Morimoto Shincha 2017: The Morimotos do their best, that it arrives as soon as possible

Our last trip this year is again to the remote prefecture Miyazaki, to Haruyo and Shigeru Morimoto. Here, the first harvest is in full swing. When we arrive at the Morimoto’s house, Haruyo tells us, that they have been processing all night long. Shigeru did not even sleep for two hours, Haruyo did not sleep at all. Since we know them well, we recognize, that they are a bit tired, but nevertheless they welcome us affectionately und are glad, that we brought visitors.

Haruyo and Shigeru Morimoto, visibly touched by the beautiful presents (photo: Arun Herzog)

When we visited a week ago, they already did predict a stressful harvest, however the fact that there is now no sleep at all, is certainly an exaggeration. Yesterday, they harvested and processed yet the Kabuse Yutaka Midori from the tea garden 260 meters over sea level until late night. Since our last meeting, we talked over the phone nearly every day for staying up to date concerning the harvest of this tea. We all longingly wait for this year’s Morimoto Shincha, which at least is already on hand as a pre-processed Aracha. The colour of the Aracha leaves really is great – deeply dark-green, with a slightly blueish gleam – magnificent.

The Yutaka Midori is really late this year. In all of the nine years that we have been working together with the Morimotos, it was never the case, that the harvest of Yabukita and Yutaka Midori are roughly at the same time. Yutaka Midori and Saki Midori have always been the first tea bushes to be harvested, then there was a break of two to three days and only after that, the harvest of the Yabukita began. This year, the harvest of these tea sorts are nearly at the same time. Today, namely the Roji (unshaded) Yabukita, a small part of the Morimoto Tokujou Sencha, was harvested.

Air photograph of Haruyo and Shigeru Morimoto’s tea garden (left: Kabuse Yutaka Midori, already harvested; middle: Yabukita; right: new plants of Minami Sayaka) (photo: Arun Herzog)

Both the Morimotos and their two daughters did work all night through, therefore they finish early today. Even while we are still there, the two daughters begin cleaning the processing hall. After that, it is filling up energie for the next harvest day. Tomorrow, there will be the harvest of the Kabuse Yabukita, but only if the weather plays along. This year, this is difficult to predict. While we made the experience last year, that the regional weather forecast can predict relatively precise, on which days it will rain and on which days there will be sunshine, this year the weather is very unstable and alternating. Today too, the forecast changed between bright sunshine with 27 degree celsius and heavy rains with 21 degree celsius. Around us, dark clouds stretch over the sky, but coming evening, they vanish instead of releasing the rain.

Haruyo and Shigeru Morimoto at the Oku Midori tea garden: Even as old as 68 years, they both kept their youthful energie and vitality (photo: Arun Herzog)

Since we will be on our way back to Honshu tomorrow, we have to depart very early. Haruyo asures us during the farewell, that he will make sure, that the Morimoto Shincha will be sorted as soon as possible and that Shigeru will undertake the final heating as soon as possible, too, so that the tea can be sent to Europe. From monday on, the organic control station works again too – the golden week then comes to an end. Then, also the export certificate can be issued. We will keep you posted about when the Morimoto Shincha hits Europe.