Green teabags between Costco's Itoen and Japanese Green Tea Company are quite different; in this video, Kei answers questions from a visitor at the International Virtual Tea Festival 2020.
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- [Woman] So, what I drank predominantly is is Costco's Ito En.
- Mm hmm, yep.
- So is yours, I would assume, probably better than the Ito En and I guess, questions along that line and where is it grown?
- Yep. Costco one is not bad, actually. I used to drink them in the office in the past and Ito En is a mass production, and it is good, but you can try ours. Ours look, teabag looks kinda like this.
- [Woman] Mm hmm.
- And each of the teabag looks exactly like the same, but the difference might be that, one of the reason why, this is the actual teabag, tea leaf, can you see it?
- [Woman] Yes, yes.
- The pyramid shape and Ito En, I think most of them are like a square shape. And the difference between that and this pyramid shape is that the tea opens up inside the bag better, right. Because it has a lot of bigger space, right.
- [Woman] Sure.
- So that makes it a lot tastier in general. And also the difference in terms of the mechanism is we use biodegradable material-
- [Woman] Mm hmm.
- Called SOILON whereas Ito En would be using a plastic one, which has a finer plastic, which is, some people don't like it and, yeah. That's a difference in terms of the teabag.
- [Woman] Okay.
- You can compare with the Costco Ito En. Inside the tea leaf, we only use the specific year's tea leaf and very high grade and our tea is from Shizuoka in Japan. Shizuoka is where the Mt. Fuji is in the background.
- [Woman] Yes, yes.
- Yeah, and we use sugar cane in soil. So what it is is that the tea is very sensitive to dirt. So whenever you put it in dirt, it sucks up very much, a lot of materials from the dirt, even in the tea itself, when you put the tea in like a refrigerator, it sucks up a lot of you know, like a odor from the refrigerator, because that's just a characteristic of tea. Now the dirt, when we grow them, we are very particular about what kind of dirt that we use. And we use sugar cane in the soil, which differentiate us from other tea.
- [Woman] Oh, okay. So you're amending the soil then with, to change the flavor. Okay.
- Mm hmm.
- [Woman] Okay. Did not know that.
- Yeah. And that is very unique, even in Japan. And that's one of reasons why we won the global tea championship three years in a row because of the taste. Japanese tea usually have the bitterness, but our tea has less bitterness and less astringency because of the soil and we collaborate with the Shizuoka University to study about the dirt as well. So every year we try a different type of dirt to see-
- [Woman] Oh wow!
- Does on the tea leaf, tea taste and tea health, and that is going on for the last 15 years. So we are constantly evolving our taste of the tea and the characteristic naturally, nothing is chemical-
- [Woman] Wow!
- No chemical there. So that is about our tea, what's inside the teabag.
- [Woman] Oh, okay. I am going to have to try it. I've been, besides the Ito En, I've been also, well, used to now with not traveling a whole lot, going to Mitsuwa and buying the teas from Mitsuwa. Luckily, and we're in Texas, we do have a Mitsuwa nearby. I don't have to fly all the way to California anymore to do that.
- Yep, mm hmm.
- [Woman] But the one here is not as large and doesn't offer the selection that I was used to in California. So I'm looking forward to maybe ordering some tea and trying it out.
- Sure, wonderful.
- [Woman] And I think that's all I have. Thank you so much for your time.
- Alright. Thank you very much. Have a good day.
- [Woman] You too.
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