Where I came from (2016) – Where I’m going to (2017)

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New Year’s Eve came so fast that I didn’t even had time to think of any resolutions for 2017. But while trying to sum up the for me very important tea year 2016 today by highlighting three major events/periods, I discovered that, in my head, I already had my humble goals set for the new year. It’s gonna be a big year and I hope you’ll be actively part of it! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Where I came from (2016)
Kyoto
During a six month trip going anywhere it’s hard to keep your tea focus. I had some teas in my backpack while traveling and working in Indonesia, but the conditions of storing were (of course) not ideal and as I didn’t had a gong fu cha-kit, I only used a tea strainer, which is… nah. The moment I set foot in Kyoto, Japan for a two month job in a guesthouse in Gion in exchange for accommodation, tea was back in sight again. With all the tea shops, tea houses and tea ceremonies in Kyoto and the Uji tea region around the corner, this was the place where I decided that tea was IT. Since experiencing such a tea culture as in Kyoto, my life is tea, tea and tea.

Tea Ceremony with Geisha's before the Miyako Odori

Amsterdam
Returning to Amsterdam in spring the self-study started. I decided that, although it would cost me quite some ‘learning money’, I wanted to try as many kinds of tea, from different countries, regions and of different quality. So I stacked up, first at ‘lesser quality’ sellers and then, finding my way in the tea purchasing world, buying better and better quality over the months. Very important in my study of tea, next to many books and videos, was Tea’s Delight. I would say the best (and one of few) gong fu cha-brewing tea houses in Amsterdam. Owners Hong Tong and Yiemie are so passionate about their teas that it’s hard not throwing yourself completely in the world of tea after talking to them. I’m a regular since my first visit in spring, visiting every one or two weeks for a great session and always a vibrant conversation on tea or any other subject.

Tea Leafster
The launching of TeaLeafster.com last month was the confirmation for me that tea is something for life. I’ve had passions but they came and went. The fact that I was able to work on a website on tea over such a long period without losing any interest, meant that I finally found a passion that is a keeper.  It was a big milestone for me and I’ve had very nice responses on the launch of the website for which I want to thank all of you.

 

Yes, it’s TeaLeafster.com Launch Day! Tea is just so cool and that’s why today, I officialy launch my new website on tea (sitting here with balloons and all in my house). TeaLeafster.com will start with tea reviews and blogs with the intention of evolving it into a more informative platform for tea lovers with interviews and articles. Lots of exciting things coming up! Over the last couple of weeks and months I wrote some content that is available on the website right now. Check it out and let me know if you bump into some problems with the website! #tea #myfirst #linkinbio . . . #tealeafster #tealeaf #teatime #teamoment #teaddict #teaaddict #teaenthusiast #tealover #tealife #teablog #teablogger #teaculture #teastagram #teaoftheday #instatea #amsterdam #anjibaicha #meileaf #teaholic #teacup #greentea #chinesetea #taiwanesetea #taiwantea #japanesetea #newblog

Een foto die is geplaatst door Jelmer (@tealeafster) op

Where I’m going to (2017)
More Outside Brewing
The experience of brewing in nature or city parks is memorable every time again. The fresh air and sounds of birdies flying over your head does make you appreciate the taste and origins of tea more. I’ve started brewing outside since winter so I can’t wait to go out there in spring and feel what it’s like when you don’t have you wrap yourself in four sweaters to survive a proper tea session. I’ve got a new 1,5 liter thermos that will keep the water hot enough to get me through a day of walking and I have a new little travelset in case I want to travel light.

Outside Brewing

Tea Trip
Yes, this is the year. I love China and I’ve been there 3 times for die hard traveling, hitchhiking, sleeping out in the open or in Tibetan monasteries, everything a young man does when in Into The Wild-mode. But I’ve never encountered any tea or tea region. Nor did I know about them back in those traveling days. Currently I’m researching the opportunities to go to China in spring for a tea trip to learn more about where the magic comes from, how it’s made and the people behind it. Of course I will share this with you via stories, videos and pictures. Keep you posted!

(I’m looking for people who went on a tea trip by themselves for tips and tricks. Please contact me, I would love to hear your experiences!)


A little impression of the possiblities.

Tea Community
It’s so much more fun to share a cup with other tea geeks. Together with two people (Guilia and Liset) I met at a weekend course on Japanese tea last year I unofficially started the Amsterdam Tea Movement. We’ll meet once a while to share a cup of our tea stash. In 2017 I hope to meet more people who are interested in tea or want to have their first tea experience. By organizing small Meet Ups, but also by just going out there in spring, sit in the park in Amsterdam brewing tea, and see if anyone passing by wants to join. And by inviting you to step by for a tea session in case you’re around. Always welcome!

Tea Leafster
Of course this will be a big year for Tea Leafster. 2017 is my year to go deeper into tea blogging. Not just by reviewing and sharing my experiences, but also by interviewing and by writing in-depth articles on the subject. This will slowly develop throughout the year, I hope. Stay with me in 2017 to see if any of these new year resolutions will come out. Curious now: what is your tea resolution for 2017?

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