When I first decided to open a tea shop, I actually did not know what kind of tea shop it was going to be, or how I would want to do it. There was only one thought on my mind: I want to open a tea shop and let more people know about tea! Later I found that my trip to Taiwan helped me to have a clearer idea of what I should do.
How my visit to Taiwan affected me is really hard to describe. Yes, I bought tea and teawares to bring back to the shop and I met people and became friends with them. Yet what I came away with went way beyond that. I’ve always known that Taiwanese people are very friendly, yet the hospitality that I received from the people I met really shocked me. They treated me like an old friend they have known for years! All the people I met - the plantation owners, the people working in different tea shops and tea houses, the potters / ceramists, the other tea drinkers or customers I met at the tea places, even the drivers!- all of them were so willing to share! They shared their passions, knowledge, experiences, stories, tea, etc. I truly felt that they were trying to share everything with me! They knew that I planned to open a tea shop in New York and they told me it would not be easy, but they also told me to remember that I am not alone. They really touched me a lot!
I was in Taiwan for only 8 days but the whole experience was so warming that I was a little upset about returning to New York. New York is a relatively “cold” city compared with Taiwan, but a friend I met in Taiwan cheered me up and told me to “remember the warmth and happiness of tea, and share this feeling with others”. So this is what I am going to do: open a little, cozy shop in this cold city, and share the happiness with everybody. For me, being able to enjoy a cup of good tea is the happiest thing in the world and I would love to share this experience with everyone.