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tea reflections: jenn broda

July 21, 2011

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We are delighted to post an interview today with a lovely tea writer, Jenn Broda. Jenn is the author of Tea Reflections.  After much contemplation she has decided to stop posting on her tea blog.  Life is taking her in a different direction and she had to choose to give something up.  Her answers are well written and quite inspiring. I understand it’s hard to keep up with a blog, and I feel many others may feel the same way as well – so this is a great way to show an example.
Firstly, tell us a little about yourself, the author.
My name is Jenn Broda and am currently working as a technology teacher in a middle school.  Don’t ask me how I do it because I don’t have the answer, haha.  Strangely middle school kids amuse me and don’t bother me as much as I thought they would!  I am known at my school as the ‘tea drinker’.  My students are colleagues are very aware of my love for tea.  I have a dedicated area in my classroom for my tea and my kiddos always get a kick out of me making and drinking it throughout the day.

What inspired you to create your blog?
I knew I liked tea but also knew I didn’t know much about it and was determined to learn more.  When I want to learn more about something I dive right in which is what I did.  As I begun to learn more about tea I started sharing what I was learning with people in my life who, quite frankly, had no interest.  All I wanted to do was share with them how excited I was about tea but they weren’t interested.  So really, my blog was a way for me to express what I was learning and share that joy.  The people who wanted to share that with me could and those that didn’t could stay away from it.  Thankfully as I have been documenting my tea journey those closest to me got a little more curious and are now becoming more interested in this love of mine!

You say you’re not a tea expert but do you see yourself getting more involved in the tea world to become one?
If life decides to allow me to become more involved in the tea world then that would be great!  But I don’t think I want I my focus to be on becoming an expert instead of just enjoying tea and learning through experience.

Tea: what does it mean to you?
Tea is a way for me to feel and connect to myself, others, and activities.  If tea is involved, I instantly enjoy things more.  Hard to explain, but tea isn’t just about taste for me.  While that is a big part of the enjoyment, tea is more about experiencing rather than tasting.

What’s you’re favourite cup of tea, and why?
Thinking of all the teas I love it was hard to choose a favourite!  I think I will have to go with a Genmai Cha.  Perhaps not the most expensive kind of tea or the most elegant but one of my earliest tea memories involves that kind of tea and I believe that is why I love it so much!

What would you say is your favourite memory you have during your tea journeys, and why?
My favourite tea memory has to do with my favourite tea!  One of the very first introductions I had to tea was in a Japanese restaurant with my dad.  He ordered a pot of green tea and I decided to try a bit of it.  I was completely shocked and pleased to find that it tasted really good!  Before that I had always turned up my nose at any kind of tea!  I had no idea what kind of tea I had just experienced but I knew that perhaps there was something about tea that I didn’t know and I began to try more.  Later during my tea journey I had a Genmai Cha and as soon as I tasted it brought back that memory of dinner with my dad and I knew that was the tea we shared that night.

Your blog contains quite a few reviews of all sorts of different tea. What is your inspiration when critiquing and writing?

You know, really I just let the tea talk to me.  I take all my pictures before I brew the tea so I can get a feel for the leaves and the fragrance, then I make a cup.  With my cup in hand I sit quietly and experience the tea without any sort of writing tools around me.  Once I am done I can sit with my computer and hope that I have the words to describe what I just enjoyed or didn’t enjoy.  There have been a few times where I couldn’t write after drinking my cup because the tea was so complex I didn’t feel I had words just then to write.

Any last words you’d like to say:
I like to simply encourage people to explore, experience, and enjoy tea.  I truly believe my life is richer because of it!

Best wishes with your new direction in life! Keep steeping…

The post tea reflections: jenn broda appeared first on The Cup of Life.



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