Life of an Obubu Intern, 163 Jason


Hi everyone! My name is Jason, and I am intern number 163 here at Obubu Tea. I’m from the United States and I graduated in May of 2023 from Truman State University. I came to Obubu to learn more about tea and to experience Japanese culture as I want to potentially teach English and math in Japan.  

What does tea mean to you?

Tea means focus and serenity to me. When I was in college, I would always drink tea while studying or solving my assigned problems. It would always help me focus on the equations that I was trying to solve without giving me a huge crash like coffee always did. The other part of what tea means to me, serenity, comes from drinking camomile and herbal teas. Whenever I had a long day and just needed to relax before bed, I’d always have a cup of either camomile or herbal tea.

What is your favorite Obubu tea?

My favorite Obubu tea has to be the hoji-genmaicha. I really enjoy the warm, toasted flavor of the genmai and the hojicha working together. When I drink tea, it’s usually to help me relax and unwind after a day of work. I often drank tea in my room on my bed, even though it was kind of a spill-risk. Hoji-genmaicha is perfect for this as it has a low caffeine content and has a very nutty, soothing aroma. 

What did you enjoy most about the Obubu Tea Internship?

The thing that I enjoyed most about the internship was the opportunity to learn about a myriad of different things. During my time at Obubu, I learned about tea farming, tea processing, and how to actually serve the tea that we made. The amount of knowledge that I had about tea before coming to Obubu was pretty small, so I got to vastly expand my horizons in terms of tea.  Not only did I get to learn about topics associated with tea, but I also got to learn more about Japanese culture. I was able to visit local shops and restaurants, talk with the locals, and become acclimated to life in Japan. I learned a lot about the Japanese language and culture by going to Kitene and conversing with the patrons there over amazing food. 

What was your favorite Wazuka experience?

My favorite experience in Wazuka was finding a tree for the holiday season at Obubu. It was so much fun to go to one of our tea fields and find a trimmable tree and turn it into a Christmas tree. It was a real ordeal trying to safely cut it and get it back to the truck, but that was part of the fun of it. Once we got it back to Obubu, putting it into the 2nd floor of the factory and decorating it with ornaments together was a great experience. For me, I had always decorated Christmas trees with my family, so it was a tradition that meant a lot to me. Furthermore, having a huge Christmas dinner filled with great vegan food made by Pau, Sarah, Jean, and Chris was so amazing. Even Hiro-san brought food to the dinner and enjoying all the food together was a really special and meaningful experience for me. 

How has the Obubu Internship changed you?

I think the internship has changed me in two major ways. The first one is that it massively changed the way I see the world. I had never actually been outside the United States before coming to Obubu, so it was an eye-opening experience to see what life in another country was like. The second was the huge amount of knowledge that I gained about tea while doing the internship. Before coming to Obubu, I had only drank tea from tea bags and thought of loose leaf tea as a novelty. Little did I know that there was such a huge world of tea out there to explore. 

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