It is very common to see everyday farmers in well known tea regions growing tea simply for their own supply, with small well tended plots. Often they will grow tiny amounts each year, just enough for themselves and their family and friends. If and when they do produce too much, often they are forced to simply sell it to Japans Agriculture Ministry at a low fixed price. This at least provides a subsidised basic income for that crop, and the tea eventually makes its way into mass blended tea described above. This can make it a challenge to find small scale growers who are happy to sell their precious tea. A challenge we were very happy to take on and it was with this in mind that we visited our favourite tea regions on the island of Kyushu, to procure some wonderful single origin teas direct from small scale farmers.