A Japanese tea farm is helping save the lives of endangered Japanese milk goats by growing them milk tea, but with an emphasis on healthful ingredients.
Key points:Rocco Cipriani of the Teahouse Tea Farm in Iwate has developed a new breed of milk tea in JapanThe tea is sold in supermarkets around the country and is marketed as a “health food”It’s the first time milk tea has been made in Japan since the introduction of pasteurised milkIn September, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed a law that will ban pasteurisation of milk and other milk products in the country by 2020.
However, a new milk tea plant in Iwatake, in central Japan, has helped the milk goats, called the Miyazaki milk tea breed, to survive.
It’s been a long road.
After growing milk for a century in Iwata, Japan, the milk was exported to Europe and America, before returning to Japan.
It wasn’t until the late 1990s that the milk tea was exported again to Japan, where it’s grown at the Teashouse Tea Farms in Iwato.
In the 1980s, the Miyamoto family started producing milk tea at their farm, and the plant became one of the few places in Japan where milk was grown for human consumption.
Mr Cipria says the milk is grown on a sustainable basis, with a focus on health.
“We wanted to produce a health food, and we want to produce milk tea with the highest nutritional value, because milk is one of our primary sources of protein,” he says.
“It contains the amino acids that are important for human health, and for the immune system, which is also important for our bones.”
Mr Cippria says Miyamoto milk tea is a natural source of milk, because the milk’s natural flavour is very mild.
The milk tea contains all three amino acids: leucine, tryptophan and lysine.
“The milk contains about a third of the daily value of milk protein, and also contains vitamins A and D, which are important in our bones,” he explains.
Mr Miyamoto’s family also produces milk tea from a variety of different breeds of cows.
The tea was traditionally made with cow’s milk, but since the early 2000s, it has been produced with milk from the Miyamura herd.
The Miyamura breed, which includes the Miyakosho, the Muramasa and the Nagasaki milk, has been a staple for generations, Mr Miyamoto says.
The new milk teas have been tested by a Japanese institute, and are now being tested in several other markets.
Mr Iwata is working with a Japanese milk tea manufacturer, and is now trying to get the milk plant to start exporting milk teases to supermarkets.
“I was very happy to have the opportunity to grow milk tea here, but there is a lot of work ahead to create the milk teahouse and to create milk tea for the supermarket,” Mr Miyazaki says.
Mr Yamada says milk tea and milk tea are important to his people.
“If we grow milk in Japan, we don’t have to go to the countryside to get milk, and I think we can have a better future with milk,” he said.
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