Ito En’s pioneering in tea planting and manufacture has led to some ground breaking initiatives.
A major milestone occurred last year when the company introduced Oi Ocha brewed from 100 per cent Australian grown tea leaves to Australia.
Oi Ocha is Japan’s #1 green tea brand and means “Tea, please!”. Natural, clean, refreshing and savoury taste of Japanese Green Tea.
No added sugar or sweeteners. No added colours or flavours, “Just Tea” as you expect.
Today, Oi Ocha is available in local super markets and independent grocery stores, and delivers a healthier lifestyle, a peaceful mind and joy through Japanese culture to the local consumers.
Ito En Australia is 100 per cent owned by the largest Green Tea manufacturer in Japan – Ito En LTD, who were invited by the Victorian Government back in 1993 to start growing Japanese green tea in Australia. Since then, we have worked with local farmers to establish over 50 hectares of camellia sinensis plant for both the domestic and export market.
In 1994, Ito En Australia imported green tea plants from Japan. May of 2001 saw the first planting of the Japanese varieties of camellia sinensis at the farms and in July 2003 preparation to build a tea processing facility in Wangaratta began with the first processing line starting in September 2004. In the past decade, traditional Japanese green tea has been produced from tea leaves grown in Australia, with the Australian palate in mind. A wide range of Japanese green tea are produced in Wangaratta, including Shincha (First Harvest Green Tea), Sencha (Regular Harvest Green Tea), Genmaicha (Roasted Rice Green Tea), Hojicha (Roasted Green Tea), organic green teas, and Matcha blended Japanese green teas.
Just like the craft of a good wine, green tea obtains taste and aroma that is in harmony with the land it is grown on.
In Victorian Alpine Region, the pure water supply, that stems from the Alpine National Park along with the unique climate and fertile soil, provides an ideal growing environment for green tea.
The domestic market demand for locally crafted tea has been increasing every year, as Australians welcome the green tea growing right in their own backyard. The Australian environment lacks tea related pests and diseases and thus fulfils a health-conscious demand of Australian customers.
In 2010, we remodelled our business to start local distribution of our tea into the Australian food market and we have been receiving substantial interest from Australian consumers.
“Ito En Australia is very proud to have successfully trained a number of Australians to be green tea makers and factory operators. Many of the seasonal employees return to the company year after year.
“The company continues to be committed to training and maintaining a strong local workforce for the future.”
“The process of producing Japanese green tea in Australia combines the knowledge of Japanese tea masters and Australians’ ingenuity.”