Originally a medicinal beverage brought from China by Buddhist monks, tea was both rare and expensive in Japan for many centuries. Long-standing members of a traditional farming organization known as "Nature Farmers," the Nagata family produces some of the world's finest organically grown teas. Nature farming stresses the importance of building soil vitality by maintaining a semi-wild natural environment. Plants are not overly protected or pampered but are allowed to fend for themselves with the help of a strong, balanced topsoil. Their growing methods exceed the strictest organic standards and are based on a deep sense of personal responsibility for the land. The result is natural teas that are of exceptional quality and flavor.