My “Tea Wishes” for the New Year

I’m wishing you all a rich and enjoyable year in all aspects of your life.  Since I kind of live my life through tea, I’m more focused on what I’d like to have happen for all of us through tea.

Wish 1: That I reach more people to discover the dimension, taste and gifts of tea—that I’m able to enrich more lives by introducing tea and help people make it a part of their lives. 

Beyond the taste, tea offers gifts of friends and family connection, encouraging connection to cultures, and understanding history.   I encourage parents to take my classes with their kids and teens because they learn together (rare that a parent actually knows much about tea) and can explore on neutral ground together.

Tea can work magic in connecting people in the workplace, in politics, and all levels of our education system.

Wish 2: As I order tea from this year’s harvest, I hope the tea maker has not over-roasted the tea.

Many oolongs have traditionally been roasted, and depending on the type of oolong, there may be a light, medium or heavy roast (done over charcoal fires after all other processing).  In the last year, I’m finding oolongs that never traditionally had a roast being roasted which changes the character—quite a bit I think.  I love certain oolongs and want to taste what I have traditionally tasted…and my customers want this too.

Wish 3: Please let there be less gimmick and more authenticity with tea. 

(Sorry but I have to leave flavored tea out of the gimmick realm—it’s a great way to have more people love tea).

Gimmick to me includes dysfunctional steeping tools (usually purchased because they are cute) that are too small to allow the tea to expand in the cup or pot.  Tea balls should be banned.

Gimmick also includes making outrageous claims about health benefits and/or adding a bunch of corn sweeteners to ready-to-drink bottled tea.  It also encompasses quick-prepared tea lattes that have more calories and sugar than tea flavor.

Wish 4: Restaurants that value good quality food offerings also start including good quality loose-leaf tea for customers.

It does take the investment of training staff and finding good sources of tea.  It will take up space for storage of tea and tea ware, but the pay-back can be tremendous.   It is such a common complaint from customers that restaurants do such a bad job of offering tea.  Carrying good tea benefits customers and will help the bottom line, but it will also be a great perk for the servers: they will learn about tea and have bigger tickets for tips!

As a member of the Washington Restaurant Association, I’m here to help make this a possibility.

Wish 5: The unconsciousness that allows some people to label tea as “a women’s drink” dissolves and is replaced by an overall recognition of tea as a complex and fully dimensional beverage that has something to offer all humans. 

I run into the unconsciousness regularly as I promote my Tea Discovery classes to organizations.  I often get initial feedback of it being something that will only interest women.  On occasion, I have heard “so you’re going to do a little tea party?”  Crazy isn’t this?

I still get many people in the Studio who are surprised that their son/husband/brother, etc. loves tea and exclaim they don’t know where this comes from.  Well, it comes from the fact that tea is a really cool, interesting, and tasty beverage!

Yes, tea is a woman’s drink, and a man’s drink, and a teen drink and…

I hope my wishes come true—it will serve us all!  Happy 2016!

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