trace back where and when a certain lot of tea was produced."
Q What makes the difference between a successful and unsuccessful harvest?
A"About 50% of it depends on green tea leaves in the fields, in my opinion. And 30% is the manufacturing process, and 20% is the refining process such as blending and roasting."
Q Do you exchange growing secrets with other local farmers?
A"Masudaen has 15 neighboring contract farmers who cooperate with us. We give certain information and lectures to direct growing good tea leaves. We also hold a study with them once every 2 months, and we study and research as to growing better quality tea."
Q Are there any tips you can give on how to best brew your tea?
A"Green tea's taste differs by the temperature of hot water you pour in. Basically, the better tea, the lower temperature hot water you pour in. First, you must boil water and then cool it off. For high quality Sencha, approximately 70C (158F). Mid quality Sencha, 80C (176F). And lower grade green tea, 90C (194F) are suitable. For Genmaicha, 80 to 90C are suitable."
Q What is your favorite tea to drink and why?
A"Fukamushi Sencha (Deep Steamed Sencha). The water color is deep green and its taste is rich. During the production, we put twice as longer steam as regular Sencha. Therefore, the tea leaves become broken and it may look like lower quality tea, to those who are used to seeing long tea leaves. But green tea is not something you look and enjoy; green tea is for drinking. It has less bitterness and has rich taste."
Q If you had any advice to give western tea drinkers, what would it be?
A"As green tea has different kinds, Sencha has different kinds, such as regular Sencha, Deep-steamed Sencha. Also there are Gyokuro, Tamaryokucha, Kukicha, Genmaicha, and so on. Japanese tea is all natural and healthy. It is important to find your favorite tea and drink it every day. That is the secret of applying green tea's health effect. Especially, Sencha has much Catechin which prevents cancer and common cold."
Q What does this project & contribution mean to you?
A"I think this is a great thing. I would be so glad if readers of this article would become great fans of Japanese green tea and start drinking green tea."