Producer spotlight #02: Obubu Tea Gardens
Next up in our celebration of farmers who are leading the way in small-scale, artisan tea farming is the Obubu Tea Gardens in Kyoto, Japan.
Located in the Sōraku District of the Kyoto Prefecture, Wazuka is a small town with a population of just 5,000. It’s renowned, however, as the birthplace of Uji green tea (the name for all Japanese green tea grown in that area) – and is home to half of Kyoto’s green tea farms. It’s also considered one of the most beautiful towns in Japan, with the rolling, verdant hills of tea plantations transforming the area into somewhat of an eden.
Lead Farmer and founder 'Akky'.
Obubu Tea Gardens is one of Wazuka’s very best. Lead farmer and now president Akihiro “Akky” Kita visited the town as a student and fell in love with both the place and green tea. After spending 17 years mastering the art of green tea production in Wazuka, Akky finally set up his own independent, ethical and environmentally-conscious tea garden. Their mission is simple. Bring high quality Japanese green tea to the rest of the world. Make a difference to the local and global community through tea farming. And revitalise interest in tea and agriculture through education.
Operating much like a not-for-profit, Obubu Tea Farms donates to several local charities and is also involved in a number of projects to help develop local communities through artisanal, sustainable tea production. They’ve also been travelling the world, flying the flag for high grade, sustainably produced Japanese teas – partnering up with our sister company the UK Tea Academy when delivering their Europe tour tea program back in 2016.
Akky and Obubu Tea Garden workers.
What do Obubu teas taste like? Their Kabuse Sencha is part of our special edition range, with an intense, lingering umami flavour, vegetal undertones and a hint of tender leaf spinach. Their Genmaicha is also superb. Notes of green bean, nutty rice cake and just a hint of nori seaweed. Delicious.