We keep the idea of our finished product in mind as we select for delicacy of flavor, astringency, aroma, and color.
At Marumatsu Tea, our artisans handle the entire process to fulfill a customer's request, from selecting teas to creating the best possible blend. This policy ensures a result which is consistent with what the customer wants. We visit hundreds of tea growers all over the country and check the conditions of the fields to further our knowledge of teas. We believe that working with the producers to improve the quality of tea leaves is an important part of our job. During the peak season, we evaluate fifty to one hundred types of leaves and choose the ones we deem will produce the best flavor, astringency, aroma, and color.
Bringing Out the Best in Each Type of Tea
No matter how fine the unprocessed tea leaves may be, the process of eliminating unnecessary elements and finding ways to bring out the best of its flavor and aroma is essential. Each tea farm and type of leaf requires special consideration. The essential steps are sorting, shaping and removing leaves of poor quality. The heating process is also an essential part of bringing out the best of the leaves’ sweetness, flavor and aroma. A temperature change of even 1℃ can result in a vast difference, so it is necessary to observe the leaves at multiple stages and make subtle adjustments to the temperature. By doing so, we can get closer and closer to producing the ideal tea.
The Art of Synergistic Blending
Those responsible for creating blends of tea are known as “tea masters”. These artisans bring out the potential of teas to create a superior character and flavor. Teas we come across are from a number of regions, growers, and varieties. Naturally, each of them has its own distinctive qualities such as taste, aroma, and color. Blending is about bringing out the best in each of them, and maximizing the synergy of teas in a blend. Marumatsu Tea Co.’s Tea masters are regular winners of top prizes in the national Japan tea competition. This is certification of their talents to bring forth superior products.
Quality Control to Maintain High Quality Teas in the Best Condition
Selected and processed leaves are stored strictly in a temperature of -20˚C. Leaves harvested at the peak season are maintained the highest quality at this temperature. By letting them keep at low temperatures, the taste becomes mellower by autumn. Each type of tea leaf produced by individual tea growers is separately stored until they are thawed before finishing. The leaves which now have a lower moisture content after heating are refrigerated at 0˚C until shipping. We have obtained JAS / NOP / EU Organic Certification and FSSC22000 certification, which certifies the product safety system to best serve our customers and improve quality and production efficiency.
FSSC 22000 Certification
Today, consumers are very much aware of food safety due to mislabeling and food poisoning resulting from contaminants and viruses. To reduce these issues, Holland’s FSSC (The Foundation of Food Safety Certification) established the food safety standard FSSC 22000, a combination of ISO 22000 and the PAS 220 series. This certification meets the highest international standards of food safety. We engage in production practices aimed at meeting these strict standards in order to provide a trustworthy product.
This certification ensures that the product was naturally produced, packed, and sold, without using pesticides or chemical fertilizers. As with the FSSC-22000 certification, there are strict standards for preparation, production, and storage. Certification is only granted to organizations which pass regular audits by a third party. Our organic certification satisfies American, European and global standards as well as those of Japan.
Marumatsu Tea Co. wants people of all cultures and backgrounds to enjoy tea, and that’s why we acquired the Halal Certification. The word “halal” means “permitted” in Arabic, and the Halal Certification shows consumers that no pork, pork by-products, or alcohol are used in its production and preparation processes and no non-halal ingredients are added. Halal foods require annual audits, and the entire process – from sourcing, food production, to shipping – falls under scrutiny. Because of the strict control under the certification, more and more people, even those outside the Muslim community, see halal food as a safe food choice.