"Making tea to connect people, and soften their hearts."
This is the motto of the producers behind MATCHASONOGI,a blended matcha from a cooperative of four tea farmers overlooking Ōmura Bay in Higashisonogi, Nagasaki prefecture, Japan. The matcha is one cultivar—yabukita, the gold standard in matcha production—but from four different lots of yabukita tea trees, all planted, tended, shaded, and harvested with the distinct styling of each farmer. Each shades their plants with nylon screens for 21 days before hachiju hachiya ("88 nights"; or, 88 days after the 1st day of spring), when the first flushes are machine-harvested and processed to tencha.
This lot both defies and embraces an old norm in matcha production—that matcha is made of tencha from multiple farms, then finished by a skilled producer (chashi—"tea blender") at regional tencha producing and milling factories. MATCHA SONOGI is indeed blended from multiple lots of tencha; but the farmers share a plot of land and produce their teas from start to finish on-site, collaborating on the cultivation, shading, harvest, and processing from planting to finished tea. The result is a single-cultivar, single-origin matcha born of the unique perspectives of 4 seasoned tea growers and the resident chashi.
Sonogi tea cooperative is not certified organic. A proprietary fermented fertilizer made from the byproducts of fish caught in the bay prevent official certification (wild-caught fish can't be organic). This agrochemical-free cultivation and the seaside terroir strongly inform MATCHA SONOGI.Expect marine air, prominent sweetness, and round umami.
This matchais the highest output of: Shinya Fukuda (a soba-loving manga enthusiast), Yoshitaka Ohyama (a 7" LP collector), Kosuke Nakayama (a lifetime angler), and Kazuhiko Onoue (also a fisherman). We're honored to showcase their combined mastery.
vintage — harvested spring '21 | milled autumn '21
style — shaded 21 days, processed to tencha, stone-milled