The tea farmers seem well rested this month, enjoying time with family over the new year period, attending events and taking time for general tea field maintenance: for instance cutting down trees that threaten to overhang the tea fields, adding a little more fertiliser to the fields or a fresh trimming before the spring buds start to grow.
January tea fields
January weather fluctuated a lot: from sunny, misty, windy, and even a sudden day of snow.
See some of the photos we took out in the tea fields in January on our blog post.
Time draws closer to the start of our first Ikedoki Tea Tour! We’re very excited to head to Europe from mid February to mid March. We start the tour with a stopover in Seoul, South Korea where we’ll be hosting two Nagasaki tea tastings together with Hyunhee Chang on February 14th.
Marjolein will bring Ikedoki & Nagasaki tea stories and teas with her.
The Ikedoki 2024 Tour dates are:
- 14 February – Lao Shanghai Nonhyun Tearoom, Seoul
- 24 & 25 February – Prague Tea Fest, Prague, Czechia (Facebook & Instagram)
- 26 February – meetea teahouse, Prague
- 1 & 2 March – Antwerp (location to be confirmed)
- 3 March – The Tea Circle, Brussels, Belgium (Website & Instagram)
- 6 March – ITC Academy, The Hague, Netherlands (Website)
West Kyushu Tea Industry Training Session
25th of January we attended the West Kyushu Tea Industry Training session in neighbouring Ureshino. Farmers from all over West Kyushu came to join the event.
Tea machinery producer Kawasaki sponsored the event, which gave us the opportunity to get up close to a brand new combine harvester machine. In Sonogi, many of the farmers have had to make the choice to either quit or to expand their acreage and use modern machinery to be more efficient with their time and labour. So we often see similar combine harvester machines out in the Sonogi tea fields.
The Tea Industry day held talks on topics ranging from summaries of last year’s production numbers, new tea research, tea machinery developments to tea pairings and even this slide trying to motivate tea farmers to keep working hard to uphold the reputation of Japanese tea. “Let’s aim for 0 complaints!”
In January we held our very first giveaway. We were overwhelmed to receive more than 120 entries!
Congratulations to the 2 winners!
We are incredibly grateful to everyone who participated in the giveaway and who consequently helped us to reach new people and make more tea friends.
Thank you for supporting our journey to put Nagasaki teas on the map and to help spread a peaceful world through Japanese tea.
If you follow us on our @ikedokitea instagram, you may have noticed that team member Marjolein has started holding regular instagram live sessions.
The recordings of the lives can be found back either in our Posts, or in the Reels tab in our profile.
Though the flowers look very pretty as the plum trees started blossoming mid January, local farmers are a little worried because they’re apparently blossoming quite a bit earlier than usual. We’re hoping they won’t herald another abnormally hot year.