The Problems Faced by an Organic Tea Farm

My friend Russ and I started a tea company – hurrah! Living Leaf Tea addresses a problem I’ve had. Since moving back to Europe from Asia, it is difficult to get hold of good-quality Chinese tea. Working in the speciality tea industry after graduating from university made me realise even more how much of a problem this is: tea is …

Is There Only Darkness and Confusion Without Tea?

As anyone who knows me is aware, I love tea. Some may think this love is disproportional to tea’s merits, but I don’t think that way.  Tea is the first thing I think about when I wake and I have to remind myself not to drink it late at night when the temptation is strong and the threat of insomnia …

Ripped Jeans and Mocha Lattes

When I was younger I used to spend a lot of time outside. My friend Rich and I roamed around the Somerset countryside, playing commandos. We’d smear our faces with grease and creep through the woods, making as little sound as possible, stopping only to carve sticks or shoot at things. We climbed fences and vaulted stiles, and barbed wire …

Living With Matcha

What not to do when starting a business and what to do with a shit-ton of matcha. Last year my friend, Russ, approached me with a business proposition. He wanted to know what I took from my experience in the tea industry: was tea a viable e-commerce product, and would I join him in a tea venture of our own? …

Lost

Recently I felt lost and at sea. The funny thing is, I spend much of my time in this state, at least in some sense. When I travel, I rarely have more than a vague itinerary. In writing (a blog for example), structure and purpose come after hours of rambling mess. I’ve become happy in the space. Some of the …

Seven Life Lessons from Surfing

This time yesterday I was surfing off the North African coast. A twelve-hour journey, a dreamless five-hour sleep, and a few thousand kilometres later, I’m home (south-west England). But when I close my eyes I can still see the water. Sitting at the kitchen table, in my chest, I feel the draw and swell of the ocean behind me, building …

Oblique Objectives

It never fails to impress me how some fulfil their objectives. After setting a goal, achievers seem to march blinkered until they reach their destination. They don’t stop and they refuse to be sidetracked by distractions. There’s a part of me that’s envious. In a way, I wish I worked like this. But I don’t. I make plans, of course. …

Jack of All Trades, Master of Some

Over the last few years, by pursuing anything that stirs my interest, I’ve built up a varied skill base. Although tai chi has been consistent throughout, I enjoy the learning process as much as steady focus on a single discipline. I try my hands at many different things. Recently, a few people have commented on this approach. They use different …

Swooping, Smelling Roses, and Stopping

I haven’t written much for two weeks. I’ve been busy. Setting up a limited company ready for trading by Black Friday, within a month of its conception, is a bit of a task it seems. While applying the lean philosophy, our MVP has still taken a lot of work. (I’m sure I’ll do a post on this, so stay tuned.) …

The Golden Elixir

Standing in her kitchen, it was the first time Eli and I had seen each other in some time. I occupied myself, surveying the pictures on her walls while she set a tray with china teapot and matching Chinese-style cups. She produced a jar from a cupboard. It was hand labelled ‘Ed’s Magic Oolong’. The word is out, it seems. …