CategoryTea Rambles

Vancouver Tea Festival 2017

Last year we had a pretty chilly winter, and it’s starting to look like this year will be going much the same way. Day One I thought I’d dressed adequately for the cold, only to step off the skytrain and realize it was snowing.

My toes were numb by the time I got to the event.

That said, the garden this year was a little nicer to walk through with the snow instead of the rain. I tried to hit up as many presentations as I could, and detour through the garden on my way back. Continue reading

Summer Plans

For the first time in years, I’ve got a completely open summer. Which kinda means I don’t know what to do with myself. Usually I’m either working in the field or taking a field-based summer class for at least part of the break, or filling it with a geography class or two. But I’ve got nothing. I am still keeping my options open on the off-chance I do still end up with a summer job, but all the interviews I’ve had so far have gone nowhere. Which sucks because I got a few really cool ones.

So I’m working more retail, and saving for tuition in the fall. Unfortunately I don’t get the buspass offered to credited students, which means paying a lot out of pocket just to use public transit everywhere. It also means that I can’t check any more books out of my school library, since I’m not a credited student this term. I’ve still got a pile of unread books I own, and a massive public library and archive to dig through. Continue reading

Notes from the Field

So it’s been a long term, and I’m only two chapters into Harvesting Mountains.

Last I checked, anyway.

My life has been consumed almost entirely be geology, and I haven’t done anything tea-related since November, which is a pitty. I haven’t partaken in any spring pre-buys, or picked up any interesting new sample packs. I haven’t really bought much new tea in general.

The only interesting thing I did was keep up with tea club meetings. It’s definitely nice to have a regular group of people to drink tea with, although it’s more of a casual pot with homework club. I try to bring my gaiwan in every so often to share with the one other person in the club interested in single-origin teas. Continue reading

Vancouver Tea Festival (2016)

Two things happened yesterday. The Vancouver Tea Festival ensued, and Tony Gebeley published his book. This is a book I’ve (read: most people) been spying on for a while, and it looks like it’s got everything I want in a tea book. I’d really like the physical release, but I’m not prepared to spend the over $55CAD to get it right now. For once, getting the digital release actually saves you an appreciable amount (I come from a world of ‘digital textbooks’ that save you a joke and a half, pulp books that save you actually nothing [unjokingly, literally, nothing], and a whole lot of publications that came out way before the internet and aren’t popular enough to be readily digitized). Unfortunately, that means downloading the Kindle app onto my slow little Kobo. Is that sacrilege? Continue reading

Exhibitors of the Vancouver Tea Festival

I thought I’d break my experiences at the VTF down into more than one post; I realize I have a tendency to ramble, and the least I can do is break up the flow.

The second annual VTF wasn’t huge. I’ve been to huge conventions. It was a good size though, and busy as all hell. There were a lot of familiar logos about, and then some that I didn’t even know existed, let alone operated in the Lower Mainland. Continue reading

Networking (and the Vancouver Tea Festival)

Or as I’m going to call it, “networking” fingerquote end fingerquote.

To start, the industry I’m in (or rather, the industry I’m trying to break in to) requires networking. Most industries do, really, and on a scale of dependence out of ten, geology’s more like a four. In Canada, your end goal is to become a P.Geo, or Professional Geologist, a registration designated by APEG, or APG, or a variation of that sort of which depends on the province you’re practicing in. It’s (usually) the same association that deals with registering engineers (they like to lump us together, and that’s the case on the west coast), though geoscience isn’t treated as strictly (you can’t get paid as a “geologist” but you can still technically ‘do geology’ unregistered). So you need a degree in geology, and that degree needs to adhere to APEG’s syllabus, and on top of that, the syllabus requires additional courses, and then you need four years of work experience. Continue reading

Christmas Joy

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I’d just gotten off an eight hour shift, and I still had to drop off an item at the library. After that, it was either wait twenty minutes in the dark in November for another bus, or take the ten-ish minute trek up the hill, home. I decided to stop off at Starbucks to get something to warm my hands. Not caffeinated, I had class in the morning. I figured a hot chocolate would do.

It was busy, but I did a double-take when I spotted a familiar name and colour, but unfamiliar package on the display of Christmas goodies. Continue reading

Ode to a Mystery Tea

You were a mystery, given to me by a transient gamer friend who, chances are, I will never see again. I never knew your season, year, or even factory, but you were smooth and sweet, free of pile smell, almost a little caramelized and earthy. Easy-brewing and comfortable, even sweeter and thicker in a mug or a pot than a gaiwan.

But you’re gone now, and I can only hope I one-day find a tea half as comforting.

Guess Who’s Getting Ready For Their First Harvest?

Have

You

Guessed

Yet?

Continue reading

What Would We Do

SpontaneiTea’s recent (well, not-so-recent by the time I actually post this) post on the oversights of Bigelow’s new website got me thinking. And it only got worse (the thinking) when I clicked through to his guide to the Best Practices for Tea Company Websites. I live in an area blessed by a thriving (well, maybe less so now as we usher in the era of DavidsTea) industry of independent tea shops. Not as dense as some places, I’m sure, but there’s a lot within the radius of public transit that I have access to. At any rate, my question, followed by my experiences.

What would we do for our favourite tea companies?

Continue reading

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