Guo Yitao, from Hainan, China, completed her undergraduate and master’s studies in international trade management in France. The master’s thesis is to analyze the international brand strategy of Chinese tea brands, and propose some solutions for Chinese tea brands to enter the international market. In 2021, she officially started to make her own tea brand, Jiangnan Art, which is mainly aimed at the international market and adopts online promotion and sales. Her promotional videos are very popular, and the social media platform has more than 140000 fans.
There are three outdoor tea festivals every year in the Czech Republic. In February 2023, a new winter tea festival was added to Prague. Agha Mithra is the curator of this tea festival, Prague Tea Fest. Aga is an Iranian who settled in Prague after graduating from university. She used to be a vegetarian chef and switched to the tea industry she has always loved. She organized the first winter tea festival in Prague and plans to hold tea festivals in other European cities in the future.
Liu Xuan from Kunming, Yunnan, and Jonah Snyder from Canada opened an online tea store brand Bitter Leaf in Kunming, Yunnan, in 2015. Through online promotion, they focused on the international tea consumer market, retail and wholesale Chinese tea and tea sets to customers mainly in North America and Europe. They insist on visiting the tea gardens in person, and select niche tea produced by small farmers for customers based on their taste preferences. As a photographer, Liu Xuan’s professional photography also helps to increase online popularity, and also obtained the qualification of an intermediate tea master.
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?
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.
Article Wenzhuo Liu
Photo Raneta Coolakova
Petr Novák, a Czech, has been making teawares for 20 years. In the strong tea drinking atmosphere of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, about 25 years ago, Petr happened to visit a tea house, so he began to like drinking tea, and can socialize while tasting different teas. Through his own researches and visit to the ceramic art rooms, Petr’s tea sets have gradually become famous in Czech Republic and many countries. Out of curiosity about mysterious Asia, he slowly learned Zen and became a Buddhist, focusing on the combination of tea drinking and meditation, and making tea sets that are convenient for meditation.
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.
Inge Nielsen was a graduate student studying Chinese contemporary literature. She was once obsessed with the poetry of Chinese contemporary poets such as Bei Dao and Gu Cheng of the misty poetry school. She studied and lived in Beijing for many years. Coincidentally, when she lived in Taiwan, she turned her hobby of ceramic art into work and successfully turned her appreciation of the beauty of shapeless literature into her love of the beauty of tangible ceramic artifacts. Although Inge now lives in Belgium, her creation is always inspired by Chinese elements, such as traditional Chinese window lattice, ginkgo leaf pattern, celadon, blue and white porcelain and so on.