Respect for tea–a purpose

Inclusive of all people

I admit it’s a stretch for most people—to agree to take a tea class.  I knew this from the beginning, when I was first envisioning my tea business.  I teach because I love tea and want others to know how cool and fully dimensional it is.

When I tell people I teach tea and sell tea—there is often an inquisitive look and the question “what do you do in a tea class?” Then I give my enthusiastic overview about tasting the five primary types of true tea, learning about botany and science of the tea plant as well as production methods, history, and culture of tea: there is usually a spark of intrigue.

Sometimes there is a polite dismissiveness because the individual is not a tea drinker or has only had bland experiences with tea (tea bag tea), and they think they would never be interested in sitting and tasting for 90 minutes.

What I’ve found is when an individual participates in one of my classes, I watch a huge shift occur in their outlook on tea—I like to think they walk away with a new respect for the leaf, the drink, the planters (and complex production methods), the cultures and history of tea.  Importantly, this shift in their understanding of the cultures of tea will serve them for the rest of their lives.

What’s really rewarding about all this though is it’s usually the person who resists the idea that they are going to enjoy a tea class, who ends up the biggest fan afterward.  I even wrote a blog about “the person who gets dragged to the tea class” by a friend, spouse, or relative.  After a class what do people like best about tea?–its all over the map.

So I think I’ll keep this job for now.

Tohei's Farm2

Plucking tea leaves to make black tea

ET Korean Tea Ceremon 2

A Korean Tea Ceremony

Gong fu ceremony