Location: Uji, Japan. Online Only.
- We stand with our name for superior category green tea which is obtained directly from trusted tea farmers only in Uji, directly from Japan. The tea is solely produced by conventional harvesting and traditional processing methods. No middleman, no extra costs for you. All of our teas come from well-known tea farmers and producers. In our store, we almost only have the first tea harvest in spring (First Flush tea) and most of our teas come in limited quantities.
Most popular company tea(s)?
- Matcha: Aoi no Mukashi
- Gyokuro: Asagiri
- Sencha: Kisen
- Overall: Karigane Hojicha, Saijo Genmaicha
Does the company name have a meaning?
- Tobias is my name. EN (園) means garden. In the past most tea farmers sold their own tea because keeping the tea fresh was difficult, so the people bought the tea directly at the source. With the invention of different packaging material and methods it was easier to keep the tea fresh for a longer period of time. Nowadays Japanese usually by their tea from supermarkets and grocery stores and not from tea farmers anymore. But the tea sold is labeled as tea from OOEN tea house or OOEN producer. Having TOBI in combination makes it a personal experience and easy for Japanese and people affiliate with green tea to know that we are a tea company.
Do you participate in any charities?
- Yes and no. We try to stay CLIMATE NEUTRAL its something environmental. With international orders we participate in DHLs GoGreen program. With GoGreen we try to also reduce our carbon and greenhouse gas foot print. Try to neutralizing the shipment’s CO2e emissions.
What is your (or any of your other co-workers’) favorite tea?
- Matcha Hatsumukashi, very good price-performance ratio. A very nice Matcha powder, no bitterness, very smooth and creamy taste. Outstanding quality but still affordable. The tea I personally drink if I need some Matcha.
What are your thoughts on transparency in the tea industry?
- Even due the fact that in the west (Europa and America) we do not have this traditional tea drinking culture, but more and more people are starting to drink tea, do come along some really good tea can be very difficult. Due to cost of import, shelf life of good green tea as well as language barrier, acquiring good and affordable tea is not an easy task. In Japan, there are so many tea store, tea farmers and producers. But in the west, a lot of the tea sold comes from just a few sources. It is basically the same tea in a different package. A few big players are dominate the market.
What role does tea play in our lives?
- Green tea made me interested in Japan in the first place and because of green tea I met my wife (a tea master’s daughter). Because we live in Uji, the birthplace of Japanese green tea, we have everyday tea around. There are so many tea fields in Uji, even in places where you don’t expect it. There is no escaping green tea in our life’s.
Anything else you’d like to add?
- The tea we sell is around 50:50 Japanese and oversees market. Japanese do not always prefer the same tea customers from overseas do. To get a good balance, to always have to best tea available the time of our customer’s order is one of our goals. Every single order, even for it can be one out of many, for our customers it is their only one. We try to make every customer feel that their order is important to us and that we will process it as best as possible. Ordering tea directly from japan is not something everybody does, but we want give them a special treatment, every single one of them.
TeaTiff Picks: No.31 – Karigane Gyokuro. Nothing wasted. Karigane is tea made from the by-product made of stems and twigs. Which may not sound entirely appetizing but is not only divine but also generally cheaper than the counterpart from which it is made.
If you order from this merchant be sure to tell them TeaTiff sent you!