It looks like I’m pretty (virtually) social with tea folks this year! Today, I interview T Ching managing editor, Regena Rafelson. She’s a retired high school English teacher from Hood River, Oregon and she tells us more about her tea life and work in this Tea Loves post.
As some of you might know, I’m a T Ching contributor and have learned much from this tea portal and its global community. Unfortunately, due to current real life commitments, I’m not able to write for them as regularly, but they’ve definitely got a loyal reader in me.
And for now, it’s back to Regena! :)
Tell us more about your editor position at T Ching.
This is my second stint as managing editor. When T Ching was a fledgling blog, I edited it for fourteen months in 2008 – 2009. In April of 2013, the long-time editor, Erika Cilengir, handed the reins back to me. I love the diversity of T Ching contributors and being able to read their fascinating posts before anyone else gets to!
What is your favourite tea and why?
My favourite tea is whatever I am drinking! I like black tea and oolongs of every persuasion. I am currently having a serious fling with matcha. When I am hiking, I like Earl Grey in the thermos.
What are your tea habits like?
My first pot of tea steeps while I build a fire in our woodstove. I pull my chair and my mug of tea up to the fireplace and drink that first pot while the fire slowly gains strength. I read the day’s post as it goes live on T Ching while I sip the second pot.
What’s the best and worst thing about being an editor of a tea website?
The best thing about being a website editor is the amazing rapport and relationships I build with contributors half a world away. The worst thing is when those busy contributors are unable to meet deadlines. Scrambling for posts is an anxiety-laden affair! (I’m sorry Regena for being one of those causing you this stress!)
What do you think people misunderstand the most about tea?
The most misunderstood aspect of tea regards caffeine. The mainstream western medical community is the worst offender, repeating the “tea-has-more-caffeine-than-coffee” mantra as if it was gospel. No amount of research budges them from their litany. I find that irresponsible as well as misleading.
Describe the most interesting T Ching reader you’ve had.
The most interesting tea reader would have to be this particular person who heckled me about a post I had written. Social media is wonderful most of the time, but an insidious aspect of this media is the opportunity for people to be rude without taking responsibility. I think of it as keyboard rage.
Tea is a beverage which speaks to our better selves, that peaceful part of us. Tea is like giving yourself a hug.