#2 Jean Rosas – France

Hiiiiiiiiii, I am Jean and I’ve been an Assistant Manager at Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms starting from April 2023. As the Assistant Manager position is for one year, I am now finishing my time here. I had a blast at Obubu and I can’t help but share about what the year has been like. However, before diving into that, I’d like to write about who I am and what got me to become an Assistant Manager.


I was previously an intern (#107) at Obubu in 2019. I participated in the internship while studying engineering agriculture at Ecole Supérieure des Agricultures (ESA) in Angers, France. I was interested in learning about agriculture in Japan. After my internship I specialised in food processing and finished my studies so I could return to Obubu 4 years later. I love food and nature. I love to learn how food is made and how it connects people together. After all, everyone eats and drinks, right? We connect, learn, share, laugh and make friends over food. But beyond that, food simply tastes good. Being able to see and understand every part of what brings food to our plates has been a passion of mine and a huge part of my life since I started university.



Such interest for agriculture with my experience as an Obubu intern ignited my passion for tea. And after the internship, I couldn’t help but keep learning about it. That is when I decided to work part-time as a seller in ‘Palais des Thés’ tea shop in France alongside my studies. There, I got to enjoy various types of teas from all around the world but also received training from my managers and peers. Later, I joined another tea company “Dammann Frères” where I interned in the Quality Management System. I learned a lot about scented teas and how aromas lead to happy memories. But I also got to dive into how standards of quality are used to select and carefully package and sell tea. I couldn’t get enough of tea and decided to apply to an internship in Nepal with Palais des Thés, where I interviewed and lived alongside tea farmers in Ilam for 4 months. After Nepal, I felt a little lost. Because, tea jobs in Europe are very difficult to get and opportunities arise rarely. Fortunately, Obubu was looking for an Assistant Manager that year and I got to start right after my adventures in the Himalayan mountains. As much as I have traveled and experienced tea, I always learn new things and I am always tested in my knowledge of tea.

I’ve come to realize that tea isn’t as straightforward as it may seem, and I’ve learned not to be overly confident in assuming I’ve mastered all there is to know. While I enjoy sharing my knowledge, I perpetually view myself as a beginner in the subject.

I find pleasure in making tea appealing and often engage in conversations with people about what the Camelia Sinensis plant is capable of achieving in the hands of nature and men. Tea is strongly rooted in Japanese culture and treasured knowledge passed down from generation to generation over 800 years in Wazuka makes the Assistant Manager role very special.


Even though Wazuka is a very traditional tea town, Obubu works in a strong international context where people from all over the world come and work together around a common passion: tea! We are working in English but we get to learn about many different cultures and languages including japanese of course! The shared house where I live in Wazuka is lovely and sits in the middle of tea fields. It is beautiful and has a traditional Japanese tea room where I like to sit and have tea while staring at the garden and the mountains. Wazuka is very peaceful and quiet. Living in the countryside is great, and actually, there are a couple of restaurants and even a Karaoke in town, so not too quiet! Plus, I had plenty of time to travel to Osaka, Kyoto and Nara (among other destinations). The mountains are breathtaking and the colors of all 4 seasons tint the landscape. Cherry blossom pink in spring, vibrant greens in summer, amber and gold in autumn and even snow white in winter! So pretty!


What I really loved about working at Obubu is it doesn’t really matter whether you know about tea or not. And you might think it’s a very easy thing for me to say now, but remember, I started as an intern with absolutely no knowledge about tea. Obubu’s doors are always open to people who are curious and hardworking. If you’re reading this, it means this job is meant for you!

At Obubu, we grow, process, market and teach about tea (from ‘farm to cup!’ or ‘De la fourche à la fourchette’ as we say in french). Because of this, the chances are high that you have the skills to help us share Japanese tea with the world!

I am incredibly thankful to Obubu and all staff members for this past year. I am overjoyed to have had the opportunity to work with and befriend all the amazing interns who joined Obubu during my stay. I don’t know how to express my gratitude other than simply saying thank you to all of you. THANK YOU!

And… byyyyyyyyyye!