Shirasu Cooperative Tea Factory is one of cooporatives amongst tea producers in Wazuka Village, aimed to promote the cooporation and the efficiency in tea processing.

Right now 24 tea producing families consists the SCTF. In the village there are 11 cooporatives, but amongst them the SCTF is the third newest and has a highly ranked production amount.

The SCTF's main facility is the factory building. It was built in 1993 supported by the Kyoto Provincial Government. Processing machines are fully factory automated, controled by the computers. Tea producing process is divied into 10 steps. Before the factory automation, each step needed a skilled labor. But now we can reduce our labor and still maintain the high quality.

Producing process goes as follow.
First, raw tea leafs are steamed by mushi-ki.
Next, the leafs are softened by hauchi-ki.
They are also rubbed by soju-ki.
Moisture in the leafs are carefully sprinkled by junen-ki.
Clumps are taken to pieces by nakamomi-ki.
The leafs are then dried by chuju-ki.
Their shapes are evened by seiju-ki.
The leafs are again dried by kanso-ki.
They are belended to even its quality by gogumi-ki.
Finaly, they are weighed and packed by
After all these processes, the tea leafs will be carried
out to the wholesale store, and there it goes through
the secondaly prcess. Only after this will the tea
go out to the market.

Until recent, each family worked out the whole process separate from others. Buying machines costed too much. Yet they were only woking for limited amount of time. That's how we came up with the cooperative tea factory.
In a cooperative, machines are shared by a number of families. Working by parts has made process more efficient. By using larger machines, jobs that used to take one whole night are now done in few hours. Tea producers throughout Wazuka Village have much reliance on the cooperatives.