Once upon a time, a man was ridiculed as a “weasel” for the way he crawled between the rows of tea trees.
It was when the concept of the “cultivar” of tea was not yet familiar. So, to find the best tea plants, he traveled all over Japan, sometimes even crossing oceans, to examine every possible tea plant.
He was so far ahead of his time that few people understood him, and sometimes all the tea trees he collected were turned into firewood. But he never gave up and devoted his life to tea. All for the sake of making delicious tea. His passion drove him to do so, and finally, his life ended without any understanding of his achievements.
Decades later. A man discovered a particular cultivar that became Japan’s most widely produced variety. This is “Yabukita.” It still holds more than 70% of the domestic market share of green tea cultivars.
The man’s name was Hikosaburo Sugiyama. Although he was ridiculed as a “weasel” and ended his life with regret, he made the most outstanding contribution in history to the improvement of tea quality in Japan and the diversity of tea in the modern age.
Many cultivars of tea exist, and the flavor of each cultivar varies greatly.
Tea with a rich umami
Tea with milky sweetness
Tea with a sharp astringency
Tea with a floral or herbal aroma
Climate, location, cultivation methods, processing methods, etc… Many factors affect tea taste, but the one that most significantly affects the taste is the cultivar.
To maximize the appeal of the cultivar, we chose single-origin teas made from a single cultivar and single producer rather than blended teas.
What kind of aroma and flavor does the cultivar have?
What concept or thought the producer has in making the tea?
If it is a single-origin tea, you can clearly understand the flavor of the tea and who made it, where it was made, and with what kind of feelings of producers.
Fascinated by the story of tea, we visited producers all over Japan. We have listened to their thoughts and hardships in front of their beautiful tea farms and drank countless cups of tea.
What kind of thoughts and history went into making this tea, and what are the reasons for its delicious taste.
We are fascinated by the taste and interest of tea when we drink it with this background.
Our own image of ourselves traveling around Japan searching for the best tea overlapped with that of Hikosaburo Sugiyama.
Yabukita, which at one time accounted for more than 80% of Japan’s tea, is undoubtedly the cultivar that changed the history of tea.
The times have moved on, and now there are more than 100 officially recognized cultivars. If we include the unnamed and unregistered cultivars, the number could be hundreds or even thousands. The taste of tea cultivars with the region of origin and the producer and tea flavors are endless.
From such infinite choices, we travel around Japan to discover delicious teas and the thoughts behind them. We spare no time or effort just to find the best tea.
We have named our efforts andtrajectory “WEASEL” with the hope that we would like to be like that.
Single-origin Japanese teas, carefully selected from all over Japan. We hope that as many people as possible and we will enjoy this fascinating tea and the essence and interest that each tea has to offer.
You will find your favorite tea. We hope we can help you to do so.