Hotta Katsutaro Shoten Co., Ltd. Green Tea Wholesaler in Uji, Kyoto

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Over the past several decades, in addition to inspecting tea plantations of contracted tea growers, we have held regular meetings with the growers, and occasionally conferring with retailers as well. Through such close contact with growers, we have built our original procurement channels, based on solid partnerships with tea growers. To ensure stable supply for our customers, we have looked beyond the tea growers of Uji, Kyoto, to build partnerships with growers in Shizuoka, Kagoshima, Mie and other prefectures.

Tea is extremely delicate. The flavor and aroma of the same variety of tea plant can differ significantly in accordance with the production center, harvesting period and weather conditions. Customers' preferences also differ from region to region. Accordingly, it is important to supply the type of tea products that precisely meet customer preference.
At Hotta Katsutaro Shoten, we fine-tune tea flavor and aroma by changing roasting methods, blending composition, and size and shape of tea leaves, exploiting our artisans' expertise and cutting-edge technology. Under the leadership of Takaoka Nobutoshi, our plant manager with over 40 years of experience, tea leaves are processed by our team of experts. Combining cutting-edge technologies with the outstanding depth of knowledge fostered throughout their long careers, we produce excellent tea that satisfies even the most discerning customers.

Fresh tea leaves have a wide variety of appearances, flavors and aromas. We usually blend several types of tea leaf since tea-related preferences differ from region to region, and in accordance with use. Blending is an essential process, since it determines tea flavor and aroma. At Hotta Katsutaro Shoten, this important task is carried out by four experts who have achieved excellent results in Tea Appraisal Technology Contests and who have been accredited by the Contests organizer. These experts work under the leadership of Morita Haruhide, an honorary adviser to the Company who has won the championship three times in the Contests.

*National Tea Appraisal Technology Contest: A contest of skills to identify tea varieties, production centers and harvesting periods based on flavor, aroma and appearance of tea leaves. Regarding the origin of such a contest, extant documents indicate that in the end of the Kamakura Period (1192 - 1333), warriors and court nobles engaged in competitions of skill in appraising tea quality. At the present Tea Appraisal Technology Contests, which inherit this long tradition, the organizer determines competitors' dan (class) according to their scores. Annually, 100 experts who are screened from around the nation participate in the Contests. Naturally, it is only possible to continue to win this event through untiring efforts and daily practice.

Our state-of-the-art far-infrared-ray roaster achieves the same effect as traditional roasting by charcoal fire. Combining cutting-edge equipment with our artisans' skills, we produce richly flavored green tea with a fragrant aroma.

In 1970, when Morita began his career in the tea industry, he met with Hotta Katsutaro, now chairperson of Hotta Katsutaro Shoten, who had won the second prize in the National Tea Appraisal Technology Contest. This encounter determined Morita's life. Learning tea appraisal technologies from Hotta, Morita developed his talent rapidly. In that same year, he participated in the 17th National Tea Appraisal Technology Contest, at the age of 19. Although this was his first time to participate in this national event, he won the championship and the Award of the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, establishing a new record as the youngest champion in the history of the contests. Morita long remained the top appraiser, taking part in the National Tea Appraisal Technology Contests for twenty years consecutively (which is also a record), and winning the championship again in the 28th and 39th National Tea Appraisal Technology Contests.
In 1994, Morita was accredited as a ninth dan (highest class) tea appraiser.
Currently, as an adviser to Hotta Katsutaro Shoten, he is committed to the education and training of young staff members.

1970: Won championship at the 17th National Tea Appraisal Technology Contest.
1981: Won championship at the 28th National Tea Appraisal Technology Contest.
1992: Won championship at the 39th National Tea Appraisal Technology Contest.
1994: Accredited as a ninth dan (highest class) tea appraiser.
Morita has received many awards, including the Award of the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; and the Kyoto Governor's Award.