Returned home for about a week now. It’s been a hairy battle with jet lag but I think I’ve seen the last of that beast.
I’ve been mulling, reading and thinking of all the feed back from the tea sessions. They were heaps of fun and apart from learning a lot myself I feel each guest took something useful back for themselves. Whether it was using different water temperatures for different teas or that green tea has caffeine.
From the start, I want my company culture to be honest and to try to do the right thing. So to lead by example I gave something back to every one of my guests in return. I hope my guests liked the tea and tea cups that I gave them.
From what I learned I think it is important for the company to provide an experience as well as value to the customer. (note to myself)
It wasn’t easy doing the sessions. I wanted my tea to taste good and so I had to bring litre bottles of mineral water and my own kettle. Cleaning and drying all the apparatus took forever too.
Looking back though, I kinda enjoyed lugging my stuff across London on the tube. I felt like a travelling salesman who really believed in my product and it was simply a matter of letting people try it to convince them. I didn’t have to do the hard sell as I wasn’t selling anything, which was maybe why people were so open to give opinions. It was a very honest process and very instant like teaching. I prepared it, you tried it then you let me know what you think and try some more. It really brought me back to my previous job and the classroom.
The main lessons from the trip are that people are genuinely interested with Chinese tea and tea culture. They are eager to learn and to try as long as the presenter is also eager and enthusiastic. Passion breeds passion. I personally felt that the apprehensions and doubt before the trip were put aside when I was leading the sessions. Best of all, I now have the conviction that I can put a great product out there. I really believe that we can educate the West more about tea and Chinese culture. Knowledge is power! “You have everything you need to build something bigger than yourself.” Seth Godin