We are in the midst of a tea revolution where millions of people are just now discovering the vast world of tea. With the availability of high-quality teas via neighborhood cafes and shops upping their tea offerings and niche online merchants, new tea lovers are seeking knowledge to navigate their purchase decisions. Tea books have remained the standard of tea education, but a new wave of education tools are giving tea lovers a visual and rich learning experience. I am fortunate to be a part of two of these tea education projects that are making a big launch in the tea world this month: Tea Journey Magazine and Tealet’s Tea 101 Video Series.
At World Tea Expo 2015, I was approached by Dan Bolton about a new project that he was passionately putting together that was going to be a storytelling platform for tea. At the time, he didn’t have too many details to share with me, but I was excited to hear more. A few months ago he approached me again about contributing some articles to the publication that he mentioned at World Tea Expo. Within a few weeks, I submitted my first article, a feature on an amazing American female tea potter that I met while on my travels in China. Dan published this article, along with several others, in the digital preview issue last month.
In this interactive digital format, these stories have so much more potential to spread around the globe as many tea lovers are searching for their education online. I look forward to the future success of Tea Journey Magazine. You can support its future success and subscribe to the magazine by pledging to the Kickstarter campaign and getting access to exclusive tea offers from quality vendors around the world. As a founding sponsor, Tealet is offering an exclusive all-expenses paid trip to source in Wuyishan and Chaozhou, China for the highest pledge on the campaign.
Ever since Tealet started to provide sourcing services to tea shops, we saw an immediate need for visually rich education materials for our customers to use to train their staff. It has been almost a year in the making and consists of video footage that we have collected from our tea travels around the world over the past four years. With the help of Rie Tulali and Madeline Arriola, we put together a 45-minute script that covers the basics of tea. Our goal was to give the viewer a foundation knowledge of tea that will make them qualified to serve tea and explain the basic elements of tea to customers. Michael Petersen shot and edited video of the three of us reciting the script and displaying the corresponding video that gives a visual aide to understanding the concepts we explain. We were sure to keep the language simple but were not afraid to get scientific so people have a realistic knowledge of how tea is made. Since starting and completing the project we have decided to make the video available not only to our wholesale customers (who get free access to the video) but also to tea lovers that can download the video online for $10. If you are looking for a visually stunning way to learn about tea without having to travel to source, Tealet’s Tea 101 Video Series will be available for download on April 14, 2016.
Tea books will remain the main source of tea education, but a new age of information and media is making a big influence. Tea Journey Magazine and Tealet’s Tea 101 Video Series are among a list of tea blogs and tea information hubs that are the new source of education for tea professionals and tea lovers. Interactive media and rich visual tools are going to give tea lovers a deep understanding of Camellia sinensis. This appreciation of what goes into making tea is going to help the high-quality tea market grow even more. Revolutionary education will not only support the tea lover but will also give tea producers and tea professionals the tools to improve their products. Expect some amazing things from the tea world in the coming decades.