Continued from Tea Blogging Retrospective; Four Busy Years – Part 1
I was lucky to visit a lot of places in that time, some especially related to interesting tea culture: China, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, and Russia. Family vacations never centered on tea producer visits, but I did visit a farm and a small plantation in Laos and Indonesia, and tea oriented markets here and there. Oddly that never came up where I live now, in Thailand.
It’s hard to summarize what I’ve learned. Many things; it works to place teas in relation to lots of other types, and identify layers of components going into every tea experience. Sorting out variations in sheng pu’er, differences tied to source area themes, aspect character types, aging transition patterns, etc., has been interesting and involved. I’m a bit over 2 years into mostly focusing on that, but the initial start predated my blog.
Exploring South East Asian teas has been an interesting main sub-theme. A few friends in Laos and Vietnam (two in each country) have made all the difference in providing access to teas that are most typically very difficult to come by, with Hatvala’s online selection a pleasant exception. Last year I met a main Myanmar producer, Kokang, and a small local farmer and two other vendors in Thailand helped with the same scope related to here. I really should name more names, and say more about Nepal and Assam, and have been considering doing a post that lists out thanks in that way.
Discussion never really developed much. A few people a year offer thanks, related to blog information and discussion input, and I meet a number of visitors to Bangkok, but beyond that I don’t hear much feedback. It was never about praise, or even mostly about me, so it has all worked out.
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