The leaf market

6 October 2023
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In Japan there are wholesale markets where farmers sell their tea leaves. In Shizuoka, you have to get up early and be invited in if you want to see the farmers selling their aracha, or raw tea. The buyers are traders, sometimes farmers themselves, who carry out a series of tests on the leaves before selling them according to a grading system, to meet the demands of their customers. Trading is done quietly. They taste, then negotiate as discreetly as possible, using abacuses.

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