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What is Issaku Reserve? - An award-winning masterpiece from Japanese Green Tea Co.

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What is ISSAKU Reserve?

If someone were to ask me, 

"If you could only drink one Japanese green tea for the rest of your life, what would it be?" 

My answer will undoubtedly be our cherished ISSAKU Reserve

You might say I'm biased because it's crafted by our trusted tea supplier, Arahataen. And perhaps I am. Yet, my bias is rooted in all the right reasons - a deep appreciation for the countless years, boundless passion, relentless hard work, and unwavering dedication that go into creating this extraordinary tea.

Issaku Reserve - Japanese Green Tea

What Makes ISSAKU Reserve So Special?

The most surface-level answer to the question will be that it has won Global Tea Championships in two different years - 2017 and 2019. After these years, the championship has been halted due to COVID-19. But this is just the 'lid' of the whole story. When you reach deeper into the roots, we go all the way back to the soil and the farm creating this tea - Arahataen Tea Farm in Shizuoka prefecture. 

Arahataen’s tea-making starts with ‘Tsuchi-zukuri (Soil - making)’ (土づくり)

Since the founder Eizo Arahata, started cultivating tea in Makinohara Plateau, Arahataen's foundational principle has been to start tea production with 'Soil-making.' What does this mean? It means they put a massive amount of effort and thought into improving and maintaining soil quality, natural biodiversity, and natural ecosystems instead of exploiting nature to harvest tea. In return, nature rewards us a thousandfold by growing tea plants with leaves that brew into cups of tea with extraordinary flavor and sweetness that cannot be found in other places. 

Arahataen has also been committed to using the traditional tea farming method called the 'Chagusaba method,' which was recognized by FAO (United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization) as GIAHS (Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System) in 2013. 

The Chagusaba method is a labor-intensive ancient Japanese tea farming method that maintains semi-natural grasslands around the tea-growing area and uses the grass as mulch in the tea field to produce high-quality tea. This method protects more than 300 ecologically important endangered species living in the tea-growing area and is one of the most sustainable agricultural practices in the world. 

Locally grown sugarcane is used for creating rich soil

(Read more about how Arahataen is fighting one of Japan’s biggest social problems here.) 

Mr. Arahata and his masterpiece tea 

Mr. Arahata, the owner of Arahataen green tea farm, had this thought when he was giving his all to work on creating 'ISSAKU': 

“他のどこにもない特別なお茶を作ってみたい。そして茶づくり人生の中で、お世話になった方々にぜひ味わっていただきたい…。”

"A tea that you will not find anywhere else. That's what I want to make. Many people have been a part of my Ocha-zukuri (tea-making life), and I want these people to enjoy this tea."

Mr. Arahata poured his all - his years of experience, his tea-making wisdom, and his passion for tea, into creating this masterpiece. That was how Issaku was born. 

Revolutionary Natural Fertilization: The Sweet Secret of Local Sugarcane

Sugarcane is carefully placed on soil

This exclusive green tea is nurtured using a natural fertilizer created from locally sourced Japanese sugarcane, rich in amino acids. Fresh sugar liquid is meticulously incorporated into the soil, infusing each sip with a distinctive sweetness. This innovative fertilization method, combined with the use of homegrown sugarcane to enrich the soil, results in a tea with a naturally sweet flavor profile.

The Freshest Top Leaves. Picked Only Once a Year. By Human Hands. 

Hand-picked Japanese Green Tea

With meticulous care, the tea crop is harvested just once a year. Highly trained farmers delicately handpick only the tender, newly sprouted tea leaf buds. This stringent selection process ensures that only the freshest and most delicate leaves make their way into ISSAKU Reserve. 

Crafting Tradition with Modern Precision

Carefully selected best tea leaves based on various factors by a tea master

The journey of the tea leaves, once plucked, combines tradition with modern precision. Stored in a specialized refrigerator, they are exposed to temperatures and humidity levels reminiscent of the traditional soil layer where Japanese tea leaves aged for centuries. This aging process imparts the perfect balance of depth and flavor. After a precise duration of aging, the leaves undergo calibrated heating, resulting in Kuradashi Cha (Kuradashi Tea), translated as "tea taken out from the granary."

The Art of Aging Tea and the Richness of Kuradashi Green Tea

ISSAKU Reserve is the culmination of aging freshly picked tea leaves for half a year under carefully controlled conditions at -15 degrees Celsius. Before aging, the tea reaches the Aracha state (crude tea), identical to the tea at this stage. However, the distinction lies in the mellow taste, robust body, and slightly increased astringency of Kuradashi Tea, making it richer than freshly picked tea.

If you are interested in knowing more about the ins and outs of Japanese tea harvesting, you can do so here. 

Issaku Reserve

Health Benefits: A Bonus with Every Sip

Beyond its exquisite flavor, ISSAKU Reserve provides an array of health benefits, including:

  • Facilitating weight management (High in Polyphenol, Catechin, and EGCG)
  • Reducing stomach absorption activity (High in Gallic acid)
  • Promoting smooth, radiant skin (High in Taedenol Element)
  • Abundant in vitamins C and E
  • Free from cholesterol and sodium
  • Low in caffeine (34 mg per cup, akin to one-third of a coffee cup)

Buy Japanese Issaku Premium Tea


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