Last April I visited the tea farms featured by Obubu Tea in Wazuka, Kyoto. It was a bit hard to get to since only a few buses go there, but it was well worth the trip!
Simona & the VP of Obubu, Matsu-san, were kind enough to educate me about the different types of Japanese tea, the farms where they come from, the people involved, the process, and the Japanese tea ceremony. Obubu itself is a tea brand owned by a cooperative of tea farmers in the town of Wazuka. I am very grateful for this, and it actually took me a long while to write about my experience there.
It is not until today, exploring tea from Taiwan 8 months after Kyoto, that I look back and reminisce on my travels involving tea. The varieties of flavours that each type of tea has is more pronounced, more defined, and more… out-of-the-box(?) in Japan. I am not in any way saying that tea from this country is superior to others. Its just a description of my observation – that characteristics of different teas, if we talk about tea grades within a tea type (ex. “Sencha”) is more defined and distinct than with Taiwanese, Chinese, or Ceylon teas. You do not have nuances anymore, but almost different teas altogether. More so with different tea types (Sencha vs. Bancha) where there difference is stark and has no room for a double guess, both in taste and aroma.
How they could produce such flavour differences in a single crop variety is amazing. I would definitely have to learn more about the production of each type to find out, but perhaps I could find time to stay a little longer at Wazuka to become immersed in it. In the meantime, I would need to get everything ready back in my own city to make a good home for these teas VERY SOON!
I had some 20 minutes to spare before the bus back to the station passes by so I decided to take a quick segue to this little shrine to say hi to the local deity here.
I bid farewell to Wazuka, and hope to visit again in the not-so-distant future.
I leave you with this video made by a visitor during his trip there.