Situated in lower Uji near Wazuka town is Nakai Seichajo, the producers of our roasted Japanese teas. They make a wide range of teas with the stringent standards so typical of Uji tea producers—but their roasting program is especially high level. A small team of makers with decades of experience in the art of tea roasting produce unconventional houjicha, kyobancha, and finely milled powder that defy the prevailing idea that these teas are "byproducts" of Japanese tea production. Strictly speaking, they are; but Nakai's great expertise in the genre make each production as exceptional as more traditionally premium Japanese teas.

Our liaison to Uji works in Nakai's gardens every production season, giving us a direct line to the action and first access to each year's best harvests. Nakai runs a tight ship, with exemplary matcha and shaded teas going to auction for buyers in the domestic market. Our unusul access to these same lots lets us bring very fine Uji teas (typically reserved for tea houses in the archipelago) stateside.