about our founder

Hello! I am Yukiko, the founder of Hiwa Tea.

I was born in Yamaguchi prefecture in Japan. After moving to California as an adult, I felt the need to connect with my cultural roots. I began studying the Koto, a traditional Japanese instrument. I have enjoyed playing and performing on this beautiful instrument. Last year, I started to learn calligraphy and flower arrangement, which are artistic expression of the traditional Japanese culture.

When I moved to Oregon, I found myself in love with the flavor of Matcha. I was a good customer of Starbucks and drank their Matcha Latte most every day! Little did I know, this would connect me back to the special qualities of Japanese tea. 

In  2017, when visiting my family in Japan, a tea -loving friend in Kyushu introduced me to Mr. Kitagawa, the owner of a long established tea shop in Tsurusaki city, Oita. Mr. Kitagawa graciously gave me a tour of a local natural tea farm. The farm owner was cultivating tea with natural fertilizers, including grass and weeds. 

The owner of the tea farm said he was planning to phase out his business in a few years and retire. He had no successors for his farm; tea farming does not create enough profit for the younger generation. Japanese consumers prefer convenient bottled tea, instead of traditional tea brewing at home. Because of this, many tea farms in Kyushu are experiencing an economic decline.

When I returned from the trip, I decided I would promote Japanese tea and the traditional tea culture in Portland, OR. In collaboration with Kitagawa-en, I now have online tea shop where you can find Hiwa’s original blend of teas; also included is high quality Matcha from Uji, Kyoto.

I believe the more we are aware of our own roots, the more we can appreciate the true value of the things around us: air, water, soil, plants, animals, food from nature, living environment, family and friends, etc.

I hope Hiwa’s authentic Japanese teas will bring you health, peace, and happiness.

Best wishes,