“The past is now in full bloom, the future is full of buds.” - Kanjiro Kawai
When you visit Kitamura Tea Farm today, it’s hard to believe that in 1954, it started off as a piece of land a fraction of its size, with nothing but trees and rocks, and no water or electricity.
To anyone else, it was unfarmable and undesirable but to founder Chikaji Kitamura, it was an opportunity to turn this rough mountain terrain into his own tea farm. He didn’t anticipate that in fifteen years, he would face his biggest challenge - one that would become the cornerstone of his success.
The pivotal moment came when a customer request inspired him to produce a completely organic tea crop, something unheard of at that time.
People scoffed at the farmer and his fanciful dream of cultivating tea without the aid of pesticides or chemical fertilizers. They said it couldn’t be done. And for a while, it seemed like they might be right. The harvests were small, the plants damaged by disease and insects, the taste and smell of the leaves far from desirable.
But Chikaji carried on, driven by a promise to himself, his family, and the future:
he wanted to produce a tea safe enough for his grandchildren to drink.
It took several years of trial and error, hardships and struggles, but one day, the impossible had become possible. His vision of a thriving organic tea plantation had finally come true.
Fifty years and four generations of family later, Kitamura Tea Farm has established itself as an industry pioneer and one of Japan’s most respected producers of certified organic* single origin green teas know for their depth and character.
Tea Kitamura is proud to make these aromatic teas available in the US and share the legacy of the homegrown Japanese family business.
1995: Japan Agricultural Pioneer Award, which is given to farmers who settled in the post-war region of the country and was awarded to Chikaji Kitamura for his rare pesticide-free cultivation of tea
2012: Yellow Ribbon Medal of Honor, which is awarded by the Japanese emperor to individuals who become public role models through their professional activities
*Certified organic by the Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries