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Tea farmers Yuki and Junko Ogura wanted to escape the city life, and took up tea farming about a decade ago in Odawara. Yuki Ogura worked as a tour guide taking people on tea-themed tours to Darjeeling, Assam, Sri Lanka and elsewhere, and began learning tea production both in those regions and from farmers / processors in Japan. For the past decade he had been refining his organic cultivation and black tea processing techniques, and produces green and black teas under the brand name Joshunen 如春園.
Tea Factory Joshunen in Odawara, Japan
Last March 31, he launched his cafe / tea factory in Odawara where he produces his black tea, roasts tea, and serves up the most amazing curries...
Black Tea Specialists
It isn't easy being a new tea farmer in a country of tea farmers, especially from an ultra minor production area like Ashigara. So, after much trial and error, and visits to Sri Lanka and India, the couple has decided to specialize in black tea production, in the style of Darjeeling (though they do produce a small amount of sencha). Video shows their black tea rolling machine.