The agricultural practices in Japan with respect to growing and harvesting green tea have been traditionally “pure” for centuries. Due to the fact that matcha tea must be carefully grown, shaded, hand-picked and then ground, it is a very hands-on process, much like making wine.
The volume of matcha that is produced in Japan is small, and this unique crop is delicate and requires constant attention and care. Because the entire leaf is ingested, great care is taken to ensure that the plants, especially the top 2-3 leaves used for making matcha tea, are clean and pesticide/chemical-free.
As a result, there really hasn’t been a “need” for organic matcha producers in Japan as the process is so inherently clean. It is only recently, due to the “organic” market demand from the U.S. that Japanese matcha tea suppliers are getting certified as organic. There is some redundancy in this however, as the crops and the process is already “organic” by many worldwide standards.
For example, all our ZenMatcha™ tea is grown completely pesticide-free! There is a small amount of fertilizer added to the soil for 4 weeks before picking due to the fact that the tea plant is shaded, and so requires some extra nutrients.
We are proud to be able to present such a clean and pure product to the marketplace.
With the exception of our Organic Shogun Grade from Kyoto, we have decided not to opt for “organic” certification, as this is an extremely costly procedure and in order to incur this additional expense, the price of our ZenMatcha would increase. We are determined to adhere to our mandate of offering the very best authentic Japanese matcha tea at the very best prices anywhere!
On a final note, due to the small production scale of matcha in Japan, it is particularly susceptible to weather, infestations, etc., therefore many of the certified “organic” matcha producers are now having a challenge maintaining quality and consistency of product. All in all, we believe that good, high-quality matcha from a trusted source is the most reliable and cost-effective product to buy.