Comparing Seasonal Sencha Green Teas

Last week, I wrote about shaded (Kabuse) green teas and I said that I would talk about unshaded (Roji) teas this week. However, I realized that it actually might be more useful to talk about harvesting seasons and why they are important, purely because most plants around the world are left unshaded in order to […]

Comparing Shaded Japanese Green Teas

Last week, I started TEA 101, and the goal of the series is to share what I am learning about tea with you! In the first post, I broke down different common green teas in Japan. Now, I want to go into more detail about each one. This week will be about shaded teas! Shaded […]

Guide to Common Japanese Green Teas

Since I am living at Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms in Japan, it seemed most fitting to start a series focused on tea: TEA 101! The first post I wanted to write was a guide to common Japanese green teas. The concept behind TEA 101 is pretty loose but the main goal is to share what […]

Chakabuki Event

Over the weekend, I was able to take part in a Chakabuki here in Wazuka! A chakabuki, in short, is a blind tea tasting game that is played in Japan. I’ve never been to one before, so I thought it would be fun to bring everyone along! Chakabuki was originally played by the aristocrats, but […]

Adventures in Tea! Issue 4: Conclusion (For Now?)

Hi everyone! My name is Jessica, and I’m the author/illustrator for Adventures in Tea! Thank you to everyone for reading my mini-series! I spent a great time at Obubu learning about Japanese tea, and this mini-series was my way of showing people what I’ve been learning and giving everyone a little bit of cuteness and […]

Japanese Tea: a Comprehensive Guide

Obubu is proud to say that our international department lead – Simona Zavadckyte has recently published a book about Japanese tea. The book is called Japanese Tea: a Comprehensive Guide and includes a wide range of topics about Japanese tea: from history and culture, to cultivation and processing, to different tea kinds and how to […]

Japanese Tea Masterclass in Hague on 25th November, 2017

The Hague continues to be our favorite spot! All thanks to the International Tea and Coffee Academy here, that has the most amazing students. This year we came to hold another Master Class on Japanese tea, and 12 people decided to join, almost all of whom we met for the first time.         […]

Tea Time in Paris on 22nd November, 2017

After 5 years Obubu team returned to Paris. We stopped here on the very first Obubu’s Europe Tour and have not had a chance to come back since. So it felt like it was time to visit Paris again. This time we did not plan any specific event ahead of time. However, a new tea […]

Japanese Tea Workshops in London 18th November, 2017

London is always bubbling with tea, and so going there always feels like coming home. This year we could add some strength to the collaboration with the UK Tea Academy, led by Jane Pettigrew; and went to hold two events at their seminar room in Westminster Kingsway College. The day started with a Sencha Workshop […]

Japanese Tea Workshops in Berlin 16th-17th November, 2017

The stop in Berlin this year was the first for Obubu. We really wanted to come once we have heard about the creation of the Berlin Tea Academy. The Berlin School of Coffee has already been around for a decade. In the group they also have their own coffee roaster, coffee and tea shop; and café. […]

Japanese Tea Events in Madrid 13th-14th November, 2017

This year the Obubu Europe Tour starts in Madrid. With the help of our friend and Obubu internship alumni Anna, we were able to hold two events about Japanese tea: a tasting event and a workshop. Welcomed again by the Japan Foundation in Madrid, we introduced Japanese tea to Japanese culture enthusiasts in Madrid. Because […]

Tea Ware: Modern Western Tea Wares and Japanese Tea

More and more individuals are becoming enchanted by the Japanese tea room and ceremony service. Chado (the Japanese tea ceremony) searches for finesse in simple movement, and showcases elegance and purity in form. When coming to Japan, it seems as if these qualities are inherently ingrained within the lifestyles of the people. Coming to Japan […]

Tea Ware: Chawan, Houhin, and Kyusu

There are many ways to make tea, and just as many kinds of teapots. Today we’re going to talk about the three types of Japanese tea ware we use most often at Obubu: the chawan, houhin, and kyusu. Chawan  茶碗 Chawan, or tea bowls, are used together with bamboo whisks for making matcha in the […]

The 88th Day: Spring tea picking tradition!

Hachijuu-Hachiya, the 88th Day  八十八夜 The 88th day of traditional Japanese calendar, which falls right around May 1st or 2nd, is famous as an important date for farmers, and especially tea farmers. For several hundred years, the 88th day has been considered the best day to start the spring tea harvest. Those tender new shoots […]

Tea Cultivars: All About the Plant!

During tea tours, we are often asked whether there are different types of plants for different teas. Read on for the answer!   Tea Cultivars A cultivar is a group of plants that have been bred by farmers for desirable characteristics. Cultivars can be more or less suited to weather conditions (frost hardy or early […]

Exploring Wazuka: Shrines and Temples

Shrines and temples are everywhere in Japan, from the huge buddha at Todaiji in Nara to tiny Jizo statues along roadsides, and Wazuka has its own collection of beautiful cultural sites, several of which are part of our hiking tea tours. Tenmangu Shrine The picture at the top of this page is of Tenmangu, the […]

Japanese black tea

Introduction to Wakoucha: Japanese Black Tea

As we’ve seen in the “What’s in a Name?” blog series, Japan is famous for producing green tea in great variety. There’s sencha, tencha, matcha, gyokuro, kukicha, bancha, genmaicha, and houjicha. These have been central to Japanese production for hundreds of years. However, if we look beyond green tea, there is even more delicious tea to […]

What’s in a Name? Part III: Bancha & Hojicha

Are you ready for part 3?! Here come bancha and hojicha!  Bancha  番茶 The character for ban includes the characters for rice and field, and refers to a turn or a number in a series. Bancha is usually translated as coarse or common tea, and is made from mature leaves picked in between the four main harvests […]

What’s in a Name? Part II: Gyokuro & Kukicha

Welcome back to our blog series on tea names! Today, we’ll cover gyokuro and kukicha.   Gyokuro  玉露 Gyokuro, meaning “jewel dew,” conjures up an image of morning dewdrops collected from rare jade, and the tea liquor is a vibrant green color to match. Gyokuro is famous as a luxury tea; it’s harvested just once […]

What’s in a Name? Part I: Matcha, Tencha, and Sencha

Hello everyone! This week’s post is the first section of a series on Japanese tea names. If you’ve ever been curious why a tea is called by a particular name, this is the post for you!   Tea  茶 Perhaps the most important word on this list is cha, or tea. The Japanese character has its […]

Organic Tea: A Brief Overview

Today’s post is about organic tea. What makes a tea organic? What are the implications for farmers and tea drinkers? Is organic tea better? What does “organic” mean? The term “organic”, referring to farming, came into use in the 1940s, referring to a balanced relationship between plants, soil, and nutrients. However, since the 1960s, the […]

Wazuka: 800 Years of Tea

Today’s post is about the history of tea in Wazuka, the beautiful hometown of Obubu, where all our teas are grown. Chagenkyo, Wazuka’s nickname, means the home origin of tea, or Teatopia, as we like to translate it. In fact, Wazuka has cultivated tea since the Kamakura period, over 800 years ago, when Japanese green tea […]