土帰 doki’s partner farmer: Yuta Nagatani, 7th generation tea farmer
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always admired my father and grandfather as they worked in the tea factory. I would stop by the factory after school or help out in our tea fields; day after day, I’ve come to realize how much I like tea, so I chose to continue the family’s occupation and live as a tea producer.
Our family history of tea farming started at the end of Edo period in Yuyadani, Ujitawara city, Kyoto prefecture, and Nagatani Tea’s five fields and factory are still here, in the birthplace of Japanese green tea.
The smooth feeling in the throat when you drink tea and the elegant sweetness that lingers as an aftertaste is a quality that we strive for. When we buy aracha (unprocessed tea) from other tea producers, we adjust the refining process and final drying (called hi-ire) so as to highlight the characteristics we look for in tea.
Nowadays, there are few young people who are interested in tea or even have a kyusu (Japanese teapot), one thing that I would really like people to know, is how subtle and fragrant Japanese tea can be when you brew it with a kyusu. Another dimension to enjoy is that moment when tea is brewing in the kyusu, even though it may just last one or two minutes, you can really feel the time slowly pass by.
Keeping tea traditions alive is something we owe to previous generations, which is why I would like to preserve our tea gardens. As the number of tea enthusiasts who get to know us via Instagram and order from us increases, I hope to share tea knowledge with as many people as possible.