Assistant Manager blog Jean [2023.04月]

Hello everyone! My name is Jean, and I am working as an Assistant Manager at Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms in Wazuka. I am also a former intern at Obubu. You are presently reading my first blog post! Yaaaaaay! This blog will be about my life in Japan and what Obubu has been up to. You will have some insights on what being an Assistant Manager at Obubu means.

I arrived in Japan the 30th of March and the Sakura trees were already blooming. Apart from the fact that the flowers are beautiful, you can also make a wonderful infusion with the dried flowers. This period of the year is very important in Japanese culture. It symbolizes the passage of time and embodies new beginnings. So, I really felt moved by my arrival and by my journey on the bus from Kamo station. It brought back so many memories.

One of the first thing I did after settling in my new house is having green tea and a bowl of warm rice with toppings in the tearoom. It was a very emotional moment for me to be back in this environment. I always loved the soothing energy associated to the tearoom among tatamis, paper walls and tea wares.

On my first day of work, I followed a tea tour, so I can host by the next week. Part of the tea tour is to visit one of the most beautiful tea fields of Japan. That moment reminded me again why I love Wazuka so much. I mean look at this view!

On the second weekend, interns and I went to Osaka.

This city is famous for its gastronomy. Open markets are full of life during the day and bars and restaurants’ neon lights are shining bright during the night. We got to taste a lot of seafood but also a very fluffy Japanese Cheesecake! The city is full of colors and is very active.

After only 2 weeks at Obubu and after a few tea tours, I already got the chance to participate in a handpicking event! I personally love to handpick the tea. The ambiance is very nice between participants, and we managed to gather 7 kg of very high-quality tea leaves. Those tea leaves will be hand rolled by specialists to make around 1.5 kg of finished product. This type of tea is rare in Japan because the handpicking and hand rolling processes take a very long time and require specific skills.

At Obubu, we love experimenting with tea. Kayo-San’s Tea Lounge is an amazing opportunity to learn how to cook with tea. I learned a lot during the session. Did you know that you can make tea tempura? Omelet with fresh tea leaves? Tofu salad with Matcha Salt? Fried chicken with tea batter? And rice cooked with the water of a tea infusion? All this tea makes the food extra yummy!

At the end of my first month, I traveled to Kyoto to learn about how to make Matcha Bowls (Chawan). I got to paint my own Matcha and tried my best to feature autumn tea leaves as it is my favorite season. Drawing is clearly not one of my strengths, but I had a lot of fun and learned so much about Chawan painting (it’s so difficult). This last experience really embodies what it is like to be an Assistant Manager on a Tea farm in Japan. You get to learn and have a lot of insight on Japanese culture while enjoying yourself so much.

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already been a month since I arrive in Wazuka. Time flies by so fast. I guess I’ll see you guys on the next blog episode in another month!

Posted in Adventures In Tea!, Japanese Tea, Monthly Assistant Manager Blog, Tea Agriculture, Wazuka and tagged , .

Leave a Reply