Over a month ago, my 4.5 months tea trip to Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan came to an end. What an adventure! Now I’m back after an unexpected hiatus and I’m excited to share my trip!
My hope with this recap is that it will act as a Table of Contents of sorts that connects the dots between my past and future posts regarding my trip to Asia. The goal is to knit everything together in a cohesive story and for this post to act as a teaser for future posts and to highlight old ones!
While in Japan for 3 months, I spent the majority of my time in Wazuka, a small town in the Kyoto Prefecture, as an Intern at Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms. Obubu’s mission is to bring Japanese tea to the world! As an intern, you get to immerse yourself in Japanese tea culture and learn about tea and experience what it is like to be a part of a small tea company.
A large part of the interns’ responsibilities is to run tea tours, which I really enjoyed because I was able to meet people and make new tea friends. When I first arrived, I was able to take part in a tour, which was a lovely experience! A couple, Endeavour Teas, visited while I was there and wrote about their experience as well. Additionally, I was able to take part in other tea-related activities, such as harvesting and visiting factories, hand-picking and hand-rolling tea, picking sakura blossoms, and pan-frying tea!
When I had time off, I had the opportunity to participate in chakabuki events, a nodate tea ceremony, and to visit tea shops and attend a tea ceremony in Kyoto. During my last week in Japan, I travelled around the country, visiting Tokyo, Kyoto, Uji, Nara, and Osaka, where I was able to visit more tea shops and a mini tea festival. I ended my trip with one final tea ceremony. What a perfect way to end my time in Japan. I can’t wait to go back!
A big reason I was in Hong Kong was to deal with some family matters. However, I was able to make time for a handful of tea shops. I even squeezed in a few lessons about Chinese teas at a tea shop. One place in Hong Kong that I really enjoyed was the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware because it gave a great overview of Chinese tea culture and I was able to attend a tea talk and taste teas. During my time in Hong Kong, I was really lucky that I was able to spend time learning about Chinese tea and culture!
Since Taiwan is so close to Hong Kong, I knew I had to give it a quick visit, and I was there for 3 days. I ended up going on a bus tour to maximize my time. I was able to see tea fields (which look different than the ones in Japan), visit a tea museum, sample different Taiwanese teas, and even brew! During my time there, I made an effort to visit a few tea shops. One of my favourite places during my whole trip (aside from Obubu of course), was The Wistaria Tea House. It is a historic Japanese-style teahouse and was very relaxing! I would recommend anyone who enjoys tea to visit it when in Taipei!
All in all, I have to say that I am very glad I went on this trip! It allowed me to finally fully grasp and understand all the time and dedication it requires to get tea from bush to cup. I’ve been fortunate enough to have this opportunity to see and learn more about tea. I can’t wait until I go on my next tea adventure. There is still so much to explore!
While I was away, I reflected on the blog and how to move forward. Up until 2018, my blog had focused solely on tea reviews. I decided to branch out so that I could share my tea adventure. At the time, I updated the blog the best I could to accommodate.
Based on the feedback I received, I was really happy to hear that people enjoyed the new types of content. I was astonished to find out that people wanted to read more informative posts! Keeping that in mind, I revamped the website to brush up the blog and to make it easier to navigate and to find posts. I also changed the logo to be a white background for a more clean look.
The trip really affirmed why I love this blog: being able to share my passion and what I learn about tea. I am going to take a test run for the next few weeks and alternate between tea reviews and informative posts like TEA 101. In the future, I plan on having more content on tea shops, events, teaware, and books, so look out for that!
Lastly, Tea in Spoons is a part of the Tea Bloggers Roundtable, the Food Bloggers of Canada, and Feedspot’s top 100 tea blogs, websites & Newsletters!
To celebrate Tea in Spoons’ 3-year blogiversary and also the mini-relaunch, I wanted to have a giveaway! I thought three Japanese teas from Obubu Teas; a sencha, genmicha, and a kyobancha would be great prizes for three lucky winners! I personally really enjoy all of these teas and wanted to share. The giveaway will be opened internationally.
I will announce the winner(s) on August 14, 2018.
Finally, where would you like to visit for a tea adventure?