As another World Tea Expo is approaching, many from all over the world with “tea in their veins,” will find each other. Their bond will be instant, their connection will be heartfelt, and cultures and traditions will unite simply with a passion for tea.
The upcoming gathering in Long Beach will be the eleventh WTE for me. I just missed the first one. Since I feel we are all guided by forces greater than ourselves, I am grateful that my life changed right after my first visit to what was then called, “Take Me To Tea.” It was as if tea took over me, and I couldn’t be happier by the results of that.
With days and days of tea classes, three books, three trips to far-away tea fields – not to mention tea friends all over the globe – I feel I have been blessed by tea, and blessed by all of those I have met because of tea.
The following poem was written after a Facebook ‘chat’ conversation with Mr. Rajiv Lochan. Our love of tea connected us on Facebook in 2009 which led to his invitation to speak at the first Indian Tea Forum in Siliguri, India in 2010.
We have since become very good tea friends, as well as tea colleagues. Mr. Lochan has a deep love for tea and is well known for being a global ambassador of tea. From his delightful sense of humour, our conversation one day led to this poem, which has since been published. I’d like to share it with you because I feel most of you will get it, and you will indeed understand this universal passion for tea that does indeed seem to run in our veins.
Tea In Your Veins
The powers and principles of the Universe,
are they the same for you and me?
If I believe one thing and you believe another;
do they work the same way?
Tell me – what runs through your veins?
“TEA,” you say?
You state that tea flows through your veins;
some would find that rather strange.
If you were to choose a deity;
you would choose dei-tea?
You are an unusual one, indeed!
TEA is your religion, too?
It is the object of your conscientious devotion?
That would make you clearly a devo-tea!
Between you and me,
tea makes as much sense as the ‘other’ beliefs out there.
Our true conviction comes not from an external source.
It is an internal force that drives us and compels us forth.
Since tea is running through your veins
that would be what explains
the scrupulous care you give this plant.
The Camellia sinensis; grown here,
grown there – now grown almost everywhere.
Now that you know you are not alone,
and have found others of similar belief,
that must come as somewhat of a relief.
Folks from all over the world – brought together by a leaf!
This does have a strong element of mystery and intrigue.
This puts your religion in a whole other league.
Language barriers, clothing, customs, cultures – all disappear.
Look into the bottom of the cup where all the answers become clear.
Sipped in silence, or with laughter, the message spreads.
Others have tea in their veins, as well.
They get it.
Like the tea plant they suck it up from the sun and soil.
They too, have known trials, tribulation and toil.
Since they gave their blood, sweat and tears;
tea now takes its place.
The life liquid.
The powers and principles.
Dogma and doctrine of a whole new sort.
It matters not who’s wrong and who’s right.
The love of tea;
there is nothing for which to fight.
Nothing to take from one another;
nothing for which to go to war.
Boil up some fresh water,
steep up some fresh leaves,
in a sip or two,
Tea as a remedy,
tea as a religion,
tea that relieves.
Neither a renegade nor a rebel;
just a person with tea in your veins.
A Passion for Tea (coming soon)
~Dharlene Marie Fahl~
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I too remember Take Me To Tea. Although I haven’t attended as many Expos as you, it’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with tea lovers and tea industry movers and shakers around the world. As mentioned, Rajiv is a unique tea ambassador who has done so much to not only broaden tea culture and awareness but to support tea pickers in India.
Your delightful poem is right on. Thanks for sharing it with the T Ching community. Fingers crossed that we’ll win the best blog category at this years Expo. Will you be planning on attending the awards dinner?
Personally I take World Tea Expo as the most professionally managed tea show and the crowd is excellent – drawing my conclusion from the fact that our company have been attending it since 2005 – we got so much out of it and the next step is the Latin American market which is totally untapped – Dharlene made us famous when I had nothing to showcase by naming her book in our favour and that was an unforgettable experience..
Thanks Rajiv and Michelle! I am very excited for the Expo in Long Beach — personally, I am happy that we are out of Vegas! Let us simply meet and enjoy each other! I’m done with lists of things that have to be accomplished during the Expo — I’m there for the people — and the tea, of course!
Yes, Michelle I’d most dearly love to see you pick up an award. I am with you!
There will be lots to write about after the event. See a whole bunch of you real soon!
Like you, I attended Take Me2Tea and till have my tea-green satchel that was a door prize. I’ve kept it like new…too many memories to get it dirty or wear it out. :)
One stop for sure will be at Lochan Teas, as I have to meet Rajiv! A big fan!
What a lucky person I am Diane that I will meeting you soon and very hopeful that I will be meeting my old friend Sandy when Erika will be receiving the Oscars of Tea..WTE is setting up a historical trend to propagate the cause of tea…I wish everybody all the best and looking forward so excitedly to be there..
Hello Diane, if you are attending this expo please stop me and say, Hello, I’d love to meet you. Yes, so many wonderful memories of such good people met along the way. Who would have thought our tea journey would turn out as such!
Yes, Darlene, for sure I want to get to meet you in person. We have been busy since closing the store working on some exciting things and I just want to soak in the whole scene and meet people like you and Rajiv and others that we can learn from and network with. I wish Sandy and Michele were coming..we need a TChing booth someday?
I had the pleasure a few years ago of meeting Erika. Tea is in our blood, so to speak, and it’s pumping fast right now..just a few more days!
Darlene,..what booth will you be in? We weren’t able to come but Saturday and just didn’t have time for classes or the dinner. But we will squeeze in alot of stops!