From time to time, I get asked about my tea journey and so I thought I'd share it here...
When I was a child, my Grandma T would visit yard sales and find beautiful old china for my sister and me. Grandma fostered my enchantment with teacups, and as I grew up, it became a passion. Both of my grandmothers had tea parties with me and I remember them fondly!
I grew up on a horse farm in the Midwest, drinking hot tea as a treat in the wintertime. My father, mother and grandmother all enjoyed taking tea. In 1997, my husband (the DH) and I moved to New Mexico where teacup collecting became a serious affair. In 2001, I finished my MBA (while working full-time at a high-tech company) and started Serendipity Teas. I had all these lovely teacups that I wanted to share! I became a Tea Etiquette Consultant, trained by the Protocol School of Washington. I hosted tea parties where I brought the program and tea into homes, and I taught tea classes through the University of New Mexico's continuing education.
In late 2004, the DH and I moved back "home" to the Midwest. I re-focused my tea business to emphasize the tea classes and tea tastings. The in-home work was too expensive and time-consuming to be profitable (I'm not a licensed caterer), and it was becoming less fun. A key lesson for me - keep it fun!
In March of 2007 I indulged in the Tea in London tour. This trip was a gift to myself for working and surviving 10 years with my "day job" company. One of the highlights was completing the Tea Master's Class, sponsored by the UK Tea Council. I met Jane Pettigrew and Tim Clifton, amazing people and tea educators who are influencing the tea world today!
Over time, my tea knowledge, experience, skills and preferences have evolved. I am now drinking mostly oolong tea in all its range of glory, as well as Japanese and Chinese greens and pu-erh. Tho a good Earl Grey is always a comfort.
In 2010, the DH and I moved to the Pacific Northwest. Here, my tea life has blossomed in ways I never imagined. I joined the Wu-Wo group (for brewing tea outdoors, together) and through that have enjoyed an amazing tea community. In 2011 I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to China, India and Tibet and in 2013 to Taiwan, both trips focused on visiting tea farms. I also began studying chanoyu in January of 2012 and that has been a portal into yet another world of tea. May the journey continue!
Tea is more than a hobby for me, it is my passion and part of my spiritual journey. With each kettle that boils, I try to pause and be no where but in that moment.