I found myself saying this to someone again the other day—tea changes peoples’ lives. For those who don’t know tea, this may sound a bit dramatic, but for those of us who love tea and have explored its breadth and complexity—it really can change one’s life.
In the context of my discussion the other day, I was talking with a friend who is a counselor at a drug and alcohol recovery center, and was expressing my pleasure at teaching tea to recovering addicts. It has been extremely rewarding to teach this group and I treasure the interest participants have. Each class gets larger with more participants interested in joining the class. Is tea changing their lives? I think so.
In my Studio, after a Tea Discovery Class, it isn’t uncommon for me to hear the words “you’ve changed my life”. A participant has really discovered something unexpected, wonderful and so simple! I remember vividly in one class, a participant quietly tasted without asking too many questions and actually seemed not engaged. After the class she sat in her chair, looked up at all of us and exclaimed “I thought I hated tea and I loved every single one of these teas we tasted.” She expressed feeling overwhelmed by the experience—in a good way.
Tea takes people by surprise and kind of shakes up their known world. For many, it presents a wonderful opportunity to create a personal steeping ritual that is comforting and connected to the world. Knowing more about tea also brings empowerment to explore and ignites curiosity—even if it is just to relook at or retaste the teas at home in the cupboard. Hopefully participants gain enthusiasm to learn more.
My mission in life is to excite people to start a tea journey, or expand their experience of tea… and enjoy its many gifts. Each class, I have the satisfaction of “mission accomplished.”