I have no experience with anything tea related in Akita, but your friend may be interested in the book "The Roads to Sata" by Alan Booth. It's a travelogue, where he makes his way from the northern tip of Japan along the western coast to the southern tip, and he passes through Akita along the way of course. Lots of walking, drinking, and comical situations ensue.
Also, Sado Island isn't too far from Akita, and it may be worth the trip at some point. My favorite kyusu is from an artist who lives and works on Sado Island.