Im just back from China, where, due to internet problems I could not get online to write my blog. On reflection this is actually quite a good thing - offering me the opportunity to switch off, immerse myself completely in a culture and most importantly in tea. It has been a wonderful trip & over the next few days Ill be sharing more details about what I got up to.
Lots of time spent travelling has given a lot of time for reflection so I wanted to start with a few thoughts on why we, at Comins, put a strong emphasis on knowing where our teas come from and the culture behind them. For me personally, with 3 small Comins' at home, it is not an easy decision to leave for quite long periods and travel on my own - it is however, without exception, extremely rewarding. At Comins we don't just 'serve and sell fine teas' - we hope to help people find a connection with this wonderful product by offering our customers an understanding of where our teas come from, who grows them and how to prepare them in a way that makes the most of their wonderful natural flavours. For me this can only be achieved by travelling and meeting the people who have made tea a part of their lives and their livelihood. Nothing beats sitting high up in the mountains watching the farmers pick, process and make their tea. On this trip particularly I have felt a deep connection with the teas we seen growing and tasted. The places I have visited are built around tea. At this time of year tea is everywhere, on the streets, on rooftops during in the sun, on tables by the side of the street being sorted and at markets being tasted and traded. Sitting in the office of a tea buyer overlooking the Wuyi mountains sharing bowls of Tie Luo Han I felt deeply moved and quite emotional. I felt quite self conscious about this reaction but it did not seem unusual to those who I was with - as they told me....tea talks.....it certainly does...I look forward to sharing more with you in my comings posts.