First published in TChing as: tching.com/2019/07/starting-two-new-tea-groups/
Since this is for TChing publication, and my posts are all 2 or 3 parts this year, I'm going to keep this short. It's more or less an update related to talking about tea evangelism not long ago.
I've started two new tea groups. Why, one might wonder? I started one Facebook version along with a Chinese vendor a few years ago, International Tea Talk, and there are plenty of places to talk about tea beyond that (I'm even an admin in a second). In these cases it sort of just came up.
Quora started their version of a group function (more or less), Spaces. It's too early to tell if those make sense or not, if the Q & A form can be effectively re-organized by theme topics in that way. Maybe it will work better than the subject listings do now, and support discussion, networking, etc., or maybe not.
It's this, the Specialty Tea Space. I've never loved that "specialty" descriptor for "better loose teas" but there isn't a better term. The idea was to start with basics, about types, brewing themes, and so on, and then keep going. It wasn't intended to just be my own posts but after going through basics linking to other references, Youtube sources, and blogs I moved onto just forwarding my tea subject-theme answers to there.
Asking others to contribute content didn't really work out. Not much for discussion came of it yet, but with over 750 followers at least the subject exposure function might work out.
On the next subject, I thought I had mentioned the subject of holding group tastings here, but glancing back I hadn't. At any rate one blog post talked about trying an open tasting in a local park last year, and another in a local zoo that was about to close (I miss that place; animal captivity is a downer but it was a nice natural open space, and there aren't many in Bangkok).
tasting at the Dusit zoo; missing a few people who attended
Another recent tea outing was only attended by two friends. I brought tea to my kids' swim class to let people try it there, and then that class was canceled. Getting better organized, setting up a group, seemed like it might make it easier to reach out to people, but only those in Bangkok since that's where I am. I've not really even mentioned it online yet; maybe during planning an event might make sense.
tea tasting with Sasha and Pop; a small version still works well
Either we--me and whoever else--will actually hold tea tasting events or this second group might not amount to much. Eventually it might work to let vendors announce events through there, or others could take up the practice and more of a real "club" theme could evolve. But that "Bangkok Tea Tasting Club" name doesn't necessarily mean I expect it to ever feel like one.
That's already the short version. I'm not sure what to expect of either step or group so more on that might not clarify it; those were just new things to try out.