My relationship with tea began at age five, in my Grandma Sharon's kitchen. I wouldn’t settle for less than a cup of my own, because I picked up on a funny little coincidence: that’s clearly when all the good conversations began. We weren’t drinking anything fancy—just tea in bags. And mine was loaded with milk and sugar, something that future-me as a tea sommelier would discourage. But it was warm, malty and sweet, and it let me pick up on a key facet of tea: it is a great connector, and a plant that balances.
A few decades later, post film school (fueled by herbals like yerba mate), and then after a dozen years producing content (where my 6am call-times began with green tea)... and after marrying a British gent (did someone say Earl Grey?)... I sat in my Los Angeles living room, as a newly sleep-deprived mom. I was surrounded by twenty women, and we were drinking puerh tea in ceremony, led by some wonderful Chajin. I loved hosting these teas—even though I was fully delirious... It was a nice way to create space for community, busy lives aside, in stillness and introspection. We sat silent with our tea bowls, and shared reflections... There was laughter and tears and a palpable openness to one another, and to nature.
Pulled to explore tea further, I got certified as a tea somm with the International Tea Masters Association, discovering a whole new world in the tea plant, camellia sinensis. A giddiness overcame me during those first tastings. So, I went onwards for various other certifications and then visits with farmers and makers at origin. I am certainly happiest sitting amongst tea elders and friends, sharing the moment. I feel so fortunate to be on this path.
I've only begun my adventures—tea is a true rabbit hole of lifelong learning and gratitude. Anyone devoted to the study and also the practice, will tell you that.
Thanks for stopping by, spirit animal... xx RR