By Aaron Kiel, World Tea News
Matcha Organic Japan will make its debut within the world tea community at the World Tea Virtual Summit this October. The agricultural production business and its Matcha brand, Matcha More, will present in a special session and Q&A; it’s also sponsoring the event’s virtual happy hour, where the first 1,000 registrants will be shipped Matcha samples to enjoy during the digital networking session. The World Tea Virtual Summit takes place Oct. 12-14, 2020, and details are available at WorldTeaExpo.com/VirtualSummit.
What makes Matcha Organic Japan unique? According to Kunikazu Mochitani, the company’s head of international sales, there are numerous factors that make the farm and its high-quality Matcha brand special. To start, the farm was founded in December 2016 by young farmers and professionals (all in their 20s to 40s) who had a vision to become the most beloved Matcha farmers in the world.
Their idea was to launch an organic tea plantation that incorporated an entire village in Shimada and Kawane, Shizuoka Prefecture, which is a traditional tea-producing area in Japan. In fact, it was essential to have everyone in the local village on board with the project and farm’s plan to become certified organic. They needed to ensure that no pesticides were used on-site or in the surrounding village (if pesticides were used locally, it could easily disturb the crop; even a breeze could have a negative impact if it contained pesticides from the surrounding area).
“In the village, there’s 10 hectares of tea plantations [roughly 25 acres] that’s all certified organic for making Matcha – and all of it is cultivated by Matcha Organic Japan,” says Mochitani. “We’re trying to produce the tea through the whole village – known as Organic Matcha Village – while preserving the Japanese tradition of creating high-quality Matcha. It’s been challenging to find the best way to mass produce organic, traditional Matcha from farm to finished product.”
While it may have been challenging for the young team, Matcha Organic Japan is succeeding. This year, it was certified organic by JONA, which has conducted third-party, organic certifications since 1993. JONA certifies to international standards, as recognoized by IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements).
“Organic farming is tough work,” explains Mochitani, “but we have the motivation to work hard and create a high quality product. We want to make the most loved Matcha in the world.”
‘Matcha More’ Debuts
Matcha Organic Japan has been in the development phase for a few years, and they were waiting for the right moment to announce their new organic Matcha, Matcha More. They decided on participating in the World Tea Virtual Summit to kick off a promotional “world tour” to introduce the brand. They also plan to showcase their tea plantation and present samples of Matcha More across numerous countries.
Their Matcha is currently for sale through the company’s online store (it was sold-out at the time of this article’s publication), and they offer wholesale for B2B customers. Their Matcha is also available and used in creative ways at their own Matcha More Café in Shimada City in the Organic Matcha Village.
‘We built the weekends-only cafe to interact with tea enthusiasts and other visitors,” says Mochitani, who refers to the tea village as a “Matcha amusement learning park.” “We’re trying to produce a new lifestyle around organic Matcha. Anyone can visit the cafe and they can be a part of the village community.”
At the café, guests can enjoy Matcha in a variety of ways, including a “serious organic Matcha latte,” Matcha chocolate fondue, Matcha Japanese sweets, espresso Matcha latte, mango and Matcha latte, Matcha milk smoothie and more.
In addition to the café, Mochitani notes that the tea plantation hosts community events where visitors can pluck tea or plant tea plants. They also offer housing for interns, who wish to live and work on the farm and café for three months – an opportunity to learn everything about tea production and Matcha.
“I’ve seen significant matcha growth by traveling the world,” says Mochitani. “Matcha expansion has been really quick, and I feel like the demand is still growing. I think people see it as an exciting new flavor – like nothing else in the world. And now it’s becoming a standard flavor for sweets and innovative drinks, too.”
Learn More at the World Tea Virtual Summit
Mochitani is looking forward to presenting and revealing more about Matcha Organic Japan at the upcoming World Tea Virtual Summit. “We want to share and promote our very first organic Matcha to the world and share our thoughts on our projects,” he says. “For Matcha tea, autumn is the new Matcha release of the year, and the celebration moment is called Kuchikiri [a tea ceremony and celebration]. At the World Tea Virtual Summit, we will share our new 2020 Matcha to 1,000 attendees that want to experience this great moment. We will all do Kuchikiri virtually at the summit’s happy hour.”
Besides becoming the world’s most beloved Matcha farmers, future plans for Matcha Organic Japan include worldwide distribution and a U.S.-based distribution center. Yoshiyuki Tamura, president of the company, says he’d like to expand into the world by “pursuing what he wants to make while making the best use of his experience in the service industry and making customer-friendly sales.”
To learn more about Organic Matcha Japan and Matcha More, visit MatchaOrganicJapan.com.
To learn more about the World Tea Virtual Summit (registration opens in early September), visit WorldTeaExpo.com/VirtualSummit.