You might say I’m biased because it’s crafted by our trusted tea supplier, Arahataen. And perhaps I am. Yet, my bias is rooted in all the right reasons – a deep appreciation for the countless years, boundless passion, relentless hard work, and unwavering dedication that go into creating this extraordinary tea.
What Makes ISSAKU Reserve So Special?
The most basic answer to the question will be that it has won Global Tea Championships in two different years – 2017 and 2019. After these years, the championship was paused due to COVID-19. But this is just the beginning of the story. When you reach deeper into the roots, we go all the way back to the soil and the farm creating this tea – Arahataen Tea Farm in Shizuoka prefecture.
Arahataen’s tea-making starts with ‘Tsuchi-zukuri (Soil – making)’
Since the founder, Eizo Arahata, started cultivating tea in Makinohara Plateau, Arahataen’s foundational principle has been to start tea production with ‘Soil-making.’
What does this mean? This means that they put a massive amount of effort and thought into improving and maintaining soil quality, natural biodiversity, and natural ecosystems instead of exploiting nature to harvest tea. In return, nature rewards us a thousandfold by growing tea plants with leaves that brew into cups of tea with extraordinary flavor and sweetness that cannot be found in other places.
Arahataen has also been committed to using the traditional tea farming method called the ‘Chagusaba method,’ which was recognized by FAO (United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization) as GIAHS (Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System) in 2013.
The Chagusaba method is a labor-intensive ancient Japanese tea farming method that maintains semi-natural grasslands around the tea-growing area and uses the grass as mulch in the tea field to produce high-quality tea.
This method protects more than 300 ecologically important endangered species living in the tea-growing area and is one of the most sustainable agricultural practices in the world.
Arahata and His Masterpiece Tea
Mr. Arahata, the owner of Arahataen green tea farm, had this thought when he was giving his all to work on creating ‘ISSAKU’:
“A tea that you will not find anywhere else. That’s what I want to make. Many people have been a part of my Ocha-zukuri (tea-making life), and I want these people to enjoy this tea.”
Mr. Arahata poured his many years of experience, his tea-making wisdom, and his passion for tea into creating this masterpiece. That was how Issaku was born.
Revolutionary Natural Fertilization: The Sweet Secret of Local Sugarcane
This exclusive green tea is nurtured using a natural fertilizer created from locally sourced Japanese sugarcane, rich in amino acids. Fresh sugar liquid is meticulously incorporated into the soil, infusing each sip with a distinctive sweetness. This innovative fertilization method, combined with the use of homegrown sugarcane to enrich the soil, results in a tea with a naturally sweet flavor profile.
The Freshest Top Leaves. Picked Only Once a Year. By Human Hands.
With meticulous care, the tea crop is harvested just once a year. Highly trained farmers delicately handpick only the tender, newly sprouted tea leaf buds. This stringent selection process ensures that only the freshest and most delicate leaves make their way into ISSAKU Reserve.
Crafting Tradition with Modern Precision
The journey of the tea leaves, once plucked, combines tradition with modern precision. Stored in a specialized refrigerator, they are exposed to temperatures and humidity levels reminiscent of the traditional soil layer where Japanese tea leaves aged for centuries. This aging process imparts the perfect balance of depth and flavor. After a precise duration of aging, the leaves undergo calibrated heating, resulting in Kuradashi Cha (Kuradashi Tea), translated as “tea taken out from the granary.”
The Art of Aging Tea and the Richness of Kuradashi Green Tea
ISSAKU Reserve is the culmination of aging freshly picked tea leaves for half a year under carefully controlled conditions at -15 degrees Celsius. Before aging, the tea reaches the Aracha state (crude tea), identical to the tea at this stage. However, the distinction lies in the mellow taste, robust body, and slightly increased astringency of Kuradashi Tea, making it richer than freshly picked tea.
Health Benefits: A Bonus with Every Sip
Beyond its exquisite flavor, ISSAKU Reserve provides an array of health benefits, including:
- Facilitating weight management (High in Polyphenol, Catechin, and EGCG)
- Reducing stomach absorption activity (High in Gallic acid)
- Promoting smooth, radiant skin (High in Taedenol Element)
- Abundant in vitamins C and E
- Free from cholesterol and sodium
- Low in caffeine (34 mg per cup, akin to one-third of a coffee cup)
ISSAKU for business owners: How ISSAKU Reserve Tea can make a business stand out.
ISSAKU Reserve tea is a compelling choice for wholesale buyers, including cafe and tea shop owners, restaurant proprietors, and luxury health stores. Its status as a Global tea award winner, limited yearly production, unique flavor profile, and rarity can distinguish its offerings in competitive markets. This tea’s potential to become a signature item can foster customer loyalty. Moreover, its health benefits, supporting weight management and skin health, align with the preferences of health-conscious consumers.
ISSAKU appears…. In Kansas City!
I think the first sip of ISSAKU is something that stays with you forever. I wanted many more tea lovers to know the unforgettable taste of this tea. To make this wish come true, we are contributing 50 packages of ISSAKU, each containing 10g of this exceptional tea, to the Midwest Tea Festival. This remarkable event, scheduled for October 21st to 22nd, 2023, at the Overland Park Convention Center in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, promises a captivating journey for tea enthusiasts from all walks of life.
Due to the intricate and complex process of crafting ISSAKU tea, this tea is produced every year in limited quantities. It is a true artisanal product compared to mass-produced tea. Therefore, it is a tea that is incredibly difficult to come by, even in Japan. However, this October, ISSAKU will appear 10,138 km away from Shizuoka, in Kansas City!
The Midwest Tea Festival serves as an annual gathering that beckons tea aficionados, vendors, and enthusiasts to celebrate the diverse and vibrant tea culture thriving in the Midwest. It features an array of presenters and vendors, and this event harmoniously merges niche markets with the gastronomic delights of the Kansas City area. Attendees can anticipate a wealth of presentations, workshops, and exhibitions that delve into the taste, history, and culture of tea in America.
Conclusion: Relishing Excellence with ISSAKU Reserve
In summary, ISSAKU Reserve isn’t just tea; it’s a manifestation of tradition, innovation, and an unwavering love for the art of tea cultivation. It’s a masterpiece that encapsulates the essence of Shizuoka’s tea culture and the relentless pursuit of perfection at Arahataen Tea Farm.