#165 Kia


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Before Obubu

Before coming to Obubu, I studied Japanese Studies at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. As I entered my master’s program, I found myself at a crossroads where I needed to seriously consider my academic specialisation.

I knew I wanted to work in a field that excites the senses, bringing me to tea. I had previously spent a semester abroad in Kyoto, where I fell head-over-heels in love with wagashi. This appetite for Japanese sweets ended up spawning a curiosity for Japanese tea tradition and culture.

As a result, I searched for ways to learn more about tea. In October 2023, I began my internship at Sing Tehus, a marvellous little teahouse in Copenhagen, alongside previous intern #137 Hannah. At Sing, I was part of a small team of wonderful people who all had their own relationships with and approaches to tea, and I truly felt motivated to learn about this massive world that was opening up to me. The internship was nothing short of transformative, and brewing and serving tea became my new passion.

Why Obubu

Once you learn a little about tea, you also realise how much there really is to know. Obubu provided a place to satisfy the hunger for tea knowledge that had begun at Sing and felt like a natural extension of my previous internship. Obubu posed a unique opportunity to better my understanding of the processes that take place before the tea reaches the cup. The internship gave me not only the chance to observe these practices but also actually to take part in them hands-on.

During Obubu

I feel so endlessly grateful I got to go to Obubu at the time I did. While my internship slot did not involve a lot of harvesting or processing, I had the opportunity to experience the winter turn to spring, contribute to finishing the construction second floor of the sencha factory, partake in the 20th anniversary of Obubu, plant the cutest baby tea plants, make and eat ichigo daifuku with Toshi-san, have countless tea parties with tea tour guests, prepare the Aoimori tea field for the spring harvest with Miwako, and maybe most importantly, have the most outstanding senpai anyone could ask for, namely Sarah, Jean and Pau. 

At Obubu, I met some of the most hard-working, clever, funny, and inspiring people I have ever come across, and everyone was so generous with sharing their knowledge and their storages of tea. Through these encounters, I have also gotten much closer to myself, and ultimately, the internship has given me a lot of faith in myself and my own abilities.

After Obubu

I will return home and write my master’s thesis, which will undoubtedly be about tea. Specifically, I want to dive into tea tourism as a way of revitalising the Japanese countryside. I am also so happy to be returning to Sing Tehus. I am excited to go back to serving tea and sharing my Obubu adventures with the tea house guests!

I hope the future will bring me many more good excuses to travel back to Japan. I cannot wait to explore the other tea regions of Japan, and I hope to be able to travel to the south and discover the teas of Kyushu and Shikoku soon. However, I find much happiness in the fact that I will always feel that I have a second home in a tea farm in the countryside of Japan in a small tea village called Wazuka. Thank you so much to the staff, assistant managers, and co-interns for making Obubu such a magical place.