Japanese green tea is considered by many connoisseurs to be the finest in the world, and the best Japanese tea has traditionally been produced in the Uji River Valley along the old road between the ancient capitals of Nara and Kyoto. Hidden high up in the valley, far from the main road, lies the remote, centuries-old tea plantation of the Nagata family, the source of HAIKU® Organic Japanese Tea. The Nagatas apply only vegetable-quality compost to replenish the nutrients in their topsoil, while building soil vitality by maintaining a semi-wild natural environment. Weeding is kept to a minimum. There are no straight rows of uniform, tightly trimmed tea plants here, as the Nagatas allow each bush to grow according to its own individual energy pattern. Although chemically treated plants burn themselves out in twenty years, Nagata plants commonly produce for forty years, sometimes as long as 100 years. Each batch of their organic tea must pass a spectroscopic analysis for pesticide residue and heavy metal contamination. It is then quickly packaged to insure its quality, freshness, and flavor.