The very first edition of Tea Masters Cup for Canada took place in conjunction with The Canadian Coffee and Tea Show in September. Led by the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada and judged by several respected individuals in the tea industry, the event was highly successful, perfectly executed, beneficially competitive, an asset for building respect and awareness to the tea industry while fueling pride in the craft, expertise, and passion for educating, creating, and serving tea with deep knowledge and creativity.
Announcement of winners and future competitions may be found via the event website here: TeaMastersCanada.com
As followup to my previous blog entry on this topic (here), I'm sharing my view and observations of the event as described below. In brief, it was a fantastic event and I am very happy to have been appointed as one of the judges.
A competition, you say? While scratching your head or rolling your eyes? I understand why you might do this. But, I ask you to think about it for a moment. When was the last time you attended a competition for .. say… one of your children? In competitive sports perhaps? Or in the school band/playing an instrument? Or as part of any particular club for any particular interest. Competitions exist to strengthen personal skills through interaction, challenges, and perseverance.
Another thing to think about... Do you know anyone who specializes in something in particular and is frequently called upon to speak at an event or lead some sort of group activity for personal or business enjoyment and continuing education? When someone is given an opportunity to share their knowledge, it benefits their career, provides an opportunity to communicate with others, and further fuels their passion on a topic near and dear to their heart. When our work is joyful and we present our knowledge with passion, it never feels like work at all but some wonderful way to connect with others and somehow make the day better.
Tea Masters Cup, from my point of view, is just one more way for people with a passion for tea to share their knowledge, feel joy, and impart the goodness of tea onto others. If you are a “tea person” you already know what I mean by this. Tea is healthy, yes. But tea is also connecting on a different level. It can be a self-fulfilling, self-care, quiet reflection for yourself, or it can be something very connecting and special to share with others in many different ways.
After judging these two competitions, I can tell you that it felt great! It moved us. The passion, excitement, and pride of the competitors was evident in their performances but also by seeing the time and energy and forethought they had put into preparing for their moment in the spotlight. Under pressure and a timer, each participant gave it their all, impressed the judges, and moved us almost to tears. While all received a certificate of participation, and only one winner was chosen per category, each should be applauded for their fantastic showmanship.
If you have a passion for tea, do not underestimate your ability to share that with others. Find a Tea Masters Cup competition in your part of the world and register to compete. Winners go on to an international competition at the end of the year.
For the Love of Tea. . .
~ Gail Gastelu, The Tea House Times
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