Thursday, 26 August 2010

tea people in *real* life

Gingko mentioned something in today's blogpost (Life in Teacup) about meeting people from online tea communities in *real* life, and I'm sitting here pondering if I'd even seriously consider doing that. One of the weirdest things about twitter is that I adore communication with those people there, but I really doubt I'd actually want to meet many of them. Some would even make me surprisingly uncomfortable.

But tea people are different, right?

The thought of dodging a pterodactyl while sipping on some tea with Robert (@The_Devotea) is rather delightful. And after having read an old essay at Leafbox Tea about not blathering on about which estate the tea came from and actually having a bit of intellectual discourse about something other than tea, I can't stop thinking about where the discussion might head while chatting with Jackie and Pete. Last summer I was in Paris for a few weeks, and Ice Hellion and I have talked about trying to arrange both going there at the same time someday, and maybe meeting at Mariage Freres or one of the limitless tea salons.

There are far too many people I've come into contact with to list all of them here, but it is an interesting prospect, isn't it? Maybe you've already met people face to face that you got to know first in virtual tea rooms. Maybe you'd never risk it.

So here I am inviting your comments. Would you be interested in meeting some of the tea people you only know online face to face? If you're hesitating, what's holding you back?


  1. I am still interested and I am going to do it but not with a fellow tea drinker ;)
    What holds me back? Perhaps that we all live in different countries far far away from each other.

    Anyway, if you go to Paris, warn me and I will do my best to go there :D

  2. I would not hesitate.
    In fact, I'd love to go on an odyssey , heading through Melbourne, New Zealand, over to the US starting in Temecula , Southern California, swinging through Illinois and a dozen other places, over to the UK for a Mad Hatter's tea Party, though Spain, pop in to you in Germany, then onto India to go berserk in Darjeeling before swinging back through Perth on the way home.
    But as that's not on the horizon, I'll lock up the Pterodactyl and put the kettle on, ahead of your visit.

  3. Thank you for sharing the thoughts! I would love to meet more tea drinkers in person. I have many friends and relatives in Beijing. But most of them are extremely busy and are always on the go. I have to say meeting tea friends is very different experience. It reminds me of the old city in pre-industrial age.

    Besides, I haven't found many tea drinkers in my "real" life where I live. So I hope I will meet more online tea drinkers as well as discovering more local tea drinkers :D

  4. I love this post of yours Mr!

    I'd definitely meet up with some of my online tea friends if I could. You're right there at the top along with a couple of others.You know who you are. I am pretty sure I can tell who I'd get on well with in (this other) real life. I say the other one, because twitter and blogs are real too, just not face to face.

    I agree with Gingko,that you find more tea fans on here. My posts about tea are more of interest to you guys,than my friends I see around.

    What I love is receiving cards, or something tangible in the mail from online friends. Pete & I received some recently and it made that person seem very real indeed. :) So, if anyone wants to send us a postcard, or a little something, feel free..

    Anyway, I think we'll meet someone, or some of you
    sometime. People travel so much more these days, and if the friendships last, it'll happen.

    I'm keeping the kettle on for you,

  5. I've met people from a number of different websites and online communities, and my experiences have by and large been very positive. I used to be very active on a now defunct political discussion website called Essembly. When I drove across the country by myself, I met up with a number of people from this site. Some of them, whom I had never met before, were very generous, even offering me places to stay as I drove through parts of the country where I had no other friends and needed a place to stop.

    I'd love to meet up with people for drinking tea, talking about tea, and just to meet all the people with whom I interact online. I travel a lot. I also am in a very easy place from which I can meet people on the east-coast. I'm about halfway between Philadelphia and Baltimore, right on I-95, and the main east-coast rail corridor.

  6. That is a rather convenient place for meeting people Alex. I thought you were going to move to Madison, Wisconsin.

  7. I would love to meet tea people in real life!

    Though not in a tea community, I have met several people IRL that I met first in online communities, and that has been a positive experience! In fact, I have friends, a couple who I met online, who now come to visit me every year when they make their yearly trek across the country.