Daily Matcha Green Tea
Daily Matcha Green Tea
Interview with Yunomi

Interview with Yunomi

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Thank you to Ian Chun, founder of Yunomi, for today’s interview! Yunomi is an online marketplace for Japanese tea. For more information, visit Yunomi.com.

Daily Matcha Green Tea
Daily Matcha Green Tea

What is Yunomi?

YUNOMI is a lifestyle brand and online marketplace centered around Japanese tea. We work with small-scale, often family-owned growers, producers, artisans, and merchants in Japan to bring you an authentic slice of Japanese culture through tea.

How did you get your start in tea?

My involvement in the tea industry is very specific to Japan, and comes from an angle that is perhaps unique in the global tea industry. I have always wanted to promote Japanese culture having fallen in love with it in college through the novels of Kawabata Yasunari, a Nobel-prize winning Japanese novelist.

Utilizing skills in online marketing and e-commerce management, I sought to become a consultant for producers of items that represented Japanese culture. My first client just happened to be a tea farm, and they basically infused me with their passion for and knowledge of tea.

What would you like to share about the importance of tea?

Tea can be a moment of solitude in your busy day, to find peace, to reflect. But, what I love about the culture of tea is that it is social. Whether we are talking about tea in China, Japan, or England – whether in a casual or formal setting – tea is what you do with your friends and family.

Ian Chun of Yunomi

What tips or advice would you give to first time green tea drinkers?

Experiment! How tea is steeped plays a huge role in the resulting flavor. Experiment first with temperature and time. In general, start with water at 70˚C / 158˚F degrees, and steep it for one minute. From there, see how your tea changes if you increase or decrease time and temperature.

Once you start to learn how this affects the leaf, you can find a recipe that works best for you and then begin experimenting with different types of green tea leaves as well as water.

What is your favorite way to prepare tea?

The steeping recipe depends on the tea, but in a casual setting at home, I prepare tea in a medium-sized pot, one that can fill two cups, and always prepare for both myself and my wife… I’ll need a bigger pot in a few years as my son grows up though!

On the weekends, we might drink sencha in the afternoon and hojicha at night after dinner.

Yunomi banner 250x250

Are you involved in any charities or non-profit organizations?

As a company we are still quite a ways off from breaking even, but I hope we can one day publicly support local charities in our corner of Japan.

What is your vision for the future?

You see this in many developed economies, but Japan has a wealth of traditions that are dying. Tea is actually one of them. While the global tea industry is expanding, the domestic tea industry in Japan (which represents 97% of the Japanese tea sold in the world) is shrinking.

Shrinking production is a result of a decline in consumption of tea leaves as a shrinking number of consumers switch to ready-to-drink tea which utilizes less tea leaves.

In addition the tea industry suffers from a lack of young people in the work force. In Kyoto, for example, over 80% of the tea farmers are over 50 years old. Sons and daughters of farmers move to the cities and pursue jobs that are more financially stable than farming.

The recent expansion of the global tea industry, particularly the trend in premium tea leaves, gives Japan’s tea industry an opportunity to become more global. And we see Japanese tea and tea culture as a gateway to other aspects of Japanese culture from the ceramics traditions to Japanese cuisine.

Utilizing e-commerce, we hope to provide a comprehensive gateway to these wonderful products representing Japanese culture, starting with the rich culture of tea in Japan.

Click here to visit Yunomi’s online store.

This article contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, Green Tea Guide will receive a small commission. Your support helps us to continue to keep this website free and to spread the word about green tea. Thank you!

Daily Matcha Green Tea
Daily Matcha Green Tea
Becki
Becki Benedict has a Master’s degree in International Studies and has traveled extensively throughout Asia. She has lived and worked in Japan, China, and Thailand.

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