Attending workshops and seminars is very stimulating. I work by myself every day at my store and I enjoy it. BUT, sometimes I feel I should get out of the box, physically and mentally.
My friend Brock @My Java Journal is planning to start his coffee house in Ottawa. He and I attended the Canadian Coffee and Tea Show in Toronto together this year.
At the show, I like to meet with people who are enthusiastic about the same passion: tea. I met a very nice owner of a small business based in Toronto and I tasted some of her interesting teas. I can't reveal what they are yet, but I will introduce these new teas soon!
I finally met the lovely Ms. Shabnam Weber. She was my tea sommelier course instructor. It was delightful to meet one of my mentors in person. Now, she is the president of the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada. She does not teach the course anymore and introduced to me to the new teacher. I will resume my studies in November.
I took two workshops this time. One was on How to Talk about Black Tea. I still have to work on building my terminology/vocabulary and this tea tasting wheel helps a lot!
Another workshop was the Chinese Tea Ceremony from the traditional Song Dynasty. It was very interesting to see the differences and similarities with the Japanese Tea Ceremony. For example, he uses Oolong tea; we use Matcha-Green tea in the Japanese ceremony. His tea was brown!!! We both use powdered tea and a whisk in a bowl. The Japanese people have learned a lot from China in culture and history.
I continue to see the Chinese influence on Japanese practices.
In everyday life, I think Chinese characters and the tea culture are the most significant ones.
I am glad I went. Learning new aspects of the tea business is fascinating.