Kagoshima Seicha
Kagoshima Seicha Co., Ltd. is a long-established Japanese tea company with 130 years of experience in the tea business and retail sales. The headquarters are in Kagoshima City, Kagoshima, a prefecture famous for livestock products like Black Berkshire pork and black Japanese beef, and agricultural products like sweet potatoes. The company's philosophy is to "spread Japanese culture through Japanese tea” by providing a variety of products that will make customers say, "Kagoshima tea is delicious! I wonder where Kagoshima is?” Just like “Uji” is to green tea, Kagoshima Seicha continues to pursue its goal of making “Kagoshima” and “Kagoshima tea” synonymous with Japanese tea across the world.

Quali-TEA, Diversi-TEA, and Communi-TEA. Japanese green tea’s TRUE potential.

New York

New York, USA- when the founder of THE NODOKA, Mr. Hong Suil, born and raised in Tokyo, was living and working in this city, many outlets serving matcha-related sweets and drinks could be found and were popular. There was already a huge demand for matcha, and even though the market was overflowing with it, some of the products sold as Japanese green tea were not actually made in Japan. This was a case of the branding of “matcha” taking precedence over its pure essence. Feeling frustrated by this situation, Mr. Hong felt a strong urge to deliver genuine made-in-Japan tea to the world. While travelling back and forth between Japan and the United States, he visited tea farmers and met an expert who had been growing teas organically in Shizuoka prefecture for over 30 years. This encounter inspired him to launch a brand. Through crowdfunding overseas, THE NODOKA was born in 2017 after receiving support from 16 countries, despite the lack of an actual product.

Quality over quantity.

Global demand for Japanese green tea was on the rise, and distribution was growing. However, what was expected was "quantity over quality" and at lower prices. Mr. Hong thought it was alarming that despite all the time and effort of farmers in raising the delicate leaves they were being sold at rock-bottom prices. "In this situation, the more you strive to produce high-quality tea, the less it will sell for and the less you will be rewarded. Then, why keep trying? More and more farmers are saying just that." Moreover, many of Japan’s tea farmers are elderly. In particular, organic tea farming requires considerable perseverance and determination, and its mass production is challenging. Under such circumstances, farmers may lose motivation with such laborious organic farming. Overseas, however, awareness and demands for organic products are naturally high, and there are huge opportunities for organically grown high-quality made-in-Japan tea. "But farmers don't even know that Japanese green tea is in high demand overseas. Such information doesn't reach their ears because there is no connection between tea farmers and the end users overseas. So, I position myself between the two and proactively deliver the latest information both ways", says Mr. Hong. From quantity over quality to quality over quantity—that is the change he wants to pursue and bring about. Having made up his mind, Mr. Hong developed a unique product based on a concept that precisely embodied ‘organic’: convert all types of tea leaves into powder.

Powder is the answer to freeing-up Japanese green tea.

"Tea leaves have nothing to waste. However, unlike matcha, which is stoneground into powder, sencha and genmaicha are not usually powdered and are thrown away as used tea leaves after brewing, meaning 70% of their nutrients are wasted. THE NODOKA's teas are made only with the rare first leaves of the year’s harvest. And we offer all types of tea in a carefully made fine powder form. Because it’s 100% organic, you can take in all the nutrients from the tea leaves."
According to Mr. Hong, the benefits go beyond just nutrition. Making tea leaves into powder means expanding the range of ways to enjoy them. “Japanese green tea is often talked about as a tradition, so people tend to ask about the 'right' way to drink it, but there is no 'right' or 'wrong' way. The challenge here is that there are still only few options for how to enjoy it; you either casually drink bottled tea or use tea bags for convenience, or you can brew it with a classic teapot or have matcha at a traditional tea ceremony. We should all be able to freely drink it how we wish. Having it in a powder form can answer that," he claims. Simply add water and mix. No need to know the etiquette of a tea ceremony. Powdered tea is not only for drinking; its uses are endless, such as sprinkling as a garnish and mixing it in with other ingredients, according to your personal taste, culture, cuisine, lifestyle, and so on. Because it is a powder, it can be used in diverse, flexible ways and enjoyed. Mr. Hong says, "In the first place, there is no concept of 'good Japanese tea' outside of Japan. The concept of 'delicious tea' also varies according to the individual. That's why it shouldn't need to involve any high-pressure selling of our culture, such as by saying 'Japanese tea should be like this.' Drinking tea is almost like drinking water—there are no religious or cultural restrictions. As it is such a universal thing, its diversity should be cherished, I believe."

Connecting people through Japanese green tea.
Real human relations with THE NODOKA.

The brand aims to connect tea farmers with the consumers. It aims to deliver both the sentiments of the farmers and the feelings of the consumers who enjoy the tea through the use of products that create an affinity between the two, as if they ‘knew’ one another. THE NODOKA is a brand that was launched with such a mission. Although it doesn’t have a physical store, it strives to convey its beliefs and stories by selling its products at various places, such as famous restaurants, department stores, lifestyle shops, online shops, and pop-up stores. Some customers even venture all the way to Japan to see the tea farms. Together with such customers, Mr. Hong suggests and enjoys a cup of tea in the lush green tea fields, as the brand name "NODOKA" suggests in Japanese, in a calm, relaxed, and peaceful way—a "peaceful" teatime that is fast disappearing in today’s busy world. Mr. Hong says its value is greater than we might imagine. “People usually don't get irritated by drinking tea, right? You feel a sense of relief and a wish for communication. In terms of ingredients, Japanese green tea actually has a calming effect. And it's great for meditation, too. You can't do that with alcohol or coffee. Now that people's values and lifestyles have changed due to the pandemic, I think the true value of Japanese green tea will be re-examined more and more." THE NODOKA is also a part of an international organization called One Percent for the Planet and donates 1% of its online shop sales to environmental conservation groups. It creates a structure whereby purchasing THE NODOKA products leads to giving back to Mother Nature. “The younger generation is more in-touch with this practice. It may only be a small contribution, but I would like to commit to creating a community that aims for a better future together.”

Bring safe, healthy, and delicious Japanese green tea to all. This is what THE NODOKA wishes to pass on. The teas that everyone can freely enjoy will continue to dissolve gently and blend into people's lives, hearts, and relationships in diverse ways.


THE NODOKA is an organic Japanese green tea powder brand founded in Brooklyn, New York. THE NODOKA brings a modern perspective to traditional Japanese green tea and places it firmly in the spotlight of contemporary wellness. It helps to connect traditional tea farmers with the rest of the world—bringing them into the new, connected economy while helping to preserve their craft. As of mid-2022, it has deployed in 31 prefectures in Japan and 20 countries worldwide.