These are the first leaves of the year at Master Tea Maker Akiyama’s estate which has won many prizes including the top gold prize at the international World Green Tea Contest in 2008. In April 2010 on his small estate which is less than 10 acres, he explained that he has 30 different varietals from classic Japanese cultivars to oolong varieties from China and Taiwan. He even has some Assam jat tea bushes tucked away at the side of one of his fields for his experimentations with producing black tea. For his future tea trees, Mr Akiyama grows from seed and then selects which trees to take cuttings from. The tea world needs more farmers like Mr Akiyama to compete with the tea research stations’ vision of the future.
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