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100-YEAR-OLD JAPANESE TEA COMPANY LAUNCHES NEW TEA LINE IN U.S.
Gen Sou En Brand Proprietary Green Tea Blends Now Available
BOSTON, MASS. (March 21, 2019) – Harada Tea & Foods Inc. is excited to announce the U.S. launch of its new Gen Sou En line of green teas and matcha made in Japan. Visit Booth #924 at the World Tea Expo.
Gen Sou En – which loosely translated means farm-to-cup – brings 100 years of Japanese tea expertise to the U.S., with its meticulous cultivation and blending of tea leaves in all of its tea products.
These new, sencha teas are produced with all-natural, clean ingredients and blended by the expert tea masters at Harada Tea. Each has its own distinctive flavor profile. The Gen Sou En line includes three signature green tea blends, available in bags of loose tea leaves or boxes of 10 tea bags: Umami (mellow and smooth), Kokumi (deep and complex) and Shibumi (sharp and intense). The line also includes matcha powder, sold in bags. Organic umami, kokumi and shibumi teas are also available for food service.
The heritage brand was founded in 1917 by Gentarou Harada, who started his own farm, growing shitake mushrooms, Mikan (Japanese mandarin) oranges and tea. More than 100 years later, the family-owned and operated company maintains its hands-on philosophy, creating tea from the ground up.
“We are excited to bring our special blends of authentic Japanese green teas and matcha to the U.S. market,” said Haruo Abe, president of Harada Tea & Foods, Inc., the company’s U.S. operations. “We look forward to having our U.S. customers enjoy their favorite teas and matcha beverages in their homes.”
“Japanese green tea is part of daily life in Japan and we want to help make high-quality green tea a part of daily life in the U.S., right next to coffee,” said Mr. Souichirou Harada, president of Harada Tea Processing Co. Ltd. of Japan. “With the Gen Sou En brand, we deliver great taste and help customers develop positive and healthy green tea drinking habits.”
The company, which is based in Shizuoka near Mt. Fuji, both owns its own farms and works closely with local farmers to grow and harvest their tea leaves. One of their farms was the first green tea farm in Japan to receive JGAP certification, which stands for Japan Good Agricultural Practices. This certification is part of Harada’s effort to comply with international safety and quality control standards.
The tea culture, which was originally brought to Japan from China, has changed in a number of significant and distinctly Japanese ways, beginning from its initial arrival and continuing through modern times.
The process of stopping oxidization of tea by steaming is a manufacturing method that evolved in Japan. Leaves that have undergone this steaming process have their cell walls broken down, making the composite parts easier to dissolve. This method leads to health benefits because it makes it easier to ingest the nutrients in green tea, including catechin (a polyphenol), Vitamin C, and theanine. In addition, the caffeine content of the average sencha green tea is about 30mg per 150ml, or roughly 1/3 of the caffeine content of coffee.
Some of the Gen Sou En line of teas include "Kabuse Tea," which means covered tea. That’s because the tea plants are covered with sheets in the fields to block the sunlight. The resulting tea has a deeper green color, more sweetness and less bitterness. Gen Sou En matcha is made from tea that has been carefully shade grown to enhance the flavor and color of the tea leaves.
Boxes of 10 Gen Sou En tea bags are available in 100-unit and 8-unit cases. Loose leaf tea is available in 2 oz. bags in 25-unit and 8-unit cases. And matcha is available in 1.4 oz. bags in 20-unit cases.
About Harada Tea & Foods Inc.
Harada Tea & Foods Inc. is a subsidiary of the second largest tea company in Japan. Harada Tea Processing Company is a 4th generation, family-operated, 100-year-old business, specializing in the production of retail green tea, coffee, black tea, oolong tea, nori, and shiitake. The company began introducing traditional Japanese green tea and culture into the U.S. in early 2018 with Gen Sou En Tea House, its modern Japanese tea house in Boston, and now continues that expansion with a new retail line of green teas and matcha. Learn more about the flagship tea house at gensouenteahouse.com and the Japanese company at haradatea.com. For more information, please contact [email protected].