Hannah Rita Kjær Ibsen


Denmark, Copenhagen

Instagram: @hanah.ritah

FaceBook: Hannah Rita Kjær Ibsen



Before Obubu

Japanese tea has always been present in my life since my mother opened a teahouse in Copenhagen 16 years ago. So, naturally Japanese tea found its way into my life, and I had my mother as a great sensei for teaching me the wonders of tea. I was always intrigued by the philosophy and thoughts behind the Japanese tea culture, and after my previous travels to Japan, I could feel that this was something I wanted to dig deeper into.

Before coming to Obubu, I worked in the tea house in Copenhagen, called Sing Tehus (please visit!!). I also worked in a Japanese Izakaya restaurant in Copenhagen, so Japanese culture has always played a role in my life, and hopefully always will.

Working in the teahouse, I felt how serving a cup of tea to someone, gave me so much joy. The exchange of presence that one experiences through this act is something that has inspired how I want to live my life. How tea became a tool for me to become present with my surroundings, and even a tool for mental clarity in some way.


Why Obubu

In 2016 I came to Obubu on a tea tour, together with my mother. We were on a “business” trip, visiting different tea producers. After this visit, Matsu-San and Simona later came to Copenhagen, to make an event at the teahouse. So my relationship with Obubu started at this point. I grew older, and my interest in Japanese tea and tea culture grew as well. That’s why I decided to apply for the internship. I wanted to expand my tea knowledge, and I also had dreamt of staying in Japan for a longer period of time. Getting to live in Wazuka, in the countryside of Japan, was also a part of why I wanted to come to Obubu. Being surrounded by the mountains and the breathtaking nature while weeding or harvesting the tea bushes, is such a unique experience that I had to involve myself in.

This internship had so much to offer, with so much to learn and experience, that I instantly knew it was just my cup of tea!


During Obubu

During my time here, all my wishes got fulfilled. I got to learn a lot about the different aspects of the tea industry, and the overall tea culture in Japan. I was also introduced to Nakai-sensei, with whom I had weekly lessons, teaching me how to master the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. So during my three months here, I really got to cover many sides of tea in general.

Being a part of a small team in a small company like Obubu, we got to follow each staff member and learn from all of them. From the beginning of the process till the end. Starting with the agriculture with Akky-san in the fields, to the factory watching him do his processing magic, to the packing, and lastly, all the work that brings Akky-san’s tea to the world. This is a complicated process, but this small team is doing such a great job!

I also got to improve my communication skills by hosting tea tours and teaching other people about tea and Obubu. And, of course, I got to learn a lot about the different types of tea, brewing techniques, the different tea regions, the history of tea, and everything in between.

Living with fellow interns, and tea lovers, you also get to geek out together about tea. Most of our conversations would surround some kind of tea topic, and I will truly miss being able to make tea-related jokes, as we did in our shared house.

It was very important to me, to experience how tea can bring people together from all over the world, and how a cup of tea can create connections.

I am also very grateful for all of the exploring, both as an intern group and also individually. Japan offers so much to discover, and all of my travels around Japan have been such a beautiful experience.


After Obubu

Three months later, going back home to Denmark, I’m not only bringing kilos worth of ceramics and tea, but also a lot of memories and so much knowledge that my brain couldn’t possibly have any capacity left, at least for now!

I will be returning to the teahouse in Copenhagen, and of course, I will also be brewing delicious Obubu teas there. I can’t wait to share Wazuka with fellow tea lovers in Sing Tehus, and please come by for a cup of Wazuka-cha!



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