In 1939 the British government expected airstrikes from Germany. So they devised a slogan to keep up civilian moral: Keep Calm and Carry On. There were signs and posters designed for the slogan to be hung in shop windows, but they never quite made it to fruition. They survived the Blitz without them, the Brits seen as stalwart in the face of danger, stuck in their routines. I remember the stories of people returning to work in half-destroyed buildings, or setting up just outside. Continue reading
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
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
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
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
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?
I’ve got half a post typed up in another window, and am penning another post on paper as I read the 1960’s handbook, “Tea Growing” by C.R. Harler. But instead of working on either of those, here’s a general post of updates instead.
Green Terrace Teas made a post on Steepster about offering free samples for review; I haven’t received mine yet, but we’ll see how that goes. I’ve noticed that someone (most likely from the country) has gone through and rated all their teas at 100 without posting a review. Usually Steepster is quick to jump on this and point it out, but it doesn’t look like anyone has noticed it yet; I’m not upset, as most new companies posting on Steepster don’t realize this is considered ‘taboo’ until users speak up. We’ll see.
Otherwise, I made a trip down to the Chinese Tea Shop and then O5, where at the latter I ended up staying way longer than I meant to talking with one of the employees. But that’s one way to spend an afternoon. I like the comradery of the Independent Tea Shop Industry (TM?) of Vancouver; my CTS bag was recognized the moment I stepped into O5, and we ended up discussing puers and dan cong oolongs (as those were what I’d purchased). From there we talked a bit about other tea shops and the tea events around Vancouver, as well as the prominent “tea folk” (he was surprised at how few I’ve met from the Vancouver Tea Society, but I tend to avoid large gatherings; me and conventions don’t mix–in fact, I took the UBC bus to get to O5, knowing full well that I could ride it to UBC where my friends were currently helping host Northwest Fanfest). Continue reading
Picked up some tea that seems to have absolutely no record on the internet. …Outside of the Art Knapps store, from which it seems to be a new product of theirs.
It’s always a little exciting to be the first to discover a tea on a community database-like setup like Steepster, although I always like reading through others’ reviews before making a purchase–it helps me decide.
Thought I’d update with a few of my purchases. Seeing as I spent a total of one hundred dollars ($CAN) on tea and tea accessories (okay, they were all reasonable prices minus the forty dollars I spent on a freshly-picked 2012 first flush Darjeeling, but getting to that). Continue reading