1. What is the best way to store tea, and when does it expire?
We recommend keeping our green tea in its original packaging, which we fill with nitrogen to retain the freshness of the leaf. Once opened, the tea will not spoil, but the flavor and aroma will gradually change. Tea can otherwise be stored in a sealed metal or non-reactive ceramic container in a cool, dry place, away from strong smells. Refrigeration can also prolong the life of the tea, but we suggest that the leaf is left at room temperature for at least 24 hours before brewing so as to prevent condensation damaging the leaf.
If kept in its original packaging and in temperate storage conditions, we suggest consuming the tea within one year of its packaging date.
Keep in mind that organic matcha has a particularly short shelf life. The increased surface-area of the tea powder means that it oxidizes rapidly once the packaging seal is broken and it is exposed to air. Therefore, we highly recommend ordering matcha in small, individual units ready for sale, rather than ordering one large package and then repackaging yourself.
2. How is your tea sourced?
All of our full-leaf tea is grown by farmers in our cooperative and is produced in our factory here in the Setoya region of Fujieda. Our organic matcha is produced in Fujieda by another farmer friend.
3. What cultivars do you use for your teas?
Unless otherwise noted, all of our teas, including matcha, are made from the Yabukita cultivar. Other cultivars, such as Yamakai and Sayama-kaori, are available in limited quantities. Please consult the wholesale list for what is available.
4. What are your international shipping options?
We prefer to ship overseas via EMS, which is insured in case of damage or loss. We can also ship via SAL, which is less expensive, but can be prohibitively slow for some people.
5. What payment methods do you accept?
We accept payments via PayPal for orders under 50,000JPY and direct bank transfers for anything higher.
6. What is the discount on wholesale purchases, and what is the minimum order amount?
Please contact us directly for wholesale inquiries and we will provide you with a chart listing wholesale weights and prices.
7. Can I request custom packaging for wholesale orders?
Yes, it is possible to use customized packaging, both for bag design and weight. The packaging company we use does not have an English website or PDF version of their catalog, but we will do our best to apprise you of any options that fit your needs. Please contact us directly for details.
We have received many inquiries about packaging that uses no plastic. We have found the currently available options to be prohibitively expensive, relative to the amount of tea we produce, but we are continuing our search for something affordable and that will seal well enough to preserve the freshness of the tea. We appreciate your patience during this process.
8. Is all of your tea certified organic?
All of our tea except for houjicha is JAS Certified Organic. Although the leaves used for houjicha is the same as our other tea, the factory that roasts our houjicha does not have a certification. However, we feel that their quality of their roasting is very high.
If you would like papers confirming compliance with USDA, Canada, Switzerland, or EU-certification, there will be an additional cost of 7000JPY per order.
If you would like chemical or radiation test reports for specific products, please contact us directly and we can arrange for them to be ordered. Please be aware, however, that the price for this testing is often very high.
9. Do you offer samples?
Yes! If you would like to try samples of any of our teas prior to a wholesale purchase, please contact us with a request. Sample packs of up to 5 different types of tea of the customer's choice are available for 3,000JPY (including shipping).
10. Is your tea available in tea bags?
We have Yabukita Midori sencha and Setoya Momiji black tea available in tea bags. Other teas can be custom-ordered in tea bags for an additional cost. Please be advised that these orders can sometimes be delayed, since we have to send the tea to another factory to be repackaged.
11. What is your refund policy?
Please contact us directly if you believe you need a refund.