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About Us | Founding | Green Cred | Awards & Reviews | Coverage & Press Releases | Contact Info | Blog

About Us

Mellow Monk® is unique in the world of green tea. Here is what sets us apart from the crowd:

Ethical. We buy our tea directly from 100% independent, family-owned and -operated tea farms. Our growers own the land they work, and they work it themselves.

Environmentally Responsible. All of our growers are certified eco-friendly under the Japanese government’s Eco Farmer Program..

Quality. Mellow Monk's small-farm Japanese green tea is made the traditional way by growers who are veritable artisans of tea. They provide us with the same exquisite tea they produce for their traditional tea shop customers, who are some of the world's most demanding drinkers. The farms are located amid the pristine nature of Japan's Aso region, located on the island of Kyushu.


Tea grove

Tea cup



Paul and Akimi Kotta founded Mellow Monk’s Green Teas in Livermore, California, in 2003. The green tea they sell comes from the rural Japanese town of Aso, where Akimi was born and raised. They lived in Aso for seven years; their daughter was born there.

The couple were inspired to found Mellow Monk after moving from Aso to California. “We tried to find green tea as good as what we were used to in Aso,” explains Paul, “but we struck out. Even the tea we bought in Japanese grocery stores was—to be frank—pretty bad.”

They began bringing back large quantities of green tea from trips to Aso. “We shared it with family and friends here in the States,” says Paul, “and everyone was knocked out by how good it was. That’s when Akimi and I realized we were on to something.”

Green Cred

All of Mellow Monk's growers are certified eco friendly under the Japanese government's Eco Farmer Program.

Mellow Monk® is a certified member of Green America's Green Business Network.


Tea grower in his grove


Awards and Reviews

Top Leaf wins first place at 2011 North American Tea Championship

Top Leaf wins at 2010 North American Tea Championship

Our reviews are now listed on their own review page.

Coverage & Press Releases

Mellow MonkŪ Green Tea Lineup Joined by Traditional-Modern "Fusions" (press release)

Mellow Monk Connects Filmmaker, Tea Grower
(World Tea News)

Mellow Monk Unveils Shade and Bliss
(World Tea News)

Mellow Monk Releases Two New Green Teas—"Blissful Buds" and "Shaded Leaf" (press release)

Ward Off Winter's Chill with a Nice Cuppa Green Tea [PDF] (Contra Costa Times)

Mellow Monk Releases "Mizudashi"—Cold-Brewed Iced Green Tea (press release)

Entrepreneur Sees Green with Tea Business [PDF]
(Contra Costa Times)


Brewed tea in a cup

Aso Valley, Japan


Contact Info

Paul R. Kotta
Cofounder and COE (Chief Of Everything)
Mellow Monk's Green Teas
Livermore, CA
phone: 925.447.3636
email: paul at mellowmonk dot com


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Mellow Monk's Top Leaf Green Tea



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