What or who is „die Kunst des Tees“?
„Die Kunst Des Tees“ is me I and I am „Die Kunst Des Tees“. It is unique, because everyone of us is unique. It has feelings, soul, personality, dreams, love, principles and values.
In 2008, „Die Kunst Des Tees“ was born. For me, it felt like a new life is being given. Tea gives us a lot of reasons to love it. It fascinates us in every way and inspires us since thousands of years.
Since the beginning, I was searching for meaning, authenticity, origin, history, truth, culture and the human relationship in every single tea that I would like to offer. Because of tea, I sit in the plane and travel to their homes. Behind die Kunst des Tees are all small tea farmers and masters, who produce their tea from scratch or even completely with their own hands. We might not have certificates like Organic, Fairtrade etc. on the papers, but I know almost every single person who deals with my tea personally. Every cup of our tea is the evidence of passion and of love.
Why do I prefer teas from the small tea farmers?
There are many reasons. For me, the most important reasons is that, we should be sharing the same goal and passion. The love of tea extends towards the whole surroundings of the tea plants - the balance of our environment; the biodiversity around them and within the tea garden and the living quality of the people who work there. The tea pickers have their own life, home and freedom. You can hear from far their singing, laughter and feel how much fun they have while working. They earn a respectable income and can choose where and who they want to work for. For some, it is not because of money. They enjoy working together with their friends and love the nature. Isn‘t it the fundamental idea of Fairtrade?
I love every one of my tea journey, every visit of the tea garden, seeing the jolly and friendly faces of the tea farmers, tea masters and the pickers and feel like home again every time. I believe, this is how the teas are inserted with positive energy, which we can feel in our cup again. For me, it is never about the quantity, but the quality.
Why tradition, authenticity and culture have such a special value for me?
Maybe it is because I am physically away from my hometown, this feeling with tea has become the most tangible thing I have to hold onto, when thinking of my family / home and my root of origin. I find it heartbreaking to see how traditions/culture disappearing slowly or becoming insignificant. And thinking, without our ancestors, there won‘t be us. They belong to our history. Our culture and traditions are established upon their experiences and belief. It is full of wisdom, which was collected not through reading books or internet, but by means of personal experience, experiments, mistakes, failure and success. So I always feel thankful for all their contributions.
In this fast moving world, we love to look into the future and wish to stay in the front. Unfortunately, we might also lose our ground / our identity / our own value and principle / our reasons unconsciously, as we follow the stream, the fashion, the trend, etc. In tea, I see the same thing is happening.
„Authenticity“ is like an identity. In order to stay competitive, the tea market has become more and more creative with their products. In my opinion, the original identity of tea becomes weaker and serves often as a base for blending to create new products. The „real“ tea started to „hide“ more and more behind a mask (of packing, aromas, mixtures of ingredients). Furthermore, due to globalization and availability of technology, as well as to optimize profit, automation and increasing use of machine has logically replaced the human skills and labor. In addition, standardization is unavoidable for big companies to assure their consistent quality and tastes over different seasons in all ways. However, there is a downside of such developments: these products start losing their „soul“! In contrary, „authenticity“ involves a lot of handicraft, time, passion, love and perseverance. While the masters who specialize in certain skills or teas are growing old but having difficulties to find new students or successor. Therefore these kinds of handicrafts / products are becoming even more rare. Perhaps it sounds old fashion, but for me, without authenticity is like without warmth in life and blood in one‘s body.
Tea is a topic, not only a drink. It belongs to our life and reflects our lifestyle. I truly wish, the tea culture and tradition will not just become our history, so our children, grand-children, grand-grand-children etc., will still be able to experience these beautiful things themselves for a long long time.
This is the goal, the dream, the wish of die Kunst des Tees.