Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms, is a Japanese tea brand owned and operated by tea farmers in the town of Wazuka, Kyoto. Started by Akihiro Kita and Yasuharu Matsumoto in 2004, the company began as an agricultural social venture. Akky and Matsu's aim was and still is, to teach tea lovers both in Japan and overseas about the value of tea farming, and to contribute to society through tea.
To make farming fun by creating connections between consumers and producers
To contribute to the spread of tea culture by introducing Japanese tea and providing advice to other farmers around the world
We hope to extend this family beyond Japan's shores as we seek to educate the world about quality Japanese green tea, to promote both the traditional and contemporary culture of drinking green tea, and to aid other tea farmers as they seek to establish tea plantations in their respective countries and regions.
Over 15 years ago, our president and founder, Akihiro “Akky” Kita, visited Wazuka, Kyoto. The tea produced in this rural district is known as Ujicha, one of the highest quality, premium teas in Japan. Akky was a college student in search of his life’s calling. Inspired by a single cup of Ujicha drunk at its source, Akihiro’s passion for green tea was born. After fifteen years of learning to master the art of growing premium tea leaves from master tea farmers in Wazuka, Kyoto Obubu Tea Plantations was born. The name Obubu itself comes from the slang of Kyoto and means tea. Read more about us on our official website (first built by Yunomi's parent company Matcha Latte Media).
Every year, the two farmers would visit countries around the world on their now famous World Tea Tour to teach tea enthusiasts about Japanese tea. It was on one of these trips in 2009 when Matsu met the Yunomi Merchant Ian Chun, bringing Ian into the tea industry. Together Obubu and what would become Yunomi collaborated and continues to collaborate on many projects.
Our team is a small one made up of our president Akihiro Kita, VP and sales manager Yasuharu Matsumoto, shipping manager Kayo Takeuchi, a few staff and partners both in Kyoto and around the world. Our small scale allows us to emphasize long-lasting, meaningful relationships with our clients and customers creating a family of tea enthusiasts. With the addition of the Internship Program, Obubu now routinely welcomes international students, tea shop owners, and tea aficionados to its every growing family.
Akihiro Kita, President / Founder / Farmer Yasuharu Matsumoto, Vice President / Sales Manager / Farmer Kayo Takeuchi, Operations Lead Simona Zavadckytė, International Department Lead
ESTABLISHED: Established in 2004 as an agricultural social venture seeking to contribute to society through tea.
FARM LABOR: We are a small farm & online retailer of tea and tea products. Our president, Akihiro Kita, is our primary farmer, and works with several apprentices as well as fellow farmer friends (who help each other out as needed). Vice president Yasuharu Matsumoto is also called upon frequently to work in the fields when not managing the business side of things. Apprentice and part-time workers are paid a minimum of 1000 yen / hour (about US$11)