Tea is a divine herb. ~Xu Guangqi
There is an undeniable action when meeting or conversing with a “Tea Person”. It’s the body language, the smile; the joy and openness to talk about tea whenever possible. Like the leaf itself, it opens up to conversation by way of the heart, the root of all that exists in tea. Each person connects to tea in their own way, but I have never felt denied in asking a tea person to share their thoughts on tea, in fact usually tea people are quick to spend hours in deep discussion talking about their connection to the leaf.
Tea people are spread out far and wide on this globe, and the amazing thing is, slowly but surely those who share a similar tea practice known as Cha Dao seemingly find their way to each other. We hope to connect with each and everyone here.
James Schergen and Denny Chapin of TEA DB, are friends and documentarians of the leaf. They started a podcast series for their shared love for tea, and a primary focus in understanding and building a palate for a specific type/genre/region of tea through repetition. To understand our new tea friends we decided to reach out and get their insight on tea.
Do you have any recommendations for people who are just starting their journey with tea?
Take your time! Sample widely and enjoy the journey. Tea has a ton to offer, including endless diversity. Figure out what you like and explore at your own pace.
With increased interest in tea... Do you think there is a clear path to sustainability?
No, I don't. Increased interest in tea on its own means very little on its own. If the increased interest works in tandem with a strong, intentional push towards sustainability than it becomes a bit more tangible. But frankly I don't see it happening all that much outside of a few unique circumstances. People in the tea industry's primary interests are principally economic.
I do believe there is definitely a possibility of sustainability. However, the path is far from clear. Take for instance the push up the mountain in Taiwan. This push for better, premium tea, higher up the mountain ends up as an environmental negative. In this case, the increased interest in high-quality tea works directly against sustainability.
What made you decide to start filming your tea tastings?
Denny and I were co-workers and both had been really getting into tea. We'd done some audio projects together before and just wanted to have a medium to continue our exploration of tea and others to join in and learn with us. If you watch one of the earlier episodes and compare it to one released today, it is obvious that we've come a long way in the past year. To be able to document that and share it with others has been an amazing experience in itself. And probably most importantly, the biggest reason why we continue to do TeaDB episodes is because we enjoy it!
A New Episode posted today.... which happens to be our favorite time period for Puerh.. 80's!
To chime in on their podcast regularly you can go here: http://teadb.org/
Story & Interview by M+C Sage