How do I learn more about tea?
This is a question I frequently get when I talk to people. Usually it comes at a point that people are realizing that there is more to tea than grocery store teabags. They might have had their first really wonderful tea experience and they are excited and overwhelmed.
I think these questions explain many of the reasons that I decided to start studying tea. I realized how much there was to learn and I began to feel intimidated by it. I then realized that that was exactly the wrong approach. It should be an exciting and wonderful exploration. Too many times we’re made to feel that there are “wrong” answers. Certainly, there are the famous tea experts—and with all things, some are famous because they are incredibly knowledgeable and gifted and others are just famous. But many of us are just learning. And the true “experts” often eschew that label as well—They consider themselves learners on the path to knowledge.
I have committed myself to sharing what I learn about tea in a way that makes it feel approachable. Our job is to learn the basics about tea, to respect the centuries of tradition, and to find what we like!
If you are interested in learning more about tea, you are already on the path by doing things like reading this blog. There are some other amazing blogs out there written by people just like you who are directing their own tea journeys. There are fantastic books as well. Two of my current favorites for basic tea information are “Tea Classified” by Jane Pettigrew “The Story of Tea” by Mary Lou Heiss and Robert Heiss, but there are many others out there. Check your local tea shops for tea tastings and classes. There are also formal training programs offered by the Specialty Tea Institute and the American Tea Masters Association. (I had the chance to attend a Tea Masterclass in London with Jane Pettigrew, so you might want to look at incorporating such classes into your next vacation.) But really, the best way to learn, is to try. Just pick teas and try them. Find out what you like and never be afraid to ask questions.
World Tea Expo
June 13-17, 2016 Las Vegas, NV
Natural Product Expo East
Sept 22-24, 2016 Baltimore, MD
Natural Product Expo West
March 10-12, 2016 Anaheim, CA