OCHA & CO. AROUND THE WORLD
Ocha & Co have a global customer base and over the years we’ve come to think of them as a kind of family; diverse, of course, but united by our love of green teas and the moments of peace and reflection they give us all.
We’ve been selling our teas to matcha drinkers across Ukraine for nearly a decade and, as we do with all our customers, we’ve loved reading their emails, their reviews, and tea stories in return.
Sadly, and for reasons the whole world now knows, as of the end of February 2022, we’ve lost touch with all our Ukrainian friends.
We can only hope that they are safe.
Most of us can only imagine how terrifying, how awful, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine must be on the ground.
Millions of happy, ordinary people have had their world turned upside down.
Cities have been destroyed. Families have lost their homes, their livelihoods, their lives.
Watching this all unfold from the safety of our homes is distressing and hard to comprehend.
But there are things we can do to help.
We want our Ukrainian customers to know our thoughts and prayers are with them. And we want to do that by donating money for the great humanitarian relief effort being bravely carried out in Ukraine by the many charities active on the ground there.
So what better way to help out than commission, and sell, a unique range of Chasen Whisks, that icon of Matcha Tea familiar to the tea-drinking family across the world.
Our MatchaWhisks for Ukraine are identical to the chasen we commission to be sold on our Ocha & Co. website store – with one small, but moving, difference.
HAND MADE IN TAKAYAMA, JAPAN
Hewn from a single piece of seasoned bamboo by master craftsman Wakasa Inoue, the final stages of producing a chasen involve the tricky and intricate weaving of a black thread in and out of the individual whisk tines to ensure the chasen keeps that sculptural shape.
Our special and very limited edition whisks have substituted the black cotton for threads of blue and yellow – the colours of Ukraine’s national flag – resulting in a subtle but powerful statement of support.
Mr. Wakasa will produce fifty of these unique and exclusive whisks in his traditional workshops in Takayama, in Ikoma city, Nara prefecture.
They’ll be on sale through our website very soon and every penny raised will be donated to the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF to assist in their vital humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine.
There’s more information about UNICEF and their work in Ukraine here