Mika Tanimoto, TSUBOICHI TEA PLACE , Takaishi City, Osaka, JPN

Q: When did you first discover kombucha?

A: I tried my first Kombucha in 2020, and it was from a foreign country (though I’m not sure which one).

Q: Why did you start your own kombucha company?

A: We are originally a Japanese tea manufacturing company, established in 1850. Currently, we are working to preserve Japanese tea culture and showcase the potential of Japanese tea leaves to the world. We believe that by crafting Japanese kombucha with our expertise as tea specialists, we can achieve these goals.

Tea holds a significant place in Japanese culture. While people in Japan used to enjoy loose tea leaves with teapots, nowadays, the majority prefer bottled tea. Consequently, many Japanese beverage companies seek to purchase low-cost tea leaves, often third or fourth harvested leaves, regardless of their quality.

Given this context, Japanese tea culture is facing a crisis. The price of first-harvested green tea leaves, the primary source of income for tea farmers, is declining. This has led to a decline in the number of tea farmers, and current statistics indicate that the average yearly income of tea farmers is only $6,300 USD.

Our brand statement is, “‘IPPUKU’ makes this world more beau-TEA-ful!” ‘IPPUKU’ means ‘Tea break’ in Japanese. We believe that our products can make people around the world (including tea farmers, our brewers, and customers) see more sparkle and beauty through our brand.”

Q: What is your favorite flavor of kombucha? 

A: I liked all the flavors I tried from MUNKOMBUCHA in Spain.

Q: What is your former/current other life or career? 

A: Special education teacher.

Q: What is a saying that you live by?

A: Today is the first day of rest of my life!



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