We are importers and distributors of
the finest Japanese teas. We specialize in high quality Japanese tea varieties
which are typically produced by smaller and more exclusive tea producers.
Our mission is simply to share with our U.S. consumers the fabulous
green teas the Japanese have been enjoying for hundreds of years.
How We Started
I began importing teas from Japan in 1998. Having lived in the U.S. for sometime, I have witnessed
extraordinary changes in U.S. food and beverage consumption habits.
The American palate has become accepting and adventurous when it comes
to trying exotic foods from all over the world, including Japan, so
much so that soy sauce and tofu have became readily available in every corner
grocery stores. In New York City, the number of quality Japanese restaurants
has tripled. But the quality of Japanese tea commonly available has
not matched the high standard of Japanese food available.
Having grown up in Japan I know what good Japanese tea tastes like, and I was usually
very disappointed with the tea served in Japanese restaurants in New
York. Ending a meal with a good cup of tea (or coffee) can bring about
ultimate dining satisfaction, and I was deprived of that experience.
These feelings led me to travel to Japan and to Shizuoka, a region renowned
throughout Japan for the quality of its tea, to look for farmers who
would provide good green tea to American consumers. It was not an
easy task to persuade some of the best local tea growers, who had
never dealt with the overseas market, to export their tea to America.
That is how I got it all started.
Now and Looking towards the Future
For over five years, I have continued to supply quality teas to the
U.S. market, and I continue to travel all over Japan in pursuit of
good teas to introduce to America. As over 90% of tea produced in
Japan is consumed there, I believe there are more teas waiting to
be discovered by the American consumer. But I am happy to note that
the quality of Japanese tea available in the U.S. has improved in
the past five years. Largely due to widely reported health benefits,
the consumption of tea, particularly Green tea, has increased dramatically.
This growing interest in tea may be a contributing factor in the improvement
of the quality. Now I am more excited than ever to be supplying high
quality Japanese teas to the American market because there are more
people with the experience to understand and appreciate good quality
Japanese teas. As the popularity of Japanese food continues to grow,
I hope the interest in Japanese teas will also continue to grow --
not only because of health reasons but simply because it is so delicious.
By Sara Kadowaki/ Founder, Saras Tea Caddie
New York, NY
Current Advisory Board Member of STI