Happy 6th Anniversary Tea Journey: Inspiration behind it all

   Happy 6th Tea Anniversary Tea Journey! Join us in taking a look at what sparked the creation of Tea Journey and how it is a lifestyle in itself. Tea, meditation, art, even things we eat all connect together to create a life by living The Way of Tea. 

     Like any creative work it takes love and time to mature. Road blocks pop up and need to be overcome. It takes dedication. It is exactly this quality that makes creative work so amazing. To change things up this anniversary I am going to share posts from others who inspired Tea Journey at conception and those that helped fuel it for the future.


     Early on I stumbled across Tea Masters Blog and was hooked by his lovely photographs and focus on Taiwanese teas. The thing that he did differently from others was showing his Chaxi (artful tea setting) and how to do it yourself. These posts kept me coming back for more and even to learn how to use a gaiwan. It was weird at first but I fell for the simplicity it offered to brew a cup.

       Around the same time I found Tea Gallery’s blog (which is now a shared space with the Mandarin Room). The thought of energy being behind tea really sucked me into their world. Especially how they described teas, it was a whole new vocabulary I had never seen before. They even took it further with their post on Phoenix Oolong and how its taste is improved when it is raining. It took me a while to find this tea but I fell for its wine like body.

      Lastly I want to share a specific author, Aaron Fisher (or Wu De). I found his writing in The Leaf Magazine. I waited anxiously for new issues to come out for more of his writing, to the point that I e-mailed him for a copy of “The Way of Tea”. Through that contact he sent me information on the Sage Tea Center and (at the time) the up and coming Global Tea Hut tea subscription. While I have yet to go to the Sage Tea Center in Taiwan, I have been a big fan of Global Tea Hut.

     It was these posts and organizations that pushed Tea Journey to what it is now. From the very start it was destined to be a Tea Lifestyle blog. But you may be asking what does it mean? For those who I read their blogs or publications regularly that shared this view in their own way. The Tea Gallery shared food pairings, Tea Master’s blog shared art, and Wu De shared the view that tea can change your life. With the subtle pushes and the leap urged by Wu De I continued to see Tea as a journey.

     Starting with a cup which can take you anywhere. The cup can take you to a yoga class, or inspire you to try vegan/vegetarian food or even perhaps begin to look at the spiritual side of it as well. There are so many more dimensions from this simple drink that it can take you virtually anywhere if you have an open mind.

  Now its up to you. What are your thoughts on tea being a lifestyle? Share them in the comments below, I look forward to hearing from you.  

4 years: Where are we going

 It has been four years to the day since Tea Journey began only days after the graduation ceremony for OCAD U. So many things have happened along the way. The joining of art and tea, completion of the Tea Sommelier program, new friends and  new experiences (good and bad). Let us look at how we got here and where we are going with the joining of these two passions.

How We Got here

  2011- First Anniversary – Find the seed

     

    The first year was a time to begin to find a balance, discovery and getting messy. Both Tea Journey and my art were not sure where they were going. It was the first time we began to see tea in my work (check the link for the second anniversary) and lots of  life lessons. That year we found out that sometimes life wants to throw you out and let you figure out where to go next, like when I lost my first apartment to an electrical fire. The lesson was, you will find your path. It is just a matter of finding the light to it. 

  2012- Second Anniversary -Plant the seed

     While this was only two years ago, look at how one grows as a tea person (and artist). My passion for tea started with simply wanting to try sencha that I had seen many times in my anime (and dramas) from Japan. Who would have known that it started a chain reaction that bleed through into my art as its own medium that stayed for the long run? My art website was born and Tea Journey became my only blog (both tea and art).

 2013- Third Anniversary – let it grow and learn from it

  Last year, I learned first hand many of the tasks that are part of a small tea business. It was a wonderful experience that ended, but it provoked me to realize what I wanted to learn next. It began the quest to learn more about business and all things that go with it. After being buried under many white papers and PDFs, it was hard to know who to listen to.
    It took sometime to learn to focus on one thing at a time. At this point both Tea Journey and Katherine Bellman.com got a little TLC. The chop “logo” was born for my art and my goal for myself (and Tea Journey).  Guren, meaning crimson Lotus. To me this meant rising from the “mud” of non-understanding to above the water and boom (understanding and knowledge). I wanted to grow as a person, artist, writer, blogger, and business owner (my art).

Where are we going

Now its time for new chapter for Tea Journey. Last month was the start of some changes both design and direction. You may have noticed a few things move around, post format changes (look at the photos), colour changes etc.  Over the next few weeks the tweaks will continue, but I will ensure this does not interfere with posting or with navigating (to the best of my ability).  To me this blog is not a journal for me but a place for inspiration and exploration for you. Every tea I write about here deserved its place, every piece of art, DIY, etc everything when the post was created, had its place as part of this “book”. I want to make sure this next chapter is off to a great start.
    With the addition of design changes, the new logo for Tea Journey will be coming over the next few weeks.  This is to follow the new mission for Tea Journey, which is :

TEA JOURNEY IS…From beverage to life, tea inspires us to create a life we love. We want to inspire you to create a simple life that is healthy, happier and loving. All while having tea of course! 

While simple as it is, there is so much that I can share with you. I am very excited to see how this next year develops and where we end up next. This is the start of something new and shiny, so sign up to get updates to your inbox by signing up just to the right.
  There is a fair amount to get done, so keep an eye out. Curious about what goals I have?  Here is a sneak preview of my goals for Tea Journey and my portfolio website:

 Goals

-re-brand/conceptualize design (Tea Journey and Katherinebellman.com)
– focus on how tea inspires us to create a better life (Tea Journey)
– Share more how to, art progress , inspirational etc
-complete Entrepreneur certificate program (more on this another day :p )
-Change posting to Monday, Wednesday and Friday (plan ahead with editorial calendar)