Tea Farm:

Ota Shigeki Tea Farm (Ota Shigeki Seicha Kojo 太田重喜製茶工場)


Ureshino, Saga, Japan


140–500m above sea level

Organic Cert.:

No use of plant protection products or chemical fertilisers since 1978


Traditionally produced tamaryokucha, kamairicha and wakocha

The Ota Shigeki Tea Farm 太田重喜製茶工場 is located in the top region of Ureshino, a town in Saga Prefecture on Kyushu Island. It is not far from Nagasaki, centrally located between the Ariake Sea and Omura Bay. The tea farm, which has existed since the Meiji era (1868–1912) and is now in its 5th generation, was passed on from Ota Shigeki 太田重喜 to his son Ota Yusuke 太田裕介, who now lovingly cares for 15 tea fields on approximately 3 hectares. Since 1978, the Ota family has completely abandoned all chemical pesticides and fertilisers and focuses on aromatic tamaryokucha, kamairicha and wakocha according to the Nagata cultivation method.


The Ota family convinces us every year with their tasty organic teas, which are full of power and naturalness despite the smallest additions of water and organic fertilisers. For example, our complete Tamaryokucha range is currently made by Mr. Ota, whose expertise has nevertheless also been honoured in the production of Kamairicha. In 2014, he won the Nihoncha Award with the floral Kamairicha Fujikaori, which also enjoys our highest admiration.



The area around the town of Ureshino is surrounded by gentle mountains, which are covered by a dense fog, especially in the morning hours. The warm climate, thanks to long hours of sunshine and cool temperatures at night, provides the ideal factors for tea cultivation. Low climatic stress is one of the most important starting points for growing and processing tea plants in a natural style.


Ureshino is the birthplace of Japanese tea cultivation, whose history begins with the monk Eisai. He is said to have planted the first tea seeds in the Sefuri Mountains between the prefectures of Saga and Fukuoka as early as 1191. In the 17th century, the first tea fields were established and mainly produced tamaryokucha and kamairicha, whose production methods originated from immigrant Chinese ceramicists. Thus, both teas can still be compared to Chinese green teas in terms of taste.




The knowledge of cultivation and processing was perfected over the centuries within Ureshino, so that the Ota family was also able to share in the age-old experience and develop it further through individual skill. The traditional production of guricha, a regional alternative term for tamaryokucha, has always been the focus of the Ota family and other tea farmers in the region. It was not until the 1960s that Ota Shigeki began making the oven-fired version of tamaryokucha, known as kamairicha. To this day, his son Ota Yusuke optimises its production even further by allowing the tea to oxidise slightly before heating, thus combining floral notes with the typical Kamairicha roasted aromas (Kamaka 釜香). This award-winning quality from the purest organic cultivation is one more reason for us to maintain our close cooperation with the Ota family.



The trigger for turning away from conventional farming methods was repeated poisoning by Ota Shigeki, who decided to completely abandon chemical substances out of concern for his own health and that of his customers. Since at that time it was still believed that pesticides had to be sprayed 12–20 times a year in order to maintain a high yield, Ota Shigeki reduced the amount and frequency of pesticides as much as he could.


However, when he met Nagata Terukichi 永田照喜治 in 1978, everything changed for him. Mr Nagata is known for his special farming method, which involves leaving plants and soil virtually untouched or unworked. This means not only a complete absence of pesticides, but also a greatly reduced addition of fertiliser and even water. Plants receive exactly the amount of nutrients they need to grow and are not overfed as in conventional farming. In this way, plants grow more resilient and nutrient-rich, as their roots, for example, have to reach deeper into the soil to absorb the necessary nutrients.


Since 1978, Ota Shigeki has dispensed with all chemical and biological pesticides and uses only a small amount of natural fertiliser as needed, according to his expertise.




The Ota Shigeki Tea Factory still focuses on the production of Tamaryokucha and Kamairicha, which are typical of the region. Two tea varieties whose processing methods are strongly influenced by the cultural influence of Chinese green tea production. Unlike the classic sencha, the two teas are coarsely rolled and thus do not have the typical needle-like appearance of the sencha.


Tamaryokucha and kamairicha can easily be confused, as their processing is almost identical. The tamaryokucha, however, is steamed, which gives it a natural and tart green tea aroma and is particularly suitable for lovers of strong flavours. The kamairicha, on the other hand, is roasted, which allows it to develop slightly nutty and sometimes floral aromas.


The son Ota Yusuke, the current farmer, therefore places a strong focus on the selection of cultivars that are particularly well suited for tamaryokucha and kamairicha in order to realise the teas' full potential. This passion for natural and high quality teas was rewarded when the pesticide-free Fujikaori kamairicha was honoured with the Platinum award at the Japanese Tea Awards in 2014. As kamairicha (approx. 5%) and tamaryokucha (approx. 0.5%) account for a dwindling share of Japan's total tea production, we are particularly proud to be able to offer such high quality in our range with the Ota family.



  1. Premium 91 P.

    Ureshino, Saga



    €99.00 / 1kg

  2. Premium 93 P.

    Ureshino, Saga



    €338.00 / 1kg

  3. Super Premium 95 P.

    Ureshino, Saga



    €79.00 / 1kg

  4. Super Premium 96 P.

    Ureshino, Saga



    €155.00 / 1kg

  5. Super Premium 96 P.

    Ureshino, Saga



    €198.75 / 1kg

  6. Super Premium 97 P.

    Ureshino, Saga



    €311.25 / 1kg

  7. Contest Grade 98 P.

    Ureshino, Saga



    €397.50 / 1kg

  8. Contest Grade 99 P.

    Ureshino, Saga



    €323.75 / 1kg

Ota Shigeki Seicha