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Japanese Tea Collection.


About the trip:

Annie and I just returned from a sourcing and sales journey to Japan. The trip was filled with unforgettable, almost surreal moments. Inspired by our travels and the new teas we've discovered, we are excited to introduce a range of Japanese teas and Japanese-inspired blends. 

The setting, a pop up tea salon in the esteemed Tokyo’s Mitsukoshi Isitan department store. 90 covers of afternoon tea over 5 sessions per day. 

SUKI’s long standing partner in Japan Yumeori Co. was asked by us a few years ago about being a SUKI afternoon tea experience to Japan. I’ve travelled here before and taught afternoon tea etiquette (as well as mentioning the reality of the hobnob dunking!) but this year the opportunity arose. We came together to deliver something very unique.

It was only recently I knew I’d met the right team to pull this event off. David Edgar & Scott Murdock from National Trust of Scotland worked insane shifts to bring traditional Scottish tastes to an afternoon tea experience. Prepping in advance at the Three Tiers Salon with Rie and her team Scott & David perfected the recipes with some adjustment to local ingredients and equipment.

Whilst the afternoon tea sessions we're underway Annie took the opportunity to visiting our long standing Matcha suppliers, there's so much on this topic that we'll follow up with another blog just about Matcha. We also have loads of new inspired recipes so keep an eye out for these. 

2024. Annie's visit to our suppliers. Tomomi & Naoyuki. 

Meet the Makers: The Horie Family. 

A very special relationship we have with Japanese growers started back in October 2016 when I visited the Horie family in Ukihacha which is on the North side of the Mino mountains, central Kyushu Island.

The flora and fauna along the winding mountain climb to get there in straight out of a Studio Ghibly movie.

The area is predominantly famous for Kyoho a large Japanese grape and Kaki (Sharon fruit). Still known as the region of Yamecha the north side have different processes. The most traditional way of making Japanese tea is through a lengthy process involving many people and companies. there's a garden, sometimes owned by a group of people. Then there's a storage company who freezes the tea until needed. Then another company buys it to process and sell. The Horie family owns, maintains and processes every aspect of the tea. This tea is 100% from one estate. (Or garden in this case).

Back then, I was greeted by Toshiyuki Horie who was in his 90’s and still overseeing the business activities. The garden is a 7 generation tea garden and Toshiyuki’s son and grandson now head the operation. Extended family work in the business and at peak season they contract a couple of people in to assist.

This family lives for tea, some years ago the father planted tea bushes in the shape of the Kanji symbol for tea on the hillside next to their house. They generally work 7 - 8 hours a day. Monday - Friday but said that as they all own the business they never really switch off, some things are universal!

The tea is harvested in April / May. They cover the tea for one week then cover the sides for another. This keeps the leaf a dark emerald green colour and the plants from the Horie family are 20 years old on average.

We are delighted to launch the first batch from their family garden. 

About the teas: 

Horie Kyushu Sencha.

nique, rich umami flavour of Japanese teas, this limited edition is for you. It's unlike any tea we've ever offered before. An exquisite tea, sourced from the Horie Family in Mino Mountains, Kyushu, captures the quintessential umami taste Japan is famous for. We adore its broth-like quality and the sweet, fresh hints of sugar-snap peas.

Sakura Sencha: 

A cherry blossom inspired delicate green tea. Sencha with a soft cherry flavour. Sakura translates as cherry blossom. Hanami:  The Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers

Please note. This is limited edition blend and only available in 20g sizes. 

Organic Ceremonial Matcha: 

Traditionally stone ground from 21-day, shade-grown Spring harvest green tea leaves, this Ceremonial grade Matcha offers a vibrant colour and rich sweet, grassy taste. Packed with antioxidants and L-Theanine, it is perfect for modern health and wellness rituals. Origin: Nishio, Aichi Prefecture, Japan.