Saturday, October 31, 2009

10 Questions with Jason Witt

If you have been reading and/or writing a tea blog lately odds are good you have come across Jason Witt. The author of two books on spirituality and a weekly e-newsletter, his latest book deals with the spirituality of tea. The following ten questions were conducted via e-mail.

1. For those who have never read your newsletter, could you describe it?

I call my email newsletter “Teaternity” and it’s about the spirituality of tea. But this is often in the context of health so a lot of attention is given to the healing properties of tea and why it’s better than coffee, etc.

2. What would you like the impact of your newsletter to be?

I just want to reach everyone who’s interested in the tea faith specifically. That could end up being a lot of people at least here in America.

3. Could you give us a brief day in the life of Jason Witt? How much tea does it involve?

I get up at 3:00 or 4:00 am. In the morning I do certain tasks that change with time. Lately I’ve been getting my book “Spirituality of Tea” ready in the mornings. In the afternoon I do commenting on the 200 tea blogs that I follow. Throughout the day I drink about 5 liters of Puerh. And I could even drink more on many days if I didn’t slow down deliberately.

4. How has having written two books about religion influenced your tea drinking experience?

Jesus gave of Himself in the form of food (bread and wine) and He encouraged the devoted to bring their own offering to the table. I want to give of myself as if I were tea.

5. You say on your website that you like “tea-themed music of all eras”, could you explain?

The 20th Century and modern times holds a lot of music that mentions tea or puts it totally in the spotlight. I’m collecting these songs with my ability on the Internet to search lyrics databases. Right now I’m in the processing of collecting songs about a “cup of tea” and there are many because they make good love songs. Everyone wants to meet the person who’s their cup of tea.

6. What’s it like being a tea drinker in Minnesota? Any favorite spots or shops?

There’s one hip tea shop, The Tea Garden, Inc that’s in some cool neighborhoods. But since I’m a Puerh Guy, I just can’t get that locally in any variety like I want it. I like bringing Puerh with me and just getting hot water in coffee shops.

7. A major topic in your newsletter is choosing tea over coffee, when did you last (if ever) drink coffee?

A few months ago I realized that I may never again touch coffee, even for the rest of my life. There have been times when I’ve drunk my share of coffee but it’s been rare in recent years. In Fall of 2008 I quit all caffeine (including tea) for a couple months. That only served to open up to me my devotion to tea when I started drinking it again.

8. If someone wanted to make the switch from coffee to tea, where should they begin?

I would say to sample different kinds of tea a lot to find out what you like. Find stores online that offer samples and find out the difference between Oolong, green, and black. Sometimes I say to switch right to Puerh also, especially if the person was particularly fond of coffee.

9. What do you envision for the future of tea drinking in America?

I see the growth of the tea industry continuing at least until the Baby Boomers are all mostly gone. That’s because they’re driving the current obsession with health of the body as they age. That’s made tea more and more appealing.

10. Is there anything you would like to add?

If you’re interested in my book “Spirituality of Tea” then you can get a free copy of it in PDF by signing up for my newsletter. And so that it’s easier to read, I’ve priced the book at $12.95 so it doesn’t cost too much to grab a copy or two.

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