Thomas Langnickel-Stiegler, a German, is a freelance advertising writer who, due to his love of drinking tea, has done a lot of advertising planning for several well-known German companies regarding tea. He advocates that brands should not create an image without ground, but should be customer-oriented, tell the brand story well, and actively engage with customers. He believes that in Europe, at least in Germany, drinking tea will become a positive attitude and healthy lifestyle in the near future, and Europeans will be willing to spend more money on drinking better tea. Thomas also hopes to put forward some personal opinions and suggestions to Chinese tea brands that want to enter the German market, and discuss with me whether Chinese tea should bravely show its characteristics and take the initiative to define itself, as well as the international status of Chinese tea culture history.
Katja Hellkötter and Jan Siefke, the Germans who have lived in Hong Kong and Shanghai for many years, are international cooperation expert and photographer respectively. Katja won the Shanghai City Silver Magnolia Award in 2012. In 2015, they opened a co-working creative project workspace C*Space in Berlin, Germany. Freelancers, artists, companies or associations can rent this space to organize corresponding activities. It is worth noting that C*Space have been always setting tea stations in the activities, encourage guests to drink more tea. From 2020, a POP-UP teahouse has been built in the space at a fixed time every Friday, mainly managed by Jan and Lavia Lin, a Shanghai girl. How can this space be inextricably bound up with China, establish more folk cultural exchanges between Germany and China, and promote Chinese tea and tea culture in activities?
Stephan Sun, a German-born Chinese, started his career as a red wine online brand after graduating from economics. In 2016, he developed the tea brand Tea Addicts with his friends Jürgen Pitzschel and Jann-Volquard Posenauer in Hamburg. They are not only active in online social media, but also actively promote on television and radio in several mainstream media in Hamburg. Stephan has visited tea gardens around the world to purchase tea, and has visited several tea regions in China. His years of experience have also given him new plans. In 2023, he left the tea brand and prepared to enter fields of tea tree planting and tea processing in the future, such as owning his own tea garden.
Martin Bohacik, born in Slovakia, was once the product manager of the British advertising company. After moving to Portugal, he started his own tea “marathon”. As editor-in-chief, Martin, with the help of writers, illustrators, photographers and other personnel, officially released a paper tea magazine named “Eighty Degree” in November 2018, and became famous at once. The response was enthusiastic in the “tea circle” in Europe. I also bought several copies after hearing the news. Martin acknowledged that the magazine seems to have successfully filled a gap in the tea world in Europe and even the world. Over the years, this magazine is still hot. At the beginning of 2023, the ninth issue of the magazine will be released soon. International popular tea readings are very ideal media for the promotion of Chinese tea and tea culture. I can’t help but wonder, there are so many interesting and knowledgeable tea reading materials in the Chinese market, whether they should take the initiative to “positioning” themselves internationally, translate or publish more tea readings in English or other languages?
Two ethnic minority girls from Yunnan, Yuan Yi and Ma Yunhui, graduated from Berlin, Germany with a master’s degree in business. Together, they registered a trading company in Germany and started the Yunnan tea business, focusing on high-quality high-quality tea in Yunnan. After meeting senior tea enthusiasts Morten Menge of Germany and Alexander Ludwig of Austria, four tea lovers formed a team. From 2018 to 2022, they held three times Berlin Tea Festival in Berlin, Germany. In recent years, there have been many small and medium-sized tea festivals in Europe. What opportunities are offered to tea enterprises and tea institutions that want to go global?
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.
German product designer Maurice Eric Zacher fell in love with drinking tea many years ago. He was familiar with tea sets, and has designed and transformed many tea sets. After studying and working in Japan intermittently for many years, he was not only keen on tasting tea, tea and tea food, but also visited many tea houses and collected tea sets. At the end of 2020, he returned to Germany and began to plant tea trees, now there are hundreds of tea seedlings of different varieties on his big balcony. This spring, he also picked fresh tea leaves and made steamed green tea. In the future, he will launch more design projects related to tea, establish a tea garden in Hesse, Germany, and produce Japanese green tea or Chinese white tea.
Although Marcel Karcher has seven years of professional experience as a business consultant and financial analyst, because he likes drinking tea, he once had the idea of making tea trade. Finally, he found a more suitable one to make ceramic tea sets, and began to sell his works three years ago. Ordinary people are not particularly picky about the ceramics used to make tableware, but the tea people are different. They brew different kinds of tea and use tea sets with different materials and functions, which have relatively fine requirements for ceramic craftsmen. Marcel felt that Western ceramic artists did not pay attention to the later trimming of the ceramic body after throwing the body, while he liked to make thin body and trim to very details.
Nowadays, more and more young people are no longer satisfied with the lifestyle of “single career”, but begin to experience a richer and more diversified life through multiple careers. More people define themselves with identities related to hobbies and spare time life, not just positions at work. One can have more than one profession and method of living. Karina Klages would talk about her multiple identities and how tea and ceramic making have influenced her diversified life.
Inga Krämer launched her “The Secret of Tea” podcast at the end of 2019. She not only has her own podcast, but also social media such as YouTube channel and instragram TV. The accounts of these media platforms carry and fulfill her tea enthusiasm and she can switch freely. For example, if the tea theme of this issue needs to reflect the etiquette of tea ceremony or show the appearance of tea and tea sets, she chooses visual media. If tea theory and other ideological topics are involved, podcasts that are relatively simple in post production will be used, and it is better to add a blog. Tea itself is a complex theme. If tea people want to properly express the diversified topics of tea, one may not be limited to a single form of expression.