Uji (宇治市) City is home to some of the oldest tea gardens in the world, with the first being established around 1200AD. It is located in Kyoto, on the center of Honshu - the largest island of Japan. The area is the largest city in Kyoto Prefecture and has a diverse landscape which includes high mountain peaks.
Uji is renowned around the world for the growing and production of some of the world's finest teas. It is most famous for its production of high quality sencha, matcha and gyokuru. We source our Matcha and Hojicha from Shohokuen Tea Company in Kohata, Uji, who have been producing tea since 1645.
The teas produced by Shohokuen are still picked and processed by hand to this day. However, thanks to the development of new low temperature storage technology, combined with vacuum packing, it is now possible to keep the flavour and quality of freshly processed tea throughout the year, making it much more accessible for companies such as ourselves.
This area is also home to the oldest surviving tea shop in the world, Tsuen Tea Shop, which has been in operation since 1160 AD. As a rule, we use the Tsuen Tea Shop as a guide on which teas to stock ourselves, and what quality of Japanese tea we should be serving.