There is so much to learn about tea that it might feel like standing at the foot of Mount Everest when you are new to it. But there are so many exciting ways to widen your knowledge on this topic! These 6 ways are how I learned about tea.
An old-fashioned but lovely way to learn while drinking tea. My first book on tea was the ‘tea bible’ called ‘Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties’ from the Camellia Sinensis Tea House and I would recommend this for people both new and seasoned into the world of tea, as it has all the basic but detailed information on types of tea, regions, processing and tasting notes. A similar book to the one from Camellia Sinensis Tea House is ‘The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook’ from Mary Lou and Robert Heiss.
A book I truly loved as well was ‘The Art and Craft of Tea’ from Joseph Wesley Uhl. Beautiful pictures and although there is less text in the book, it contains unique information. Another book I can recommend for people who look for a bit more excitement in reading is ‘For All The Tea In China’ from Sarah Rose, a thriller-like story on the undercover mission of a British botanist Robert Fortune, whose ‘stolen’ tea seeds from China have led to the current te aproduction in Darjeeling. There are a lot more books on the shelve, so I’ll keep you updated on any other recommendations.
What I do love about the tea world is that there are so many people willing to share their incredible knowledge to the rest of us and two of them are Shunan Teng and Don Mei. Shunan from Tea Drunk takes you on the YouTube-channel of Tea Drunk with her on her incredible tea trips and gives you a really valuable and unqiue insight in the plucking and processing methods. Don Mei from Mei Leaf is an absolute tea star for me with his great tea tasting videos and easy-to-access but detailed information on everything about tea. The guys of TeaDB are always fun to watch when describing and discussing their teas.
There are 2 podcasts that I follow closely: Talking Tea and World Tea Podcast. In Talking Tea Ken Cohen interviews tea experts and lovers about tea and North American tea culture. Highly recommended. In the World Tea Podcast host TJ tackles a great range of different topics: from interviews on Japanse tea culture, to tea sessions with friends, to reports on the World Tea Expo, to book reviews, to detailed episodes on the five tasting senses.
You can read, watch and listen as much as you can on tea but eventually it’s all about the taste. So how to develop your palate and taste as many kinds of teas without spending a fortune on quantities you can never consume yourself? Samples are the way to go! There are many trustworthy high quality tea shops like China Life, Yunnan Sourcing and in Holland Thee van Sander and Tea’s Delight that offer you the opportunity to order 3-10 gram samplers to try out. Saves you a lot of money and closet space!
Sorting out last week’s new arrivals. Can somebody please help me consume all this/stop my addiction? #theevansander #tea #tealeafster #dancong #greentea #chinesetea #zhuyeqing #biluochun #taipinghoukui #milanxiang #taiwanoolong #formosa #anjibaicha #teaddict #teaenthusiast #teablog #teacult #teaculture #tealife #tealove
For me, Instagram is the best social media to get in touch with so many tea lovers out there. Beautiful pictures and valuable recommendations on tea sellers from seasoned tea bloggers. There is a vibrant tea community on Instagram that inspires me in so many ways. Must follow Instagram-accounts: @unyteaguy @teaformeplease @wudongtea @hauyingchen @liquidproust @lazyliteratus @theoolongdrunk @volkan_huoshan and many more that I will either add to this list or that you will encounter yourself on Instagram. Some of these people have blogs too, so check them out!
Nothing beats sharing your teas with others. Make tea friends, hang out with them or go to your favorite tea house to talk and learn more from the people who source teas and have tasted so many of them. If there’s one thing for certain in the world of tea: the people who have a passion for it are always happy and willing to share that with others. Tea people are awesome people!