Black tea harvesting begins in Kunigami

Black tea harvesting begins in Kunigami

On April 15 in the Sate district of Kunigami, employees of Kanagawa Tea Factory harvest Benifuki tea leaves.

April 17, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

On April 15, tea production company Kanegawa Tea Factory began harvesting Benifuki black tea at the tea farm in Sate district of Kunigami Village. Takayoshi Ota of the Kunigami Village Office who inspected the harvesting site, said, “I hope the tea will become popular in the international market and attract new farmers to the village.” Oku district of Kunigami is mostly known for green tea fields. Eight years ago, the company started a black tea farm in Sate. Last year, it harvested a low amount of the tea leaves for the first time. The company began large-scale harvesting at the start of this year.

With the tea farm of about 5,000 square meters, the company plans to produce 50 kilograms of the tea leaves this time. It expects to increase the production volume in the future.

Okinawa is located at the same degree of latitude as Assam in India, which is a major region for black tea production. The prefecture’s acid red soil is also suitable for the tea production. Takeshi Higa, the representative of the company, and his son Ryuichi harvested the tea leaves. Ryuichi said, “The tea trees are young and the amount of crop is still low. However, I hope that our tea will become popular among black tea lovers.”  

(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)

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