For many people, tea is nothing more than a bag in a cup. But for others, especially the caretakers of the tea, it is so much more. It is their livelihood and history. Sugimoto Tea is known not only for their incredible tea but also for the rich history that flows into each cup.
Location: US Office – Redmond, WA // Headquarters – Shizuoka, Japan
- Sugimoto Tea Company’s mission is to save the Japanese tea industry by showing people around the world the wonder of Japanese tea in food and beverages, and through these efforts, make people’s lives richer and happier.
Most popular company tea(s)?
- Sencha Fukamushi (our specialty) is a deep-steamed, rich green tea. Additionally our Organic Daily Matcha and Organic Ceremonial Matcha are top sellers.
Does the company name have a meaning?
- Its the family name! We are celebrating our 75th year of being a now 3 generation family tea company.
Do you participate in any charities?
- In 2020 we choose to donate to Washington Audubon Society, Black Lives Matter Seattle (ActBlue), and WWF (World Wildlife Fund). Additionally, last spring we donated 10,000 TeaPacs to Healthcare workers and restaurants during the onset of Covid-19. And a donation of tea to The Other Side Academy.
What is your (or any of your other co-workers’) favorite tea?
- Most of us at the office love drinking Kukicha; it has a sweet floral note and extra Theanine to make all of life seem pleasant and chill. Additionally, I like to drink tea with the seasons: in the gray, cold winter months Hojicha warms the soul, during the hot summer months, sencha or genmaicha cools me down, and cold-brewed kukicha might be the most refreshing secret summer beverage on the planet.
What are your thoughts on transparency in the tea industry?
- Traditionally, in the Japanese tea industry farmers sell their Aracha to the government, and then the government sells the Aracha to tea makers through government auctions. This makes it difficult for tea makers to have a direct relationship with farmers (this is starting to change). However, at Sugimoto, we have been having direct relationships with our farmers for decades. In this way, we can monitor the entire tea production process.
- Really transparency is an issue with cheap commodity tea. Most specialty tea companies are sharing where their teas come from, so I think transparency is kept there. Whereas, mass-produced, cheap teas are difficult to trace back to tea fields, and additionally are not being sold at sustainable prices.
What role does tea play in our lives?
- Best of all, tea offers a profound and simple way to connect with each other or ourselves. Gathering for tea is an activity that everyone of any age can partake in – finding peace and togetherness.
Anything else you’d like to add?
- Now let’s have some tea!
The world of tea is changing and growing constantly. I recently learned of a rare and amazing tea called Temomicha. Japanese green tea has an amazing array of flavor profiles. I can’t wait to give this one a try. (Will update this when I do)