It’s not that novel an idea to ramp up online contact over this pandemic period; I’m mostly just passing on my own experiences with it.  This post was originally going to be about the potential to move expo / conference events online, since that came up in Facebook group discussion a few weeks ago.  I’ve since seen just a little of an example of that, covered by Elyse Peterson in a post here  (called a Virtual Tea Festival).  I didn’t see much of that event, only parts of two sessions, because it was held from 2 to 6 AM here in Bangkok, but the videos are now posted online.

Soo Chung, who was a presenter in the Tealet version and who initiated that Facebook discussion, is also planning an online Nomad Tea Festival in July.  It would be nice if this pandemic was over by then, wouldn’t it?

Replicating a real-life conference might be tricky, but it looks like that is the point.

Beyond not attending online tea conferences in the past, I have very little prior exposure with online meetings or tastings related to tea.  It’s a theme that has been coming up ever since Google Hangouts made that kind of connection relatively simple, which was years after Skype made basic video calling easy and free.  I just never got to it: I like drinking tea alone, and talking by text message is generally enough for me – maybe except for talking to my Mom.  I talk in online groups about tea — and of course write a blog — and have done real-life open tastings and online work meetings; all those themes just never linked.  Until now.

I tried it – talking to online friends in India and Germany.  I’ve met both, that friend in India just the once but we talk online, in part related to me being an admin for Suzana’s tea group on Facebook (Tea).  I’ve met Ralph a few times here in Bangkok, maybe 4?  We mostly hung out at Jip Eu, the Chinatown shop I visit most, but also visited a Thai temple at one point and did a tasting session at my office building.

Image is a screen capture of the Nomad Tea Festival page