My love and interest for tea comes from different events and people in my life. During my youth my mom would make a spiced herbal tea if I was sick with a cold. Years later I discovered loose leaf flavored black teas and enjoyed them with milk and sugar. As a young adult I had a lover in San Francisco who would brew loose leaf teas in the morning. We would also spend time at Samovar, a tea cafe in San Francisco. After moving to San Francisco a friend brought back tea from his travels and it inspired the idea of buying tea while traveling. Soon I started reading books about tea and visiting tea shops when I started to travel.
In 2013 I followed my interest to Darjeeling to visit the Makaibari Tea Estate. I was ready to take a break from working and wanted to see first hand where tea is grown. I spent two weeks learning about tea agriculture and production at Makaibari. Then two weeks in Nilgiri at the Highfield Tea Estate, then learning the similarities and differences in tea in that region.
From 2014 to 2015 I worked at Paper & Tea, a tea company in Berlin, in a role where I participated in the evaulation of tea products (via cuppings) as well as teaching internal staff and baristas about tea brewing practices.
Tea continues to be a personal passion of mine, sometimes more or less public in my photography, and still the first thing I do each morning: make tea.
This is Tea, was an exhibition I created in 2015. It featured photography, tea leaf prints, and the result of my tea drinking: 5 kg of used, dry leaves on display. Read more.
See photos of tea via this blog, Flickr, and ThisIsTea (tumblr).
Favorite Tea Books:
- For All The Tea in China, by Sarah Rose
- Mariage Freres: The French Art of Tea
- Tea Dictionary, by James Norwood Pratt
- The Ancient Tea Horse Road, by Jeff Fuchs
Favorite Tea Documentaries:
- All In This Tea, David Hoffman’s experience traveling in China to source tea.
Favorite Tea Shops:
- Berlin: See my site Tea in Berlin
- Lisbon: Companhia Portugueza do Chà
- Prague: Dobrá čajovna
- Brussels: Nong Cha
- Thunderbolt Tea (Darjeeling): Darjeeling teas direct from the tea estates there.
- Siam Teas (Germany): very nice and focused selection including Chinese and Thai teas.
- Silk Road Teas (California): Founded by David Lee Hoffman, great Chinese teas sourced directly.
- TheTea.pl (Poland): an online tea company selling excellent Puerh teas and unusual black teas.
- Renegade Tea Farmers (Georgia): a team of people in the country are working hard to revitalize the regions tea farms, producing very nice results.