When I started my blog and Etsy shop I joined a group called The Rising Tide Society. In a world where everyone is trying to get to the top, there doesn't seem to be room for lifting others up. It's easy to get caught up in a cycle of doing what's best for your business and nothing else. RTS has a different motto, community over competition and a rising tide lifts all boats. I quickly adopted these and try everyday to integrate them into my creative journey.
By embracing community, I've met some of the most talented and inspirational bloggers, artists and small business owners. Most importantly, I've found an enormous community of tea lovers, tea sellers and tea bloggers. These are the people I've wanted to connect with so badly because they share a deep passion of mine. I've found my communiTEA.
Lu Ann aka Teaaholic is one of the first bloggers I found and I was instantly a fan. I've taken the time to build up my blog and now I want to share with my followers some of my favorite blogs! I had the opportunity to ask Lu Ann some questions, enjoy!
1) What sparked the idea to start your blog?
I’ve always loved to write and I’ve had many blogs in the past that I was never great at sticking with. I realized the problem was that I just wasn’t writing things I loved. I never had a blog that focused on just one thing and never had a great themed that motivated me to keep at it. Until one day, I started The Cup of Life with the idea that I would write and share creative pieces that I wrote with tea by my side. After a few posts, I realized I should just start writing about tea, too. That’s how it started and after finding the rest of the tea blogger community I started to grow my blog. It helped once I knew I wasn’t the only tea blogger out there! My blog is also called The Cup of Life because that’s how I view tea (believe it or not, it wasn’t inspired by Ricky Martin and his World Cup song lol).
2) What is your favorite tea?
This is definitely a tough question, but I always like to ask people it, too. The best I can do to narrow it down is say that I really, really love roasted oolongs. I find that I lean towards them more, and I’m never really disappointed by any of the steeps. Although, yesterday I was just organizing my tea stash by tea types and noticed I have black tea more than any. So it’s hard to judge.
3) What is your favorite vessel to drink tea from?
This really depends on the tea. I really like using a gaiwan for steeping and I have porcelain and glass ones. I’ll pick a glass gaiwan or a glass vessel of any kind when it’s a tea I really want to watch dancing in the water and unfurl. I usually drink from porcelain (even if I steep in glass).
4) Do you have a ritual surrounding your tea time? If so what is it?
I start with setting up my space with all my tea necessities - cup, steeping vessel, leaves, kettle, water, etc. I like for my tea space to be clean and not to crowded with unnecessary items. I typically like to enjoy my tea with little to no noise. Sometimes I’ll have light background music but I like my main focus to be on the tea itself. I steep the tea, I sip the tea, and occasionally jot down notes about the tea. However, this isn’t how my tea times always end up. There are definitely moments I have to rush to make a cup and get to work. I wish I could spend all my time just drinking tea in peace. Oh the life that would be!
5) What is your favorite tea infused dessert or food?
Tea infused chocolates hold a sweet place in my heart. I love to experiment with cooking with tea (as you may tell from some recipes on my blog) and with Fall coming soon, soups with tea broths are going to be a favourite and must again.
6)How would you explain the difference in the taste of loose leaf tea vs tea bags to a new tea drinker?
Before getting into taste, I would explain that loose leaf tea offers an entirely different experience than tea bags. There are many incredible tea moments that may be missed when just using a tea bag, however, I still steep one every now and then myself - it can be better than no tea, right? The taste is incomparable. You can find loose leaf teas more fresh, and full. Since tea bags are usually just dusts left from whole leaves, you won’t be able to get the same burst of flavours as you would with using whole leaves.
7) What kind of argument would you make to convince someone to switch from coffee to tea?
Most coffee drinkers I know don’t like tea because of one bad experience. I always try to explain that there are thousands of teas out there and that there is definitely one they would like! I’m able to get through to some, and steep them some teas to try. The hardest person to convince to drink tea is my dad though. He is from Italy so he’s big on espresso and associates tea with something to drink when you’re sick. So whenever he is feeling under the weather I am always there to take advantage and make him tea!
8)Where is your favorite place to enjoy your tea?
In my tea space at home. Oddly, I don’t like to go out for tea that much. The best tea is always the one I have at home, prepared by me :)
9) What are some of your favorite tea brands?
Another tough question! I enjoy Zhen Tea, Tea Ave, Teavivre and lots more. For tea blends, I love supporting independent companies that hand craft their own like The Chai Palace, The Honest Leaf, Blend Bee etc.
10) What is your favorite tea pun?
Given I just announced I wrote a book with this title (due out November 8!) I will most definitely have to say Tea-spiration For the record, I do define the word “tea-spiration” in the book so I’m not sure if you would really qualify it as a tea pun afterwards.
Check out some of Lu Ann's favorite blog posts!
Who are some of your favorite small businesses, bloggers and artists?! Share with me!