I’ve spent a lot of time hemming and hawing over what to write for this first post. So much so that it’s already been well over a month since the shop opened and I have yet to write a single blog post. Well enough is enough!
I’ll start with a small introduction: Hello, my name is Kelsey- tea lover and founder of tea stories. As I am just starting out, I want to say thank you for joining me on this journey. While I am a self-proclaimed “tea snob”, I am still learning and over time I look forward to sharing what I know, don’t know, and what I am learning. My hope is to make tea approachable for all levels of learning and for anyone who just enjoys a nice cup of tea now and then.
My passion for tea started back when I was in high school and while on a visit to the mall I came across a small -now widely known- tea store. The sides of the store were filled with fancy tea pots, double-walled cups and mugs and the back wall was lined with large jars, each filled with beautiful teas and luxurious scents. It was my first experience with loose-leaf tea and I quickly fell in love, as I had previously only known bagged teas like Lipton and Twinings. I left with a shopping bag full of different tea tins and a small catalogue, which I vowed to work my way through and sample every one.
Fast-forward a few years to college, when I moved to New York City and had access to many more loose-leaf tea purveyors. My interest in this specific store began to fade as I learned more about the different varieties of tea including white, green, yellow, oolong, black (also known as “red” depending on its origin) and puerh. While I was fortunate enough to find several amazingly knowledgeable mentors who guided and trained me, most of my learning went along similarly to many others: tasting, testing, comparing and taking notes. What I found I enjoyed most of all, beyond the tastes, scents and visual beauty of the tea leaves, was the general sense of calm I gained when brewing tea. For someone living in a bustling city with people everywhere, tiny apartments and just about 0 personal space, this was no small feat!
After college I stayed in New York and over the years worked in a few tea stores and tea rooms. Even at some of the most hectic points in my life, I always found that a good tea session made things a little easier, even if only for a bit. I eventually took a break from it all and moved to the boonies of Southern Maryland but now find myself living in Baltimore County, in more of the suburbs, but a short drive away from the city.
In the past few years, I’ve been excited to also find a passionate online community of tea lovers and enthusiasts from all over the world and am looking forward to continuing the discussion. Looking forward to posting again soon!