Article Wenzhuo Liu
Photo Odile Hain
Olaf Tarmas is a professional journalist in Hamburg, Germany. As a student, he worked in a tea shop and became attached to tea. During his career and personal travel, he visited several tea producing places and traditional tea drinking areas in Asia and Europe. He, together with some tea people in German speaking areas and several organizers of Berlin Tea Festival, launched the first German tea magazine t-Magazin in March 2022. In April, C*Space, a shared space in Berlin, Germany, held a press conference for the magazine. In October, it helped organize the Pop-up event Berlin Tea Festival.
When he was studying, Olaf worked in a tea shop in Hamburg, tasted a lot of tea, and fell in love with tea. In 2011, he had a trip to Taiwan. He broadened his horizons, not only to taste tea, but also to pay attention to Chinese tea culture. In recent years, he has successively visited Laos in Asia and the tea producing areas near the Black Sea in Europe, as well as East Frisian, the place of German tea culture. He has gradually formed the idea of developing a German tea magazine. In the European tea reading market, very few English tea magazines have appeared in recent years, which are recommended by tea lovers in Europe. Such magazines are still vacant in the German market, which is a good opportunity for Olaf. Not only does he combine his favorite writing, tea tasting and travel, but also hopes to bring the German speaking people the pleasure of drinking tea and learn more about tea culture.
Nowadays, in the era of diversified multimedia and the gradual decline of traditional paper media, tea is not a hot topic in Germany. It is still quite challenging to publish a tea magazine. Of course, the successful formation of the magazine cannot be separated from advertising and sponsorship, it has received support from many German tea practitioners. The tea magazine covers less than fifty pages, hoping to focus on tea, traditional tea culture and discover new tea culture, introduce some simple tea history and tea science, the first edition focuses on green tea, and relate to tea people, tea enterprises, tea gardens and craftsmen in Germany who have some connections with Asia. The basic standard configuration of tea people is to travel to China, Japan and other Asian countries to study and experience foreign tea culture, and then return to Germany to introduce Asian tea culture. I was also lucky to be interviewed, Olaf wrote an article introducing my tea project in Germany. It seems that the combination of tea culture and modern Germany is more modern simple decoration and modern tea sets, the combination with food, creative brewing method, or tea drinking health care and European organic standards.
It has been more than half a year since the launch of Tea magazine in April. Although the total sales volume is difficult to estimate temporarily, the Tea magazine team is satisfied with the current starting stage. As an experimental attempt, the first issue is mainly to accumulate experience. The main audience of the magazine is very clear to ordinary readers. The entry-level tea reading materials need to be simple and understandable in content and art design. Readers’ feedback was also generally positive and enthusiastic, the new choice is added to the German tea reading market. The number of pages in the second issue of this winter will be increased to 76, keeping the main framework unchanged. There is not only European blended black tea, which is familiar to ordinary German readers, but also Oolong tea and Pu’er tea, which are popular with advanced tea players. Tea sets and tea food are also involved, and tea science will introduce some basic tea biochemistry.
Tea magazine held a press conference in April this year, and I was also invited to participate. The event was held in the C* Space in Berlin, Germany, and some small and medium-sized tea companies and tea practitioners in Germany came to support the event. In October, the magazine assisted the Berlin Tea Festival team and C* Space to successfully hold the third three-day Berlin Tea Festival, which was also held in C* Space. I was also invited again. Although the scale was much smaller than before the epidemic, there were still many visitors, full of tea atmosphere. The first day was a lecture for tea practitioners, the next two days the public could buy tickets to visit the tea merchants’ exhibition, and the last day was a tea related workshop and afternoon event party.
Related article has been published in Wenzhuo‘s column Tea Perspectives of December 2022 <Tea Times 茶博览> monthly tea magazine in Chinese, 观茶者专栏-“德语茶杂志t-Magazin是怎么诞生的”.