On Saturday, July 11, 2020, Obubu’s “Summer Tea Picking & Handmade Tea Making Experience” was held!
Due to the influence of COVID-19 this year, Tea Loves from all over the world participated in the situation that it is difficult to participate from abroad!
After the greetings and explanations on how to pick the shoots were given by president Akky, everyone carefully picks the one bud and two leaves of the summer shoots.
Under the slightly rainy sky, we picked tea eagerly in a spacious tea plantation, paying attention to social distance.
We are enjoying the tea picking even in the tea ladies costume!
The tea leaves that have been picked for about an hour are separated into the Hojicha team and the Sencha team for tea making, but now it’s lunch time!
Cafe Lantana, located in Yamashiro Town, Kizugawa City, made this lunch box made to order!
We asked Lantana to create a menu using Obubu tea for all the dishes.
All the guests and staff thought it was delicious!
With excitement, everybody tasted the lunch box.
The tea club members gave us some leaves for something special!
It’s crispy and crunchy Tea Tempura from Kayo-san, who has been serving tea tempura for 12 years.
I also had one-bud, two-leaves tea shoots, raw leaf tempura, along with matcha salt (using Okumidori matcha).
Staff Moe and Marie
“You can see how delicious it was just from my face!”
At the end of lunch time, Moe introduced Wazuka Town and Obubu Tea Garden.
While enjoying the explanation of the tea making method of hand-made tea in a quiz format created by Moe!
Hand-made tea was made using the pan-firing method. We work on the kill-green process by stopping the enzyme (oxidase) by heating tea leaves to 70 degrees or more.
The final color of tea leaves and the color of light green changes depending on the degree of green-killing in this process.
At this time, steam rises from the tea leaves, and a good fragrance spreads to the Sencha factory, which is the venue. It has an irresistible aroma for tea lovers!
With the cooperation of all the participants, staff, and internship students, we will roll the tea on bamboo trays.
You may be thinking, under the circumstances of COVID-19, do you really do this event? I was worried, but I checked the temperature and physical condition in advance. While paying close attention to alcohol disinfection, there are also bactericidal and antiviral effects are from ingredients contained in tea such as catechins. We hope you enjoyed it and continue to enjoy more tea!
For about 2 hours, I rolled the tea and dried the leaves while developing the aroma and taste in the leaves.
The roasting in the large pan is difficult because it’s hot and it’s hard to move the tea, but everyone worked hard and enjoyed making tea while having a great time.
We also gave an experience of roasting the tea leaves of Yanagi Bancha into hand-made tea.
You can enjoy hand-roasted roasted green tea, Hojicha!
At the stone mill, you can enjoy Tencha (the intermediary product for Matcha production which is dried leaf which has had the stems and veins of the leaves removed) by grinding your own Tencha into Matcha.
Matcha Syrup, Hojicha Syrup, and strong Matcha Syrup are also exclusively sold domestically at Obubu’s Japanese online shop.
We had you experience another way of tea making with which you can enjoy shaved ice with roasted brown rice (mochi rice) as a topping!
And finally, a tasting of hand-picked and hand-made tea!
Even if the tea leaves are picked in the same tea plant at the same timing, different aromas and different flavours will give different scents to the end tea, which is very interesting.
I’m sure that no matter how many years we make this tea, I’m sure that I will not meet the same tea twice in my life.
Everyone who participated, Lantana Café who made delicious lunch made with tea, Toshi-san Midoriya, who lent me the shaved ice machine, Agricultural co-sponsored newspaper, Takahashi-san, Ozawa-san, Nomura-san who came for coverage.
All the staff were really happy to welcome everyone and have a fantastic day! Thank you very much!
The next Tea Picking and Hand-making event will be held in Autumn on Saturday, September 26, 2020.
I would like to experience Japanese Tea in such an authentic and fun atmosphere!
The next event will be held on Saturday, September 26, 2020!
– Hiro Matsumoto