Fifth generation master tencha tea farmer Kiyoharu Tsuji stands head and shoulders above the rest in Japan’s tea world. Recipient of the prestigious Prime Minister’s Award in 2017 for agriculture, he was chosen after accumulating dozens of top awards for his tencha since taking over the farm from his father in 1990.
He has not only helped to preserve the art of cultivating and processing tea leaves into tencha, the tea used for matcha, but he also spreads the art by teaching younger farmers.
Tsuji-sensei has also introduced modern science into his process, utilizing laboratory analysis to inform his cultivation techniques. He conducts soil analysis monthly to ensure best environmental conditions and tests his leaves for amino acid content annually to ensure the maximum quality for matcha.