Why I want to be mentor in this category: I know quite a bit about tea. An un-natural amount so why not share what I know? I am not a tea-expert but I have learned from many self-proclaimed tea-experts, I am just not pretentious enough to claim that I am one. But I know a lot, so why not share?
What inspires me in this category: I love to drink tea! The aromas and flavours have a calming and soothing effect on me. But I like my tea the way I like it, and I don't like it many more ways that it could be brewed. It's a passion of mine to figure out how best to brew a tea so that I personally enjoy it.
Experience: I decided I wanted to be a tea drinker when I was in high school (it was an image thing), the only problem being that I didn't really like the taste. I wasn't willing to bite the bullet and drink something I didn't like so I delved into the world of tea to find something that better suited my tastes. In the end of the day, I know a lot about tea.
Biggest Lesson Learned: Tea is like wine, but better. Better how? Well, less calories and you can drink it anytime. When I say it's like wine, I mean that you can pair different teas with different meals and really enhance the flavour of both the tea and the meal. It's fabulous and wonderful.
Books, classes, teachers that have helped me: The New Tea Book: A Guide to Black, Green, Herbal, and Chai Tea by Sara Perry rnrnThe Tea Companion: A Connoisseur's Guide (Connoisseur's Guides)by Jane Pettigrew rnrnThe Harney & Sons Guide to Tea by Michael Harney
Education, Awards, Pro Experience: I've read books, gone to a-many-a tea shop in my day. No proper training, related jobs or awards, just personal interest.
There are rules for different types of tea (how to store them, how hot the water should be, how long to steep) and there are many tea fopas. You'll notice that brewing tea "incorrectly" gives it a different flavour - You might LIKE that flavour!
Tea can be expensive (not just the tea leaves but the paraphenalia) but it doesn't have to be. You probably own things you can use to make a great cup without buying all the fancy junk.
Store tea in an air-tight container and away from daylight (not a problem if your air-tight container isn't see-though like the maison jars I use).
Tea doesn't go stail or spoil but it does loose its flavour gradually overtime.