tea with lemon and catching up with a good friend

First Annual International Tea Trade Convention summer 2011

Xavier and I haven’t known one another for such a long time, but we’re fast friends. Not sure where that term comes from, but I don’t know of any faster friends.

We met last year in the summer when he came to Munich for the First Annual Tea Trade Convention, and I saw him at New Year’s when he and Sabine came to Nice at the same time my wife and I were there.

I’ve documented all of this here on my teablog, but I thought I’d give you a quick synopsis of our backstory. Xavier and I have spent much of our time together either drinking or talking about tea. He’s one of the many tea people I’ve found as a result of teablogging, and he quite possibly might be the most important.


He’s just some French dude, right? Not exactly. He’s one of the best teabloggers I know, because he does a niche thing that no-one does quite the way he does.

Xavier writes about tea and business. It’s intriguing what he writes about. Every single time I read one of his posts, I learn something I’d never even considered before. Every. Single. Time.

If you don’t know TeaConomics, you should.

What’d we drink when we met yesterday? Here:

I’ll write about the tea another time, but I can tell you that it’s going to be available soon. If you like the things that they do over at the Le Palais des Thés, you’re going to love what I have to tell you soon. It’s an entirely new line of tea blend. Four blends this year and then two more next year and two more the next.
That means that by 2014, you can get one of eight exceptional tea blends from Le Palais des Thés. I’ll review the four that’re coming out this year as soon as they’re available.
Xavier and I had le Citron yesterday, and we both liked it quite a lot. More on that soon.


Second Annual International Tea Trade Convention in London

London bound for the Convention

Last year we had the First Annual International Tea Trade Convention in Munich when the founders and administrators of the site visited me, while on a whirlwind tour through Germany. Xavier also met us, as well as his girlfriend who we met for the first time (and really liked).

So, although the founders can’t be there, I’ll be visiting Robert Godden in London next weekend, and we’ve decided to hold the 2nd Annual International Tea Trade Convention. Might sound like we’re blowing a small gathering out of proportion and making it sound much more important than it really is.

Who? Us?

Like Robert and I’d ever do such a thing. I’m almost offended at the very thought.

Here’s the thing, my little tea drinking friends: we need a venue. Like, desperately. Robert has some favourite tea salons in England’s capital, and I know some quirky cafés that may or may not serve decent tea. Those aren’t nearly good enough for such an event. Hardly.

We need a place with wifi, so we can have a bit of virtual tea drankin’ with whomever shows the slightest interest in taking part in such an astoundingly important event. And it’d be nice if the place actually served tea.

However, now that I think about it I realise The Devotea and I probably carry around enough tea that we could have our convention anywhere that’d let us plug in our travel kettle and give us space enough to brew up. My taste buds are perking up at the very thought.

You’re probably asking yourself, ‘How might one take part in the virtual tea drankin’ and more importantly will there be teablogging of the 2nd Annual International Tea Trade Convention?’

For the former, contact Robert or me on twitter or Feckbook. And the answer to the latter is, ‘Most definitely yes! There will be teablogging.’

It has been decreed.

meeting old friends for the first time

Several months ago, I mentioned how excited I was to host some tea folk in my adopted hometown of Munich. The day has come and this weekend different people in the Tea Trade community will descend upon the Bavarian capitol.

What a joy not just to show off the surprising variety of tea shops here, but to be able to walk through the small passageways of the old city and remark on what’s left of the medieval city.

We met up at the Tushita Teehaus, which I wrote about in a general sense of well-being.

In some ways, you’d expect seeing people you’ve never met would be unquestionably awkward. Nevertheless, the strange reality of virtual friendships means that some people you ‘know’ online have a much better picture of you than you’d first think. Meeting the Tea Trade folk was like reconnecting with old friends.

There was good natured ribbing that whatever was drunk and talked about would find its way onto my blog. All in good time. We did laugh about how terribly seriously we sometimes take ourselves. Or at least I did. Laugh at myself, I mean.

In the next several days, there’s going to be plenty more of the same. There are a few surprises planned for the weekend and I’m sure in the next few months you’ll hear both here and over at teatra.de what things are being cooked up in our corner of the tea world. You’ve been summarily warned.

the Theatine Church (Theatinerkirche) viewed from the Hofgarten.