After picking, our organic tea leaves are left to fully oxidized naturally and then fully dried to make our Organic Black Tea. When we make our Organic Black Tea, we are tracing back the history of Kuma District and the neighboring city of Hiyoshi, replicating the production methods used at the start of the Meiji Period (1868-1912).

The use of machinery is standard practice in modern tea cultivation, but at the Ochacha Honpo factory, our tea is handmade all the way, right up the final drying process. The majority of tea in circulation today is manufactured using semi-orthodox and unorthodox practices, like CTC (Crush-Tear-Curl) or rotorvane machines. These are highly efficient methods and manage to increase output while keeping the shape of the tea leaves consistent.

The production process of black tea:

1.Wilting – the tea leaves become easier to handle in later stages.

2.Crumpling – tiny fissures are made in the tea leaves to increase contact with the air, hastening the oxidation process.

3.Rolling – the hardened tea leaves are rolled to soften them.

4.Oxidation – although the tea has already been well oxidized during the crumpling and rolling phases, further oxidation at this stage is crucial in determining the final flavor of the tea.

We pay particular attention to the condition of the tea leaves during crumpling and rolling. These stages must be repeated several times, and this requires significant effort to complete.

Similar to green tea, machinery is indispensable for increasing production output for black tea too, but at our factory, we favor manual procedures over full mechanization. We never use shredding machines, so our tea leaves keep their natural shape. We want our customers to experience the taste of truly natural Japanese black tea. That wish is what makes out Organic Black Tea special.

Left: A hot water infusion of Organic Black Tea infused.
Right: A hot water infusion of Organic Black Tea infused.

Many people feel unsatisfied with the taste of the black tea they usually drink. Our Organic Black Tea has pleasantly assertive tones with a quintessentially Japanese flavor. The refined feeling that comes with drinking black tea made from traditional Japanese tea leaves is not to be missed.