Japanese Tea Evangelist Program is a new program that focuses on Japanese students who are go to study abroad. 2022 was the first year to run it and we found it to be a great success!
Japanese tea is often seen as something old-fashioned, and we were worried young people may not be interested. But we were proven wrong – 56 students applied for the Japanese Tea Evangelist Program! Originally, we were aiming to have 20 students on the program, but with so much interest we decided to expand the program to 27 students.
The new Tea Evangelists first completed an intensive 1-week training about Japanese tea, where they learned about the history, production, various tea kinds as well as how to brew them. After that they also had a chance to visit a real tea farm. One group went to see Obubu Tea in Kyoto, the other one Yoshida Chaen in Ibaraki.
Then at the end of the summer everyone left Japan for their study abroad programs. In total Tea Evangelists spread across 15 countries and 4 continents (Europe, North America, Asia and Australia)!
On 21st January the program was concluded with the final presentations event. Many Tea Evangelists are still abroad, so they joined the event online and over 4 hours presented on both their Japanese tea promotion activities as well as the tea discoveries in their host countries. Some Tea Evangelists made Japanese tea for their host families, some for their university friends. A few even took part some larger events and served tea to several hundred people!
We felt so much enthusiasm from the Tea Evangelists, that we are really looking forward continuing the program in 2023. More information will follow soon.