The garden is on the southern tip of Japan’s most southerly Kyushu island. The farm is around 100 hectares and run by Yasuhisa Horiguchi - a great innovator and lover of the soil. Like all our farmers he believes that best soil produces the best tea that is best for us.
However the use of pesticides and herbicides in the growing of tea for matcha is extremely common practice. The shading of the leaf that takes place before harvesting to increase the amino acids, including theanine, enhances the flavour inestimably - but also increases the prevalence of pests.
He began using natural pests to counter the leaf eaters. Then in 2014 Horiguchi-san witnessed a hurricane pass over the tea and found that it removed all the pests and their eggs. He was so inspired that he created his very own machine, using high pressure air and water – to remove pests without chemicals. He calls it “the Hurricane King”.