Wazuka Matcha ~ Urth Caffé’s Organic Green Tea Treasure

When guests enjoy a green tea latté or boba at Urth Caffé, they may not know they are sipping one of the highest-grade, organic matcha teas in the world.

Entsu Estate located in Wazuka, Uji District, Japan, produces its ceremonial-grade matcha exclusively for Urth Caffé – it is called Wazuka Cha™.

Rows and rows of tea plants in foreground and middle, with a sloping hillside in background with tall trees, and a Japanese peaked roof house to the right another view of Entsu Estate in Japan, with lake in foregrouns, pagodas in background and flowering tree branches framing the picture   

Entsu Estate in Wazuka, Uji District, Japan – the birthplace of tea in Japan.

Wazuka, Uji District is the birthplace of tea in Japan. Jishin Shounin, high priest of Kaijuusen Temple, introduced tea tree seeds from China to Wazuka in the 13th century. The tea cultivated there became the first official tea of the Imperial Palace.

In 2002, Urth’s Co-Founder and Tea Master Jilla Berkman sought a direct and exclusive source of  fine, organic Japanese matcha tea.

“We contacted a local tea expert in the Uji region of Japan who researched all of the small family-estate, certified organic tea growers,” said Urth Co-Founder Shallom Berkman.

“After meeting all of the organic matcha tea farmers (a very small group – less than 10% of Japan’s tea production is certified organically grown), we were told of a ‘maverick' master tea farmer growing organic teas in the remote and ancient town of Wazuka – where tea was first introduced to Japan more than 900 years ago.

“We were not told about Akihiro Nakai-san until last because he is considered eccentric with what was called a ‘religious’ dedication to quality, organic, bio-dynamic and sustainable agriculture.”

Akihiro Nakai, Entsu Estate owner, is at center of photo of him standing amid rows and rows of tea plants.Akihiro Nakai, Entsu Estate owner

Akihiro Nakai earned his reputation of being a maverick tea cultivator because he uses a secret family organic compost comprised of local herring and tea tree trimmings to produce the finest tasting green tea without any chemicals.

Jilla knew at once Nakai-san was the perfect matcha tea partner for Urth Caffé. Akihiro’s family farm, Entsu Estate, is located on a forested mountain top filled with snow monkeys and pristine rivers at a high altitude above and away from chemical usage at tea gardens on lower elevations.

close-up view of rows of tea plants rows of tea plants going up slope with blue sky and white cloudsEntsu Estate building at center of photo, with rock wall and rows of tea plants in front and a flowering tree above.

Views of Entsu Estate, which produces ceremonial-grade matcha tea exclusively for Urth Caffé.

~ Prior to Covid, Jilla and the whole Berkman family traveled to Wazuka
every year to harvest matcha with Akihiro and his family for Urth Caffé ~


Jilla and Shallom Berkman stand amid rows of tea plantsAkihiro Nakai shows Jilla Berkman which green tea leaves to harvest.
Left: Jilla and Shallom Berkman during visit to Entsu Estate. 
Right: Akihiro Nakai shows Jilla Berkman which green tea leaves to harvest.

Each Spring, the tea plants are covered with a canopy so the new budding leaves are never be exposed to sunlight, allowing the tender baby leaves to retain their full, dark green color, fragrance and nutrients.

When the young leaves are ready to open, the canopy is removed, and the fresh new leaves must all be harvested within 45 minutes to ensure they are not blanched by the sun’s rays.

Entsu Estate worker loosens canopy to protect young tea plants from sunlightCanopies at center of photo protect the tender leaves of tea plants from sunlight Woman wearing sun hat and gloves checks tea plant leaves at Entsu Estate
Canopies (left and center) protect tender baby tea leaves from harsh sunlight until they can be harvested 
when they are at their full, dark green color, fragrance and nutrients (right).\

Harvested tea leaves are rushed down the mountain and into the estate’s tea factory 
where they are immediately dried in ovens

Once harvested, the leaves are rushed down the mountain and hurried into the estate’s tea factory where the tea leaves are immediately dried in ovens – a process that must take place within an hour of picking to “lock” in the fragile flavor and color.

After the drying process is complete, the green tea leaves are finely ground into powder that is packaged and sent to Urth Caffé.

Not only is Wazuka Matcha appreciated for being ceremonial grade – the very highest quality and grade of green tea in Japan – it is prized for its naturally dark green color.

Drinking fresh matcha is like taking a multivitamin super-food filled with antioxidants, B-complex, Vitamin C, B1, B2, E, beta carotene, iron, calcium, and amino acids for a healthy body.

Preparing Matcha Tea In A Cup

Step One: Sift 1-2 tsp matcha into a matcha bowl using a small sifter

Step Two: Add 3 ounces hot water. For best results use water heated just to the point of steaming (approximately 170 degrees).
Too hot will burn the matcha.

Step Three: Whisk vigorously in a zig zag motion until the tea is frothy.

Step Four: Enjoy your matcha tea straight from the bowl.

Woman wearing kimono holds a whisk brush above tea bowl when preparing matcha tea

Enjoy Wazuka Cha™ Matcha at Your Local Urth Caffé

Urth Caffé’s Green Tea Espresso (pure matcha made in the traditional Japanese ceremonial manner), left, Green Rose Tea Latté, center immediately below, and Green Tea Bebero are all made with Wazuka Cha™ Matcha, which is available for all other matcha drinks upon request for a modest upcharge. 

Green tea espresso drink in light blue ceramic cup with red background Green Rose Latte with green tea with white and pink design edged on top, in a floral mug  Green Tea Bebero showing layers of beverage - condensed milk on bottom, green tea on top of that - with white sun design edged on top, all in a shot glass on a white saucer

Available at Urth Caffés:

Wazuka Cha™ Entsu Estate Matcha

Certified organic exclusively for Urth Caffé, pure ceremonial matcha produced under blankets with only the new leaves harvested within 45 minutes of being exposed to the sun - producing the darkest greenest matcha tea. 20 grams in a sealed foil pouch.

Order to pick up or have it delivered from your local Urth Caffé by using the Urth App or on www.urthcaffe.com at “Order Online & Delivery.”

Available to be shipped from the Urth Store here.

Harayama Matcha

Urth Caffé also offers Harayama Matcha Tea, an organic matcha green tea produced by Wazuka Estate from larger, second flush leaves from the tea bush that make it more economical. Harayama Matcha is quite delicious and healthy too. It has a less vegetal or grassy-green taste, which may be preferrable to those new to the flavor of matcha.

It is an excellent sweet, pure and healthy tea produced organically in the ancient traditional way that’s perfect for everyday enjoyment.

Order to pick up or have it delivered from your local Urth Caffé by using the Urth App or on www.urthcaffe.com at “Order Online & Delivery.”

Available for shipping from the Urth Store here. 

Organic Matcha Green Tea Gift Box

Everything necessary to make matcha at home! Organic Harayama matcha 2 oz., a special handmade matcha bowl and a bamboo whisk. Includes a Green Tea Cake.

The Organic Matcha Green Tea Set includes:

  • Harayama Matcha with canister
  • Green Tea Cake
  • Matcha Bowl
  • Matcha Whisk

Available to pick up from your local Urth Caffé by using the Urth App or on www.urthcaffe.com at “Order Online & Delivery.” Order at least 48 hours before picking up.

It is available for shipping by The Urth Store here.