The Tea Industry Today and Tomorrow

Japanese tea is a world-class product of Japan, with a long and rich history and culture. However, as lifestyles change, the number of people who brew tea in teapots is decreasing, and the income that farmers receive has been steadily declining for a long time*.

While the income of farmers who produce tea leaves for PET bottles is stable to some extent, about 70% of the income of ordinary tea farmers is made up of tea leaves called "first tea," which has a high unit price. The price of "first tea" has dropped by almost half in the past 10 years, and farmers are beginning to find themselves unable to make a profit (or even a loss) from their tea production.

The tea farmers who face the tea trees every day and grow such delicious tea say, "I don't want my children to inherit the tea farming business. Natsuko Waki, the representative of the group, was so disappointed with the current situation that she launched the “Hitotsubo Chaen" activity.

As she interviewed the members of the first year's "Hitotsubo Chaen," the needs that would lead to product development were highlighted, such as the fact that tea is delicious even when served with water and that it can be brewed without a teapot.

More importantly, I realized that the tea drinkers wanted to know the thoughts of the farmers and tea merchants, whose faces had been invisible to them until now.

There are many types of tea farmers, depending on whether they want to grow, process, finish, and sell the tea leaves on their own or not. I have met people who, with a sense of crisis that they cannot continue as they are, have started to develop products and systems that overturn the conventional wisdom. The “Hitotsubo Chaen" will collaborate with such tea farmers and tea merchants.

We think this cycle is an exciting experience for both the tea maker and the drinker. This cycle is an exciting experience for both the tea maker and the drinker. We would like to increase the number of people who join this circle (we also call it a "swamp") and create a new future for tea.