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Meet the Hayashis

4th and 5th generation bio-organic tea farmers

Shutaro san mans the picker
Nestled behind lush forests in the highlands of Kirishima, Kagoshima sits some modest 6 hectares of rolling, green tea bushes.  The scene is as picturesque, serene and harmonious as one can imagine. Man tending the fields working side-by-side with their herbivore counterparts - small ducks and goats nipping on weeds between plant rows, not a chemical in sight. Using nature but not abusing nature, a model of eco-friendly farming if there ever was.
The farm was founded by Kisuke Hayashi in 1900, a tobacconist who fell in love with tea and brought Shizuoka hand-rolled tea experts to begin production in Kirishima. But it was fourth generation Osamu who, conscious of the health impact of pesticides and their diminishing effectiveness on crops over time, turned the land to organic farming practices in 1993.  In recognition of their efforts, the government awarded his farm with JAS organic certification in 2001 and to this day, only 3% of Japanese tea producers have this attainment.
Osamu san
Today, Osamu’s son Shutaro runs the show.  If you probe, he may tell you that complete biodynamic, self-sufficient farming can be arduous. Not just the physical toil but due to the interdependent nature of this kind of farming, it requires organisation skills to ensure each component is nurtured and well timed. He may also tell you that production is slow and yields are small. But you will notice that he will tell it to you with a smile - the kind worn by one with a happy little secret. Because you see, this is all done on purpose – goodness over greatness, quality over quantity.  Shutaro knows he’s been lucky enough to have grown up with this legacy his whole life.
We are honoured to be the first Australian importer of the Hayashis’ organic teas. We present to you a selection of their limited spring first crops. Love and health in every cup.
Sencha - Zairai: Grown from the seed of 100yrs+ tea plant, this local Kirishima tea is a mellow, easy-to-drink steamed green
Hayashi Black: A little known gem in the world of Japanese tea, this fully-oxidised offering is an eclectic throw-back to Darjeeling and southern Chinese oolongs
Hojicha: Our finest hojicha to date, offering a lightly toasted hazelnut cup
Genmaicha (matcha-iri):  High in umami, this genmaicha is laced with Hayashi’s organic matcha for an equal balance of marine notes and nori

Look out for Hayashi organic matcha, coming soon. Sample independently tested, lowest of all heavy metal traces across 14 different Australian and international matcha suppliers. 
Take a tour of the Hayashi family tea farm and see how their sencha is processed.