kld said

Radiation in japanise tea

I know it’s early days, but does anyone know how the radiation leaks in Fukushima are affecting the ‘Marufuji’ Genmai-Cha tea from Shizuoka – should I be buying up big now on my fav green tea?

19 Replies
Batrachoid said

Yuuki-cha’s plantations are all safe (220 Km south of radiation) for now. I’m not sure about other companies. But then they aren’t selling Shizuoka at the moment…“Out of stock.”

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extrarice said

Most Japanese green tea is produced relatively far away from the troubled reactors in Fukushima.


Prefecture map: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prefectures_of_Japan

Personally, I am not worried about any contamination from Japanese green tea (or other food products, for that matter). The government of Japan will be strictly monitoring all growing regions affected by these reactors. I’m also sure that the IAEA, WHO and other international organizations will be monitoring as well, and they will not let any unsafe food items reach market.

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According to this article it seems there is basically no risk for tea coming from Japan (though thats not going to stop people from panicking): http://www.worldteanews.com/page.cfm/action=Archive/ArchiveID=12/EntryID=101

“I had some clients that hoarded several kilograms of various Japanese teas! We’ve tried to explain/convince people that (so far) there are no risks, that most tea growing areas are at least 300 kilometers distant from Fukushima but the fear factor already seems to be well rooted,” said Sartini. “However things will turn out I strongly believe Japanese tea consumption levels will drop drastically in EU in the coming years.”

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Chi of Tea said

I have some tea on the way from Japan as we speak, however, here is the latest news concerning how this is effecting the Japanese Tea exports, seems it is causing problems in other ways:


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chado said

Japanese green tea cultivation require warm climate (Fukushima is northern Japan ). There are small farms about 200km away, however the Japanese green tea available in north America likely from other areas such as Shizuoka(500-600km away), Uji (850km) and Kyushu (1300km) so there are quite distances and each prefectures are close monitoring the air and water quality and all of teas leaving the country are monitored as well. So I personally can’t see any risk there and it seems to be rather mental.

I was burn and grow up in Japan and now live in Canada; feel fortunate operating Japanese tea house here and enjoy what I do. Always our policy to provide what customers are looking for. In earlier, we had quite few inquiries whether to buying up big or.. we have plenty of stock so our customer can buy big and make stock for later if that make them feel safe though…

We have plenty of Shizuoka tea in stock, however customers may would like to see tea from Kyushu island so we brought here and now available.
Please visit if you are interested in.


Wishing for the day we all enjoy tea without any worries.


Ottawa Tea said

Hi Fumicha! Glad you are happy to be in Canada. I’m happy to have tea experts here (I’m Canadian). I’ll add you to my list of sources.

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I live in Japan, where the news media is covering the situation around the clock. At this time we are certainly not aware of any problems at all along the lines of what your concern is. Tea is a daily staple out here, and as careful as the Japanese are, I have not come across any person who has this kind of concern—distributor or otherwise. We will be monitoring the situation and we will post an update here should anything change.

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Ottawa Tea said

Risk perception is an interesting (and perplexing) thing. I really hope people continue to be rationale and reasonable and trust that the export and import process will continue to keep our food supplies safe, so that this doesn’t have a negative economic impact on Japan’s tea industry.

However, research and past experience (case studies) show that humans are not rationale, and can make emotion based decisions non-consciously that are much stronger at influencing behaviour than evidence based decisions. (hmmm…this could make an interesting study)

I hope all tea drinkers will perhaps even support Japan more strongly in the coming years…

A great response Ottawa Tea, thank you! Rebecca, camelliateas.net

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So well put. At this point, rumors and irrational fears can be devastating. And thank you for your kind and hopeful words.

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Teabuff said

Well, taking into consideration there is now a 16 mile evacuation area, their government conveniently raised the exposure safety levels during a catastrophe and a change in wind blew radiative particulates far SW near drinking water reservoirs for Tokyo over 200km away; I wouldn’t be so sure. Many people are frightened for good reason.

Exposure from an outside source can cause cellular/DNA damage and sickness that you can recover from. Internal exposure by ingestion of radioactive material is entirely different problem. Since this is Tea we’re talking about here, I’d stock now before the new harvests are sent out.

It’s clear life in Japan will be forever changed for hundreds of years from this terrible tragedy, similar to the Ukraine disaster 25 years ago. It’s not unreasonable to think food exports will be harmful from this point forward, especially so soon.

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Here is an awesome chart that gives you an idea of the amount of radiation that is out there. As others have said, there is definitely (so far) nothing to be concerned about as far as tea:

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