A lot of people are working from home now due to the whole Corona situation and it has a direct effect on tea. Both on drinking tea and on the process of buying it. During today’s session with one of ANMO‘s Yanchas, I let my thoughts wander off and came up with a few aspects I want to talk about. Once I started thinking, it became clear that the whole situation has a bigger effect on my tea habits than I thought.
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First of all, I think everyone knows that Corona directly affects your drinking habits. A lot of people are home or work from home, which implies that they can schedule their day more how they like it. This means that they can take a break whenever they feel like it so tea is always within reach (at least it is in my case).
Having time to do more tea sessions is a good thing, but there is something even better. Doing less tea sessions, but really taking your time when you decide to have one. This can be a very rewarding experience because when you take your time, you pick up things that you would normally miss if you are doing a session without being mindful. If you really take the time to fully appreciate the magic of what the leaves offer you, you have a completely different experience. Having more time for tea is definitely a major win.
A negative aspect of the Corona crisis regarding tea is the fact that drinking tea is just that. Nothing else, just drinking it. A lot of people drink tea for the social aspect and to serve tea to other people. Because of the whole lockdown situation, you can’t go out anymore to have tea with others, or you cannot have friends over to serve tea. Tea is something quite few people enjoy in solitude, but you cannot forget the social aspect, which is not that prominent nowadays.
Another aspect that I cannot get out of my head is the fact that tea shops are having a really difficult time. It’s no secret that specialty tea shops are a niche within a niche, so that means that they have a lot less customers than a coffee bar, for example. All the tea shops, coffee shops, pubs, … are closed in most countries in Europe. This means that they have no customers at all. I know it’s a difficult period for restaurants as well, but I feel that tea shops are hit extra hard by this crisis.
Most modern tea shops in Europe have a webshop, but some of them earn the majority of their money through personal conversations with their customers. Customers visit these shops to get specific advice and to enjoy a delicious tea in the coziness and/or authenticity of a real tea house. If this isn’t possible anymore, these shops have a real problem. It would be a shame if they are unable to overcome the corona crisis and have to close down for good. Where will you go to enjoy a peaceful cup?
If you have been thinking about putting in an order at a tea shop that you like, or that is close to where you live, now is the time to do so. I have already made several orders to support my favourite tea shops as much as I can. It would be a shame if they disappear and even if it’s a small order, I think they would be very happy with every order they can get! However small it is.
Save the tea shops!