Looking back on my early life, I can see quite plainly the key influences that led me to my present love affair with tea. Growing up in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, I was perpetually surrounded by tea, both from the tea cultures of Asian immigrants living in the city, and from the traditions of my European-descendent family. These early experiences and exposures to the vast world of tea groomed me into the tea-addict and enthusiast I am today, and without a doubt have heavily influenced my tastes in tea and teaware.
Growing up, my earliest exposure to tea came from my grandparents. Sitting in the dining rooms and living rooms of my grandparents, filled with furniture older than I was and all of it beautiful, we would sip tea from china teacups that had been passed down generations. This early tea drinking setting have heavily influenced my current tastes in teaware. Even still I find myself reaching towards the traditional English-style teapot and cups to enjoy my daily tea-fix. I am lucky enough to have in my cupboard the teacups of my great-grandmother. When I drink from them, I am reminded of my family and of those afternoons in my grandparent’s living rooms. I am reminded of the customs that had to be respected while serving and enjoying tea (as taught by my grandparents of course).
As anyone living in the Brampton area can attest, the Asian population adds a vibrant cultural depth to the city and to the people in it. With the high population of asian immigrants and their descendants, I was introduced to chai, oolong, and green tea early on. I quickly fell in love with these tea styles and their stories and they quickly became the basis of my tea drinking routine. Even still I am drawn to the Asian tea varieties, particularly Pu-erh, which many of you who have read my reviews will know. Asia is the birthplace of tea and as a result there are numerous stories, myths, and legends associated with the beverage that provide nearly endless entertainment.
As you can see, my early life has greatly influenced my current tastes and habits when it comes to tea. Looking on our pasts can tell us a great deal about how we got to our present state. It tells us of our path and may even tell us something of our future habits. Take a look at the past influences that got you to your current tastes and preferences in tea and how your past may influence your future.