PRODUCER SPOTLIGHT: Kuwanosato - Mulberry Tea That Embraces Your Heart
"Contribute to local Yamanashi, Japan, and the world with the will to live for a century and to shine in the future of the millennium"
Kuwanosato's mulberry tea is affectionately known as "Han-san's delicious mulberry tea".
But who is Han-san?
Han-san became CEO of Kuwanosato 10 years ago when he took over the company from his father-in-law.
The company has a clear philosophy: "Contribute to local Yamanashi, Japan, and the world with the will to live for a century and to shine in the future of the millennium"
Founded by two couples, Kuwanosato gained the support of its local community and now helps to create jobs in the local town that helped them grow.
Han-san believes that we should embrace every moment and connect our way of living, our minds, our activities and everything we do with thoughts of the next generation.
Because life is limited.
Han-san lost his older brother, mother and father at early ages. What he learned from this is that no matter how many material objects we have, we can't take them with us.
There is only one thing that truly matters and that is living a life full of heart, because this is what gets passed on to the next generation.
He brings this way of thinking into everything he does, in life and in work.
Because until the moment life disappears, we should live for the day, cherish every moment and live a life that resonates with the hearts of the people who are watching.
With these philosophies in mind, Kuwanosato creates their delicious mulberry tea.
Mulberries (known as kuwa or 桑 in Japanese) are flowering plants that look similar to blackberries.
Mulberries are one of the oldest herbal medicines in Japan and were an important crop as far back as the Edo period when their leaves were used as silkworm food in sericulture (silk farming).
Harvesting of mulberries declined in Japan after World War II, as the technology for cheaper artificial fibers such as nylon and rayon replaced the demand for silk.
However, in recent years, mulberries have reappeared in the spotlight, and not just as silkworm food!
A research report entitled "Joint research project on functional foods in Kanagawa Prefecture (1990-6)" showed that mulberry leaves contain the active ingredient DNJ (1-deoxynojirimycin), which inhibits sugar absorption and can help suppress the increase in blood glucose level after meals. Among the various plants, DNJ is only found in abundance in mulberry leaves.
In addition, they have a high nutritional value including dietary fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, zinc, vitamin C, ruin, GABA and polyphenols. Many of which are found in higher amounts than kale!
What makes Kuwanosato's mulberry tea (kuwacha くわ茶) unique?
Kuwanosato's delicious mulberry tea is made from 100% domestically produced mulberry leaves, grown and harvested on their company-managed farm. The mulberries are from Ichikawa Misato-cho, Yamanashi Prefecture, a mountain town with an altitude of 700m.
Yamanashi is know as the birthplace of “Ichinose Mulberry”. Ichinose mulberries have large leaves, thick flesh and are protective against pests.
Ichinose mulberries won the best award at the 5th Mulberry Garden Fair in Taisho and were favored by over 90% of sericulture farmers nationwide.
Han-san on the left
The mulberries that Kuwanosato cultivate draws from the flow of Ichinose mulberries.
Their roots dig deep into the earth to absorb plenty of nutrients as they grow and their leaves are known for storing these nutrients and minerals.
Kuwanosato takes great care of their soil as this is the source for growing healthy mulberry leaves. They do not use any pesticides or herbicides in an effort to preserve the land.
Instead, they mow their fields with a brush cutter and use cultivation methods that coexist with nature.
They use natural mineral farming methods to help their mulberries grow with vitality and brightness. They also use the grass seed farming method as a countermeasure against weeds.
No compromises are made while making their tea. The mulberry leaves they harvest in the morning are made into tea that very day.
The tea is steamed at a high temperature, similar to other Japanese tea production, and then dried after passing through a twisting process. All of this is done with great care so as not to damage the integrity of the mulberry leaves.
The final result is a high-quality mulberry leaf tea is that is nutritious, flavorful and embraces the philosophy of living each day with a full heart.
Learn more about Kuwanosato at http://www.kuwanosato.com