Iam very happy to announce that a new Coffee Talk is ready for you. I invite you today to make yourself a wonderful cup of tea and dive into the world of tea.
I had the opportunity to learn so many new things about tea during the Chanoyu Tea interview and I was mesmerized, and I hope you will be too.
DW: Dear Valerie, thank you so much for finding the time to answer my questions today. Before we talk a little more about tea, how did you get into the tea business? In the beginning, what was the reason you decided to get into the tea business?
Valerie: I think one of the reasons was certainly the fact that I never drank coffee and I don’t like coffee as a drink. I had this experience when I was 16 years old. I visited my grandmother with a friend (A friend’s grandmother) and I vividly remember the way she served us tea. The way she did it and the smell of the tea did something to me. I don’t know what happened that day, but it was like I was enchanted by the world of tea. After that day, tea became a new passion for me. I used to travel a lot at that time and I always took my own tea with me. At that time, the supply of tea was far from what it is today, so I always took my own tea with me. I was very successful in my professional life, but after years of traveling, I thought that it was not possible to always travel with my own tea. So I started reading and learning more about tea, which was the beginning of my career change. I opened my first tea store.
DW: Wow, what an inspiring story. How did things evolve from there?
Valerie: Over time, we went from one tea store to 10 different tea stores in different locations. We had different kinds of loose teas and we also created our own tea bags for people to take away and buy.
DW: How are your teas produced? I saw that you offer all kinds of teas on your website. How are these wonderful combinations created?
Valerie : On the one hand, I select the tea leaves in the plantations, we have for example different green or black teas. On the other hand, I always have special requests, which I love. For example, I could create teas for a cigarette box or I already created a special signature tea for a hotel. Tea is like wine. In Europe, most people have tea in the morning with breakfast or in the afternoon with a cake. But tea is so versatile. I’ve worked with sommeliers who usually recommend a wine to go with a dish. The same is true for tea. The right tea can add the perfect touch to a meal.
DW: I love that. As you say, many of us don’t know how varied tea can be. What inspires you most about tea?
Valerie: What I love about tea is that it only takes 2-3 minutes to get that warm feeling. Tea is self-care, food for the mind, body and soul. You hold your cup, warm your body and mind, smell the tea and absorb it. Those few seconds can do so much good, and you feel renewed and nourished. A little moment of self love and self care. And if I can be a part of that with my tea, it makes me infinitely happy. What I also love about tea is that there are so many choices. With coffee, there’s espresso, cappuccino, café au lait or black coffee. With tea, it’s so much bigger. The choice is endless. Plus, there are so many wonderful traditions around tea. Tea is a bond and it nourishes the body and mind in a wonderful way.
What I also love about tea is that it evokes memories. When we smell a particular scent of tea, it can bring back a memory. Or it may bring home the energy of summer, winter, the mountains, the sea.
DW: For me, tea is synonymous with well-being. That’s why I’m so grateful that you took the time to answer a few questions today. Tea is food for the soul, the perfect companion for a quick break, and it can be consumed anywhere and anytime in many different forms.
Thank you for introducing us to tea. Where do you get the tea for your customers?
Valerie: I buy tea from different countries. Of course, also traditionally from China and Japan or India or Sri Lanka. For me it is important that the quality is good. In general, the women pick the tea on the farm (in the plantation/tea garden) and the men manage the tea farms. But there are also tea factories where women are pushed and start to take care of the administration (the making of the tea, processing and tasting) . I like this and I support it. For me, it is very important to see for myself how the work is done, how the workers are supported, how they are treated and, of course, what the quality of the tea is.
DW: I saw that you also offer iced tea. This is perfect for hot days. It also shows that tea is not just for drinking hot.
Valerie: Our iced teas are of course perfect for summer. Moreover, they are without added sugar (there is sugar but it comes naturally from the fruit) and 100% natural. This way we wanted to show people outside that iced tea doesn’t have to come out of a package with lots of extra sugar, but is just as sweet in its natural form, with the natural sweetness of fruit. And very good, for the little and big!
DW: Thank you very much for your time and for bringing the tea closer. I hope the readers have been able to appreciate just a little how complex the subject of tea is and at the same time that there is so much more to it than just putting a tea bag in boiling water. Tea can give you so much, balm, nourishment for the soul and I hope that everyone now feels inspired to drink more tea and above all to enjoy it.
Would you like to share where to buy your tea and where to learn more about your tea?
Valerie: I’d love to. We have an online shop on our website: https://chanoyu-tea.ch/de/ there you can find everything about us and also all the types of tea that we offer. You can always email us if you have any questions. We are also active on Instagram @chanoyu_tea https://www.instagram.com/chanoyu_tea/
DW: Thank you very much.