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  • Know Your Producer: Furukawa San

    Learn The Story Of One Of Japan's Most Esteemed Matcha Producers

    Know Your Producer: Furukawa San

    Furukawa San

    We are honored to be able to share the products crafted by the Furukawa family (a husband and wife operation) based in Uji City just south of Kyoto. While the exact lineage of his family remains a mystery since the family records were lost in a flood a century ago, Furukawa san finds it safe to say he is roughly the fifth or sixth generation to produce high quality Uji tencha (Curious what Tencha is? Read our Ultimate Guide To Matcha). He arrived at that date by consulting the history of Uji tea. Prior to about six generations ago, the Shogunate limited the amount of farmers permitted to produce tea in the region - so it is a safe bet his family began after that limit was abolished. Furukawa san and his wife are a wealth of not only the minutia of Uji's historical information, but incredibly well spoken about the finer details of top level tea production.

    Furukawa San whisking a bowl of Asahi Matcha

    Furukawa is a dedicated producer and he currently grows only four cultivars exclusively for Tencha: Asahi, Uji Hikari, Saemidori and Samidori. The small fields behind his house generate not only top tier tea (His Asahi Tencha was awarded top prize in the 2019 Kansai Tea Fair) but quite a lot of buzz as well. In 2018 his fields were voted "Most Beautiful" by the Kyoto Tea Board. This sounds like a subjective and perhaps superficial award, but the quality of soil, skill in pruning of the plants, and general health of the tea plants were rigorously tested at plots throughout the Uji area with Furukawa san coming out on top. Oh, and of course he didn't tell me this - I found out through another colleague in Uji. So add humble to his list of accomplishments.

    Award winning Tencha, pre ground matcha

    The location of Furukawa San's farm is in the prime slice of land just next the Uji river. This coveted real estate sits directly atop the sandy soil that is known to produce tea with immaculate color and a subtle, refined profile. The river acts to suppress large swells of heat and keeps both the ambient temperature and humidity levels consistent. This tiny micro climate gives Furukawa a head start, but it is his passion for detail that keeps him out in front.

    Shaded Asahi cultivar tea bushes. This traditional method is called Honzu and uses rice straw

    The Furukawa family only produces one harvest a year - preferring to instead forgo a second harvest and allow the plants to rest and compile additional nutrients for the next years harvest. This means there are only so many chances to experiment and see the fruits of their labor. Each year the harvest provides vital information - how did this years pruning, fertilizing, shading length, etc affect the outcome of the tea. Tencha is kept frozen from previous years and can be brought and tasted against the most recent harvest to understand the subtle variance and provide a roadmap for the next years tea. If Furukawa san makes tea until he is one hundred, that will still only be 80 or so chances to get it perfect. Imagine being a baker that has to master bread while being able to only produce a single loaf a bread per year.


    Furukawa San's Matcha

    Honzu Asahi Matcha

    あさひ抹茶


    Description

    We are excited to offer an unblended 100% Asahi cultivar tencha. Tencha refers the unmilled form of matcha (one step before grinding). - the leaves have been cultivated in the shade of traditional rice straw coverings, hand picked, and gently processed. We describe the flavor as the "Bass note" of matcha - a glimpse of the heart and soul of our Asahi honzu matcha.

    What is so special about this product?

    Single cultivar matcha is still incredibly rare to find in the consumer market place and unground tencha even more so. Due to the wonderful relationship we have cultivated with the producer, several kilograms a year are made available to us. Brewing this tea takes some focus and a bit more time than regular tea, but the results are astounding. A crystalline brew with the sweetest finish of any tea in our catalog. The incredible skill that went into the garden management, harvest and production of this tea make it one of the most astounding products we've come across [the 2019 version of this won the Kyoto National Tea Fair #1 Tencha]

    Tasting notes

    Sugar Snap Pea Sweetness / Laser like focus / Ultimately refined umami Production:

    Recommended for

    A matcha tea for savoring. Excellent prepared thin (Usucha) or thick (Koicha). Perfect for Chanoyu.


    Uji Hikari Matcha

    うじひかり抹茶


    Description

    Made From 100% Unblended Uji Hikari Cultivar, this Matcha tea has an intense umami, Clean Sweetness and a lasting creamy mouthfeel. A True Gem From The Furukawa Family In Uji.

    What is so special about this product?

    Still rare to find, this matcha green tea is unblended and is grown, manufactured and produced by one family. The Uji Hikari cultivar showcases the sophistication that peerless cultivation and ideal terroir can produce. Grown near the banks of the Uji river in sandy soil, Uji Hikari matcha tea boasts a unique edamame fragrance with a savory umami that rivals gyokuro. And absolutely special matcha.

    Tasting notes

    Edamame / Marine / Sticky Rice / Profound umami.

    Recommended for

    A matcha tea for savoring. Excellent prepared thin (Usucha) or thick (Koicha). Perfect for Chanoyu.


    It is our honor and sincere privilege to share the Furukawa family's incredible products with you all. We grateful for their continued commitment producing truly some of Japan's finest Matcha.