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Obubu Euro Tour 2015
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Tea Info Shelf
Last time we talked about the key steps of Japanese tea processing, namely: steaming, rolling and drying. Often, what follows after that, though, is the second processing. While the first processing transforms raw leaf into dry tea, second processing often alters its aesthetic and/or flavor qualities.

The second processing usually involves sorting, that separates stems and twigs from the tea leaves to have a more visually pleasing tea. For a more uniform look of tea, it can also involve cutting to have the tea leaves of a similar size. For a less astringent flavor, tea leaves can be lightly heated or roasted that also creates a more inviting aroma. Finally, blending of tea leaves from different seasons or regions can be used to create a unique flavor that can be repeated year after year.

Because we want to keep the tea flavor as natural and true to the origin as possible, most of Obubu teas only go through the first processing and remain in the aracha form. One of a few exceptions is our Matcha range. Dry tea leaves and stems have to be separated for grinding Matcha; and while while tea leaves are ground to Matcha powder, tea stems become a beautiful tea of its own - our Kukicha range.
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Tea of the Month
Tsubame Kukicha
Medium bodied with a mild aftertaste, Tsubame has a dark sweetness with notable flavors of licorice, bark, and molasses. Pale yellow in color, Tsubame has a leafy aroma with hints of caramel. Made from the stems of the Summer harvest Tencha leaves used to produce our kitchen grade Matcha, this tea is a bit hardier and more resilient than the other unroasted Kukichas.
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Genmaicha
Medium-bodied with a rounded finish, Genmaicha has a buttery sweet taste with notable elements of corn and peanuts. With a nutty pecan-like aroma it appears brass yellow in color. Made by mixing Yanagi Bancha with roasted rice, Genmaicha is one of the most comforting 
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Yanagi Bancha
Fairly light in body and a little sharp at the edges, Yanagi Bancha has light astringency with hints of cabbage and clove. Corn-like yellow when steeped, it gives off leafy aroma like that of freshly fallen birch leaves. Made in-between the main harvests Yanagi Bancha is one of the most common Japanese green teas.
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What's New? - Obubu Euro Tour 2015: 24th September - 12th October

A year has passed and Obubu is getting ready to go abroad! With a lot of help from our wonderful tea friends, we are returning to Europe for the third time. Between 24th September and 12th October we will be visiting: the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. We are coming back with a lot of cultural tea seminars, practical tea workshop and of course Japanese tea from Wazuka, Japan. Check our Euro Tour schedule and come to meet us in your city. Registration for some events has opened already, for others it will open soon, so keep an eye on the website.
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Meet Obubu's Friends - James

Who are you and what do you do?
 I'm James Thirlwall - Acupuncturist, Yogi, Japanophile and tea loving founder of Chayou Tea House. We run unique and beautiful tea events to bring together tea friends - chayou - to learn about tea culture through tea tasting, tea ceremonies and tea sessions.
How did you get to know Obubu? Over many cups of tea of course. First in London in 2013 and then when Chayou had the privilege of hosting Matsu and Simona at Oxford University last year.
What is Obubu to you? Obubu for me typifies the spirit of tea. Drinking tea gathers people together to form friendships; drinking tea lifts our mood and makes us happy for no reason; tea makes us reflect, dream and envision better ways of living and working. Obubu does all of these things and more - they are in their own way making the world a more enjoyable, inspiring and happy place.
What is your favorite way to make tea? Anywhere in nature - with some Obubu Houjicha. We just ran a tea retreat in the Scottish Highlands and sharing tea with friends by a mountain stream is hard to beat!
What message would you like to pass to Obubu readers and friends? Not my own, but one to live by and one that conveys the spirit of tea in Japan - ichi-go ichi-e - one time, one chance. 
Each time we drink a cup of tea we have a chance to pause, breathe in and enjoy the uniqueness of this one precious moment and our one precious life. 
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Events of the Past Month - Seminar for JA tea farmers

Obubu puts a lot of emphasis on education, be it through our international internship program or through seminars in Japan and abroad. A few weeks ago, had a group of tea JA tea farmers from Shizuoka to come to Wazuka for a tea seminar. On a day we spent a few hours  in the tea fields and in our office sharing our activities and practices, hoping that can inspire new developments in Japanese tea industry.
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