Two Rivers Green Tea is grown on our family farm north east of Melbourne in the Acheron Valley at the junction of the Acheron and Goulburn Rivers.
Over twenty years ago, with such beautiful river flats on our doorstep, we set out to find a crop that would suit the soil conditions of our valley.
The fertile river flats offer free draining soil and with plentiful water supply provide an ideal growing environment for the Camellia sinensis plant – or otherwise known as the ‘tea plant’.
In 2001, we embarked in transplanting 170,000 tea plants nurturing these from small cuttings to what they are today.
We grow three varieties of Camellia sinensis:
SAYAMAKAORI TEA</H2 – the earliest of our varieties to shoot and easily recognisable by the deepest of green leaf colour.
YABUKITA TEA – the most widely grown variety in Japan and especially high in antioxidants, providing many health benefits.
OKUHIKAORI TEA – bred from Yabukita and while it is the last of the maturing variety it is possibly the most attractive and hardiest.
Our property is located in the southern hemisphere on a similar latitude as the main tea growing area of Japan in the northern hemisphere. As such, the area enjoys four distinct seasons with each season crucial for the quality of the tea plant.
The first flush of leaf in spring is made into SHINCHA, meaning “new tea” in Japanese. It is a premium tea and the most sought after in Japan. Winter is a time for the plant to replenish its reserves in readiness for the spring flush of leaf. This first flush is lush and packed with nutrients that have built up during winter creating a more intense tea, with a smooth sweet finish.
Forty five days after the first harvest, the plants are ready for harvesting again and these leaves are made into SENCHA. This is harvested in early summer through to autumn.
Having the varieties mature at different stages, gives us time to concentrate on the harvest and ensure our timing is perfect in order to obtain the highest quality leaf.
We monitor many days prior to commencing harvest the growth stage and the essential nutrients of the leaves to predict our harvest date so all can be planned in order to produce a premium product.
Once harvested, the tea is steamed, rolled and then dried within a twelve hour period using purpose built equipment and the skill of the human hand. This ensures the quick processing of the fresh leaf and the best possible green tea that truly replicates the way tea has been made, by hand, in Japan for centuries.