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Shincha, Summer Tea Picking and Rolling Event
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Tea Info Shelf
The Spring season is now at its peak, and that means the new flush of fresh tea leaves are finally ready for harvest. So in this edition, let’s take a look at how tea is harvested! While these days harvesting machinery is used in most Japanese tea farms, it was not so long ago that tea used to be picked by hand.

For the highest grade tea, only the bud and the top two leaves are picked. Normally, all new growth (which could include 5-6 leaves below the bud) would be collected. Both the young tea leaves and new growth stem are very soft, so all it takes is a simple flick of the finger to bend the stem, separating the young leaf shoot from the rest of the older plant. Tea picking would start early in the morning with the sunrise and experienced tea pickers would collect around 20kg of fresh tea leaves throughout the day. As hand picking is an intensive process with high labor costs, only very few farms today continue to harvest by hand.

Handpicking therefore is now mostly done for special occasions and events. One such event is the celebration of Wazuka’s Spring Harvest season in April. An open event held in town every year, the town seeks to preserve the tradition of tea picking and processing from centuries past, when tea was made from the beginning to the end, all by hand. It took about 50 people and approximately 12 hours to make this tea. Though the resulting amount is small, you can still try this unique, authentic hand-picked, hand-processed tea from Wazuka! Check it out at the Tea of the Month section!

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Tea of the Month - Shincha (a.k.a. fresh tea)
Wazuka Shincha
Medium-bodied with a lingering presence, this tea offers a pleasantly astringent experience accompanied by subtle notes of cherry and chives. Crystal clear in a cup it has an inviting herbal aroma with hints of clove. Picked and processed by hand this tea is truly one of a kind.
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Sencha of the Spring Sun
Medium-bodied with a long presence, Spring Sun offers refreshing astringency with subtle flavor notes of pineapple and wasabi.  Its sun-lit golden color is supplemented by a lingering aroma of crushed laurel. Grown in full sunshine and harvested in spring, Spring Sun is one of the highest grade senchas.
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Sencha of the Earth
Medium-bodied with a smooth quality, Earth has mild sweetness with subtle hints of a ripe plum. Its bronze hue in a cup is accompanied by a hay-like aroma mixed with light notes of camomile. Grown on older tea trees of Zairai cultivar and harvested in spring, Earth is lighter than the other senchas.
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What's New? - Tea Picking and Rolling Event 4th July

Spring was filled with many events, and in the last few months our small tea farm were visited by a few hundred guests both from Japan and abroad. If you have not had a chance to visit Japan yet, or if your trip is planned for a later date, fear not as we still have a couple of events planned for the rest of the year. In fact, we have an upcoming Summer Tea Picking and Rolling Event on the 4th of July. Come and see the tea leaf travel from our plant to your cup!
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Meet Obubu's Friends - Elyse

Who are you and what do you do?
 My name is Elyse Petersen and I am the founder of Tealet. I travel around the world to meet tea growers, hear their story and connect them with their buyers. I started this work as an Obubu intern
How did you get to know Obubu? I was looking for an agricultural business internship in Japan and was introduced to Obubu by Ian Chun of Yunomi.us, who was currently helping Obubu with their marketing in the US. I asked Obubu to accept me as an intern for 4 months in 2012
What is Obubu to you? Obubu is my tea family. I learned about the value of tea to bring people together from Obubu. It is about presenting and sharing this culture of tea.
What is your favorite way to make tea? My favorite way to make tea is with new and old friends in the most likely places. I love to introduce the art and beauty of tea to everyone I meet.
What message would you like to pass to Obubu readers and friends? Drink and share tea. With each cup we are one step closer to peace and harmony around the world. Don't be afraid to ask questions and drink the tea you like.
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Events of the Past Month - Tea Making with Teens from Correctional Facility

One of Obubu's missions is to contribute to society through tea. We try to connect and engage with vulnerable groups around us, be it elderly, people with mental disabilities or children from correctional facilities. At the beginning of May we held a tea making event with these teenagers for the fifth time. Most of them already knew about tea picking and pan rolling so the tea was processed and ready earlier than scheduled. We hope that the spirit of tea was planted in them, and perhaps they will come back to tea in the future!
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