Asia Trip Recap & Moving Forward | Tea Travels & Giveaway (Ended)

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Matcha bowl and tea spoon

Over a month ago, my 4.5 months tea trip to Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan came to an end. What an adventure! Now I’m back after an unexpected hiatus and I’m excited to share my trip!

My hope with this recap is that it will act as a Table of Contents of sorts that connects the dots between my past and future posts regarding my trip to Asia. The goal is to knit everything together in a cohesive story and for this post to act as a teaser for future posts and to highlight old ones!

Let’s go!

 

Japan

Tea fields in Japan, first harvest 2018

While in Japan for 3 months, I spent the majority of my time in Wazuka, a small town in the Kyoto Prefecture, as an Intern at Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms. Obubu’s mission is to bring Japanese tea to the world! As an intern, you get to immerse yourself in Japanese tea culture and learn about tea and experience what it is like to be a part of a small tea company.

A large part of the interns’ responsibilities is to run tea tours, which I really enjoyed because I was able to meet people and make new tea friends. When I first arrived, I was able to take part in a tour, which was a lovely experience! A couple, Endeavour Teas, visited while I was there and wrote about their experience as well. Additionally, I was able to take part in other tea-related activities, such as harvesting and visiting factories, hand-rolling and handpicking, and pan-frying tea!

Japanese hand-rolling green tea

When I had time off, I had the opportunity to participate in chakabuki events, a nodate tea ceremony, and to visit tea shops and attend a tea ceremony in Kyoto. During my last week in Japan, I travelled around the country, visiting Tokyo, Kyoto, Uji, Nara, and Osaka, where I was able to visit more tea shops and a mini tea festival. I ended my trip with one final tea ceremony. What a perfect way to end my time in Japan. I can’t wait to go back!

 

Hong Kong

Display of tea set in HK tea mu

A big reason I was in Hong Kong was to deal with some family matters. However, I was able to make time for a handful of tea shops. I even squeezed in a few lessons about Chinese teas at a tea shop. One place in Hong Kong that I really enjoyed was the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware because it gave a great overview of Chinese tea culture and I was able to attend a tea talk and taste teas. During my time in Hong Kong, I was really lucky that I was able to spend time learning about Chinese tea and culture!

 

Taiwan

Tea fields in Taiwan

Since Taiwan is so close to Hong Kong, I knew I had to give it a quick visit, and I was there for 3 days. I ended up going on a bus tour to maximize my time. I was able to see tea fields (which look different than the ones in Japan), visit a tea museum, sample different Taiwanese teas, and even brew! During my time there, I made an effort to visit a few tea shops. One of my favourite places during my whole trip (aside from Obubu of course), was The Wistaria Tea House. It is a historic Japanese-style teahouse and was very relaxing! I would recommend anyone who enjoys tea to visit it when in Taipei!

 

Takeaways

All in all, I have to say that I am very glad I went on this trip! It allowed me to finally fully grasp and understand all the time and dedication it requires to get tea from bush to cup. I’ve been fortunate enough to have this opportunity to see and learn more about tea. I can’t wait until I go on my next tea adventure. There is still so much to explore!

 

Future Direction

Taiwanese Teapot and tea tray with tea inside

While I was away, I reflected on the blog and how to move forward. Up until 2018, my blog had focused solely on tea reviews. I decided to branch out so that I could share my tea adventure. At the time, I updated the blog the best I could to accommodate.

Based on the feedback I received, I was really happy to hear that people enjoyed the new types of content. I was astonished to find out that people wanted to read more informative posts! Keeping that in mind, I revamped the website to brush up the blog and to make it easier to navigate and to find posts. I also changed the logo to be a white background for a more clean look.

The trip really affirmed why I love this blog: being able to share my passion and what I learn about tea. I am going to take a test run for the next few weeks and alternate between tea reviews and informative posts like TEA 101. In the future, I plan on having more content on tea shops, events, teaware, and books, so look out for that!

Lastly, Tea in Spoons is apart of the Tea Bloggers Roundtable, the Food Bloggers of Canada, and Feedspot’s top 100 tea blogs, websites & Newsletters!

