Who are you?
I’m Deb, I love traveling and I love tea – I’ve been living in Toronto for the last six months. Before being here I was living in Sydney, Australia and the UK (after growing up in New Zealand). Professionally I’ve worked as a PA in the publishing and retail sectors. Personally I would love to make a living from writing and publishing about topics I care about.
What Blogs do you run?
Tea and Travel, I write about tea and tea related travel destinations, do tea reviews and interviews with tea bloggers, tea store owners, tea-ware designers, the Way of Tea practitioners etc. I also really love tea photography and share great photos that I come across.
How did you get into tea?
Back in 2004 Brad, my husband, had a colleague who drank loads of loose leaf green tea at work, then he got into it, then I got into it, and the rest is history. There are so many things I love about tea, there is so much history, so much to learn and discover – and there are some fantastic people in the tea community that are always willing to share, have a chat and share their knowledge and experience. Tea people are awesome.
Whats your favorite tea?
I love so many and am willing to try anything new but, I’m a big oolong fan, Tieguanyin / Iron Goddess of Mercy is a real favourite; but I also love roobios and a really good quality chamomile.
What’s your preferred method of steeping? (gaiwan, sorapot, etc.)
At the moment I steep in a white, porcelain teapot. The Sorapot is amazing, a little out of my price range at the moment but I think it’s beautiful (and I’m hoping to interview Joey, the designer soon!)
I have a real fondness for glass teapots; I know they don’t have the same history as some of the old style clay pots, or Japanese side handled pots but I enjoy watching the leaves change and unfurl with each steeping. For me it’s a bit like watching fish in an aquarium.
I also have two tea mugs from ittala that made the trip from Australia to Canada (we only came her with two suitcases, so they had to be special to make the cut!) they are by my favorite European designer Klaus Haapaniemi
What advice do you have for people just coming into tea?
Give everything a try! You can go into a tea store and buy 50g of loose leaf tea for a few dollars and just experiment; also trust yourself, everyone has different tastes so if you find something you like just explore it further – you never know where things will take you. Also, there are some great resources online and some great in-store tea experiences to explore. Tea is a big category but don’t feel intimidated, just pick somewhere to start and then just keep going!
Green or Black? Why?
Green, I think. I really love Japanese green teas like genmaicha/brown rice tea and matcha; although I usually have my matcha as a latte with soy milk (& sometimes a little honey) it’s like desert tea.
How many cups or pots daily?
Usually a few pots in the evening, after work; more on the weekends.
Tea enjoyed better with friends or solo?
Both, I love hanging out in the evenings with Brad, sharing a pot of something new – but then having tea during the day, at work is a little calm amidst the chaos.
Share with us some randomness?
I studied Plant Science at University and worked in a lab, pre-grad for a few months for a Summer. The project I helped on was published in the journal Phytochemistry (back in 2001) and while I absolutely loved the experience, it did teach me that wasn’t the path I wanted to take in life – for me, tea is much more enjoyable, and real, expression of my love for plants and plant science (as well as history, travel, social history and writing).
It seems that in the world of tea, there is no shortage of creative and entertaining people, sharing their experiences and using their own expertise to bring information to the masses. I have over the last week been marking things I find interesting, and I have tried to come up with a diverse list of things I found. With that in mind, I wanted to share some of the websites, people, and news stories that I came across this week. Without further ado, the first edition of This Week in Tea:
Tulsi (a.k.a holy basil) is a traditional medicine in India and is also used as a seasoning or herbal tea. Read as Alex Zorach drops some knowledge about handling holy basil properly.
Lucid Quark, home of the blogger Jamie (of Montreal) shares with us her experience with the new tea from New Zealand, known as Zealong.
Jesse Jacobs (owner of Samovar Tea Lounge) shares with us the trade secrets of Samovar Tea Lounge at his website Real Ritual.
Tea Show TV’s episode this week features part one of an interview with author James Norwood Pratt.
Nicole does a quick review of Element Tea’s Chocolate Mint at Tea For Me Please.
The humans over at Little Yellow Teapot brew up Shui Tea’s Butter Baroness and review it for you.
Finally, post that Cinnabar of Gong Fu Girl put up, titled Pictures of Objects.