Lana Kolonić


Intern #167

Before Obubu

As my final year of Food Technology bachelor at The University of Zagreb approached, I knew that I wanted to get experience in food processing, but wasn’t quite sure where yet. 

I am usually a religious coffee drinker and that is why I started to look for coffee companies to do the internship. What I found was not a coffee company, but even better, an Obubu tea website. As I was reading through blog posts and looking at the webshop, I decided to apply and see what happens. A few months later I was enjoying Japanese tea with the biggest tea enthusiasts/community I have ever met.

Why Obubu

From learning about different types of teas to harvesting in heat and rain, there was not a moment of questioning if the internship is what I wanted and wished for. It was so much more than that. I have learned about tea processing, history, pottery, traditional Japanese sweet making and also discovered my hidden passion for birds. Some of my friends at Obubu were so supportive of my passion that they even gifted me binoculars for my birthday. 

Every question I had was answered by knowledgeable staff, assistant managers and my fellow co-interns. And it just made me curious to learn more. What I enjoyed the most was harvesting and sencha processing with Akki-san because I could see from close distance what passion and dedication in work is and how I hope to be in my future job.

On the weekends I was usually on the train or in an izakaya. The railway system in Japan is as good as it gets and sometimes just getting from point A to point B would seem like a tourist activity. There is also a beautiful pottery village Shigaraki nearby Obubu where I got more cups than my suitcase can handle. Some of the experiences I will never forget is making mochi with Toshi-san in his 77 year old workshop, seeing tanuki on the way to the teafield and witnessing Patrick #171 brew tea to the rhythm of Sandstorm by Darude. 

After Obubu

Although I am sad to leave Obubu, I am excited for many new challenges ahead of me. I am starting a Food engineering masters programme in Autumn of 2024 but I will definitely continue my tea research. There are many tea tastings I plan to organize with family, friends and mentors from my university. I will probably also be super annoying to my friends with all the pottery information I have gathered.

This internship taught me patience, persistence and dedication. I am grateful to be a part of this ongoing project of spreading the love for tea and knowledge and know that our paths will cross again someday.