 

Giveaway

prizes for giveaway, 3

To celebrate Tea in Spoons’ 3-year blogiversary and also the mini-relaunch, I wanted to have a giveaway! I thought three Japanese teas from Obubu Teas; a sencha, genmicha, and a kyobancha would be great prizes for three lucky winners! I personally really enjoy all of these teas and wanted to share. The giveaway will be opened internationally.
I will announce the winner(s) on August 14, 2018.

3 year Blogiversary

Finally, where would you like to visit for a tea adventure?

24 comments on “Asia Trip Recap & Moving Forward | Tea Travels & Giveaway (Ended)”

  1. I have been waiting for this blog post forever!!!! I’m so glad you have an awesome, positive experience. The blog face lift is refreshing. Can’t wait for more posts from you 🙂

    1. Thank you for being so supportive! I am glad you like the new blog and I can’t wait to get back to posting! 🙂

  2. Your experience looks like so much fun! I wish I could do something like this as well. I would especially like to visit Nepal for my tea adventure 😉

    1. Yes! Nepal would be a great place to visit. It is somewhere I am eyeing, but I think my next trip will most likely be closer to home. Hopefully, you can go on a tea adventure soon! 🙂

  3. Hi Connie… I’m really glad you came back, and with an amazing new site and some astounding news! Just the last week I was asking myself in which part of the world you were!

    I have to admit that I am really jealous of your experience, I would like to do something similar; unlucky I have no time for that now. But in the meantime, I’m studying the tea theory, so I am good with that 🙂

    I’m excited about the new direction of the blog, I can’t wait to read all your new expertise in this field!
    My ideal tea adventures? I would really like to visit the Eastern Leaves plantation, a mountain of really old tea plants bought from an Italian guy and his Chinese wife!

    1. I am now back in Canada! I am glad my trip is over. I had a great time but I was starting to miss home near the end! I can’t wait to share what I have learned.

      Studying is still a great step! I have been trying to read more tea books as well. What are you reading right now?

      Lastly, I had never heard of the Eastern Leaves plantation, but it sounds lovely. I hope you are able to visit one day. 🙂

      1. Unfortunately, the article in which I knew Eastern Leaves is in Italian, but for sure there is something in English on the web. It is an interesting story, basically they “saved” that old tea plantation on a mountain from a big multinational industry that wanted to destroy everything to do something else (I don’t know if it was even related to tea).

        About books, I finished some week ago a book about Ceylon tea, published by an Italian woman that work for Mlesna, one of the bigger producer. Unfortunately, also this book is only in Italian, but translated is “The Isle of tea” by Valeria Vicentini. Now I am reading something about coffee, waiting for the 3rd edition of “Tea: History, Terroir, Varieties”. Probably in the meantime, I will try to read also “The Classic of Tea” by Lu Yu, to know more about the original philosophy and culture of tea in China.

        Are you reading something interesting right now? 🙂

        1. That is such a great story, regarding Eastern Leaves. In the area I was in Japan, sadly many tea farms were being abandoned for various reasons, such as the farmers grew old or no longer making money. So, I am happy to hear of a positive story!

          Speaking of Tea: History, Terroir, Varieties, I am actually reading that! I plan on doing a review in the future! However, I am just reading the 2nd edition because I already have it.

          1. Wonderful, looking forward to reading your review! I don’t think it will change much between 2nd and 3rd edition, I’m just waiting because it seems it will be published in a few months… maybe I will compare the book with your review so I can give you some feedback about the differences, but I am sure there will not be much.

            1. Yeah! I’m not sure if I will go for the 3rd edition because I already have the 2nd one. I think it makes complete sense you are waiting! Please tell me any differences you see!

    1. I really loved Japan! But that will always be a fond spot for me. Let’s go on an adventure soon!

  4. I think I would like to have a tea adventure in either India or the Fujian province in China. The first tea shop I visited was owned by a lady from the Wuyishan area in Fujian; I loved hearing her stories of her family’s tea farm and would love to visit the place she talked so much about.

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