Today, the company is on a mission to introduce Japanese tea culture to the wider world. At the Tokunaga Tea House in Ureshino, you can find a variety of fine Japanese teas, all processed in the small but immaculate factory situated adjacent to the shop.
Third-generation president Kazuhisa Tokunaga worked as a systems engineer and spent time overseas before taking over the family business. While studying dance and music in Ireland, he noticed the similarities and differences between Japan and other countries with strong tea traditions. Realizing the need to create a variety of teas to suit different audiences, he began to envision a place for Japanese tea at the international table. Roasting is one of Tokunaga Seicha’s great strengths, and they work directly with growers to bring out the character of the leaves, producing teas that meet the specific needs of customers. That has led to a lot of awards at domestic and overseas contests.
The company offers a range of premium green, black and herbal teas, but two local specialties are roasted kamairicha, made with comma-shaped coiled green tea leaves, and tamaryokucha, a steamed variety of the coiled green tea. Tokunaga Seicha’s kamairicha is still made in an antique drum roaster, which takes pride of place inside the processing facility. Because the machine is not equipped with a thermometer, the artisans must monitor the process carefully, relying solely on their senses and experience. The kamairicha has subtle smoky aromas and rounded umami, with mild astringency and an elegant finish, while the tamaryokucha is a gem-toned hue of green with umami depth and a refreshing finish.
Tokunaga Seicha Co.Ltd.
Shimojuku Otsu 1938, Ureshino-machi,
Ureshino-shi, Saga, 843-0301, JAPAN