The two Sakamoto brothers do not come from an old family saga of tea growers but, in love with this millenary drink, they decided to acquire a plantation from an old farmer who had abandoned it because of his age in the middle of a wild forest in the peak of a mountain in Kirishima, Kagoshima prefecture.
Producing organic Gyukuro in Japan is extremely difficult. A very humid climate in spring and summer and very cold in winter in addition to shading prior to harvesting greatly complicates the task due to an increased susceptibility to insects and fungi, in addition the plant needs to use much more energy which requires many more nutrients . Aware of the difficulty and committed to achieving the perfect organic Gyokuro the Sakamoto began experimenting with various types of fertilizer created by themselves based on nitrogen, magnesium, calcium and especially many minerals that, in combination with the rich layer of volcanic ash from of the volcanic activity in the area, produce the ideal land for the plants to grow very healthy and get a lot of nutrients through their roots.
Once the formula was found, they began to arrange their plantation, which is located in a high mountainous area surrounded by a dense wild forest and far away from other plantations, so that the pristine air and remoteness kept the tea plants safe from external contamination. Yabukita and Saemidori which were already on the plantation of the old farmer are the cultivars they use and of which they take great care of. A few weeks before the harvest you have to shade the trees for the production of Gyokuro. In this they have also been pioneers since they use a modern blanket that has two layers, the outer silver that reflects sunlight so that underneath it the tree is in a cooler environment and is not stressed by the heat. The result are leaves that retain a large amount of chlorophyll and many amino acids that give the drink an extraordinary sweetness.