What are your tea plans for 2011? I had to stop and think about this. I hadn’t really made any specific plans (I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions), but I do have a few things I’d like to accomplish related to tea.
1. Keep coming up with interesting content for my T Ching blog posts! After reviewing my last year’s contributions, I think some of them were really thought-provoking and struck a chord with T Ching’s readers; others, however, weren’t quite as compelling. It’s surprisingly difficult sometimes to come up with a good topic. I’d like to get involved in more tea activities so that I have more to write about. I’d love to plan a tea trip to Taiwan or India, but I don’t think that’s in the cards for this year.
2. Continue learning about tea. There are lots of great sources of tea knowledge. One of the best/easiest ways to learn is to go to your local tea store and talk to the proprietors about tea. Tea store owners (and employees) are often very knowledgeable, and love to share their knowledge. Sometimes you’ll even find that they have classes you can take for a nominal fee on topics such as specific types of tea, tea etiquette, tea preparation, or cooking with tea.
Another great place to learn, if you’re seriously interested in tea, is the Specialty Tea Institute (www.teausa.org). They offer a tea certification program, beginning with introductory levels, and progressing up through a professional level. I started mine a couple of years ago, have completed Levels 1 and 2, and have started on my Level 3 courses with oolong. I’d love to take another Level 3 class this year, if I can work out the schedule!
You can also find a lot of great information on various tea blogs – like T Ching! I always enjoy reading articles on T Ching and other blogs, and learning either about specific teas via reviews, the health benefits of tea, or information about tea growing and harvesting. There are so many people around the world writing about tea that you can pick up a lot of information very easily.
3. Keep planning for my (eventual) tea business. I would love to open a tea salon of my own one day, but I got off track with this in 2010 as I had started a new job. I’ve watched a lot of people whom I met or follow on Twitter start their businesses, either online or “brick and mortar,” and it inspires me to get off my duff and work on my own dreams. I need to figure out how I can scale things down so that I can start with a minimal investment, and then build the business from there. I think my main enemy at the moment is time, or the lack thereof. It always seems like you have time, but no money, or money, but no time, so I need to get myself organized and keep making progress.
Those are a few of my goals for tea in 2011. I hope I’ve inspired some thoughts about what you’d like to do regarding tea this year. I’d love to hear about what you’re planning, hoping, or dreaming about!