Whenever we have our afternoon tea we chat and ideas fly during our tea talk. One fine afternoon back in 2000 while savouring some fine tea with my better half at home she cited that she had difficulty finding good info on Chinese tea in English. Most of the excellent tea books of old and new about Chinese tea were written in Chinese but unfortunately she is English educated. Although there are plenty of good books and websites on tea in English, most of them are about English tea which is not exactly her "cup of tea".
The few English books and websites that mention Chinese tea are simply too brief or have some oversights and inaccuracies. Some information are messed up arising possibly and partly from the writer's short on familiarity of Chinese customs, history and tea culture.
Many tea sites from China have good information on Chinese tea and tea culture but these are also in Chinese. Those website that do have an English version of their site are mostly a direct translation from their Chinese site. The English translation appears as it is translated by a computer program or straight from the dictionary, making them quite a challenge to read or comprehend!
During those afternoon teas we would dream and talk about creating a website to promote high quality tea on-line and to provide factual information on Chinese tea in English. Our idea is to create a site that we enjoy building and to share our love on fine quality tea.
We did some evaluation on our targeted niche market, on suppliers and other issues related to the Internet. We created a prototype mini site off-line and searched for some catchy domain names. After slaving over the idea for many months we realised that our dream didn't work as anticipated. To cut a long story short, our prime concern was the inconsistent quality and price of high-end premium tea from China. However, the irony was the high to mid-end tea market don't seem to have this problem. In addition, the small user-base from the targeted niche market coupled with the complications with logistics and security issues render it not feasible to implement the project on a small scale, which is totally not in tune with our mundane intention. Our aim is to venture into something that both of us truly enjoy doing, small and manageable enough to keep us busy at a pace we can cope. We are not chasing after fame nor riches.
Though we have dropped that idea but never our dream of a tea site. Late last year we dreamt again during our tea time and brainstormed on new ideas and a new site. This time we wanted an informative tea site to share our experiences and offer information on Chinese tea, tea culture and history related to tea. We strive at providing accurate and factual information to the best of our knowledge. The key factor from our original dream remains – have fun and enjoy doing it and we want this to become our labour of love.
While I was daydreaming at that juncture, my better-half was not.(Normally she is the dreamy one!) She said she loved this new idea and fully believed in it. I am bilingual, in Chinese and English, a fifty-fifty in both languages though as the saying goes, a Jack of all trade master of none. On the hand, she is English educated and naturally filling the void and complementing areas where I am lacking for the project. If she had no confidence in our dream, or had not fully believed in the project, this website might have remained just a dream and probably would never take off.
No time frame is set to complete this project as we don't wish to awaken from our dream any sooner. We want to enjoy building this project and it shall keep us company on our tea trail for a long voyage. Our dream will grow and mature in time but will never finish, and we welcome you to join us on our never-ending dream.