Akihiro Kita "Akky"
President / Founder / Lead Farmer
Akihiro “Akky” Kita is our president and head farmer. His desire to make this tea available to the general public is the foundation of Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms. In college, Akky took up a part-time job as a farmhand in Wazuka, and fell in love with the tea he was drinking on the farm. He made the decision then to leave college and devote his time to mastering the art of tea farming. Recognizing the need for independent farmers like himself to spread their wings and passion about the joy of drinking Japanese tea, he travels each year during the winter off season to introduce tea to people around the world
Yasuharu Matsumoto "Matsu"
Vice President / Founder / Business Development Lead
Yasuharu “Matsu” Matsumoto spends much of his time connecting with Obubu’s customers in Japan and focusing on management of the business. Together with Akky, the visionary pair seek to transform the tea farming industry in Japan. Matsu is also the driving force behind Obubu’s push to overseas markets. He travels the world teaching people about Japanese tea with events such as the Euro Tour.
Hirokazu Matsumoto "Hiro"
Founder / Event and Factory Lead
Hiro is an event manager, factory manager and tea tour instructor at Obubu. His love of tea can be traced back to his college days where at the age of nineteen, he took a job as a tea farmer.
Hiro is responsible for overseeing the operation of Obubu’s sencha factory. He ensures its smooth operation and that it meets a high standard of hygiene and safety for Obubu’s staff. His bubbly personality also equips him as the ideal host for our public events where he loves meeting new people and sharing his knowledge of tea!
Tea Club Lead
A mother of two, an avid reader, a social media savant and a great cook. After falling in love with the tea in Wazuka, Kayo moved her family to the area to work with Obubu as the Head of Operations. Kayo is the "Obubu mama" for the interns, periodically whipping up udon or soba lunch for everyone in the office. But her favorite food of all is Thai food!
Simona Suzuki (Zavadckyte)
International Department and Education Lead
After earning her Master's in Japanese Studies, with a focus on Politics and International Relations, Simona came all the way from Europe to learn about Japanese tea. Enchanted with Obubu and its ideals, she now aims to spread Japanese tea culture around the world. At Obubu Simona is responsible for the education programs, such as the Japanese Tea Master Course and Japanese Tea Tours around the world, as well as other international programs including wholesale and tea tours. She has also recently published a book on Japanese Tea, that is available through amazon.com
One of his deepest passions is to share his love for tea with people from around the world. Originally from the UK, his passion for tea grew deeper after visiting a tea farm and factory in Sri Lanka. He followed his passion to India and Nepal in search of amazing tea and spent five months learning about tea in the foothills of the Himalayas. He decided to discover more about tea cultivation and production in other tea producing regions of the world and this is what led him to Obubu. At Obubu, George works as an international manager, looks after the international tea club, helps keep our internship program running strong, and also documents what we get up to at Obubu! ⠀
Moe Nakashima "Moe-chan"
Originally from Hyogo prefecture, Japan, Moe-chan has a passion for spreading knowledge and exposure to Japanese tea through tea tourism. She studied Agriculture at University and her Thesis focused on the soil component of Vietnamese tea, which resulted in a field trip to Vietnam. It was her first time to visit a tea field and she was blown away by its beauty and landscape. And so, began her passion for tea leading her here.
At Obubu, Moe-chan works as an internship Coordinator, organizes tea events and tours, and also supports farming team.
Coming from all over the world, interns look after the international side of Obubu. From replying to daily emails and making social media updates, to taking creative leaps into new initiatives that help Obubu grow. Despite their different backgrounds and interests, all become members of the Obubu family and go on to become Obubu’s ambassadors in their own countries.