CategoryTea Rambles

Vancouver Tea Festival 2018

The Vancouver Tea Festival came upon me again, and I almost forgot about it until I got a text out of the blue from a friend helping organize it. That could have been disappointing. Since graduating and working full-time I haven’t had nearly as much time to actually sit down with some nice tea, but I have at least been doing more reading. So I’m left with a nice little backlog of books to talk about—if I can remember what it is I want to say, or find my notes on the matter.

So I attended it a few weeks back; following it I relegated myself to my Social Coma. Big events like that don’t sit well with me (well, ‘big’ is relative; ‘big’ for me), and I usually need a good week alone to agonize over social interactions and just mentally rest. It was in the same venue, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden (and if that isn’t enough to make you go, I don’t know what to say; it’s always a really nice walk-around), and most of the same vendors haunted a lot of the tables—some shuffling around between corners (places like the Chinese Tea Shop always take up a corner—extra room for their wares). Some of the new faces are what I think I’d like to focus on. Continue reading

DIY: Tea Boat

Unfortunately, draft and account problems persist, and I didn’t really have the willpower to completely retype this post in Word knowing that I would have to then reformat it once I pasted it into wordpress… So that’s this month’s excuse for delays.

I’ve wanted a tea boat for a while, something more portable and smaller than my (admittedly tiny) tea tray. However they tend to be very pricey, with the lower price-bracket being dominated by one design.

So I’d been thinking of making my own for a while; my first thought was simply to keep an eye out at thrift shops for a large saucer that would fit my gaiwan and teapots. And I did eventually find one, when I wasn’t actively looking for it; unfortunately it was at a cash-only shop, and I had none. I returned the next day with a loonie, and it was gone. Continue reading

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.

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