Thanks for visiting my tea blog. A few readers have suggested that I make a more complete presentation of myself, this blog and what it can offer Chinese tea fans around the world. So let's get started:
My name is Stéphane Erler. I'm 35 years old, married to a Taiwanese with who I have 2 adorable kids (3 and 1 years old). I'm from France, but my mom is German, and finished my studies with an MBA in Pennsylvania, USA. And it's because I had fallen in love with this Chinese student from Taiwan that I left Europe for Taiwan over 10 years ago.
A wine amateur in France (Bordeaux reds and Alsace whites mostly), I quickly missed the good quality, low priced French wines in Taiwan. 10 years ago, imported wine in Taiwan was heavily taxed and cost 5 times more than in France. Luckily, I was quickly intrigued by Taiwanese Oolong tea and the Lao Ren Cha brewing method ('old people tea' it was called back then, before it became fashionable again among the younger generation).
But my tea skills seemed to always lack those of my Chinese colleagues and friends. I was never completely satisfied by my tea. So my wife enrolled me in a series of tea classes by Mr. Chih Jung Sien who had just published a book called 'My first gongfu cha book' in Chinese. That was over 3 years ago and I haven't stopped taking classes with Mr Chih. He has published more books in the meantime (Puerh, Tie Kuan Yin, Baozhong, Long Jing, Taiwan's tea street, how to choose a teapot, the world of Chinese tea...) and also maintains a Chinese website called Teaparker with news and various articles about tea.
Thanks to his classes, my knowledge and tea skills have improved dramatically. This in turn has ignited my passion and thirst for tea. I then started to share my experience learning and discovering tea with Teaparker or by myself with this blog. One day, a few readers asked me to sell them the teas I love and that's how I started to sell tea and accessories. It's not yet a full time occupation, but it's one where I put all my heart and passion.
The goal of this blog is to help you better enjoy Chinese tea. How?
1. Knowledge and education are the fondations of real progress in any discipline. So, 'Tea Masters' is a source of education for fans of Chinese tea about the various aspects of the Chinese tea culture. One good place to check is the Tea Master's class room, a page with links to my most important articles.
2. Another way to help you make better tea is to provide you with high standard ingredients (Chinese teas) and the right tools accessories. For this, you can check my Selection. This is a list of the teas I prefer and of accessories I use regularly. All these items come directly from very reputable farmers and makers.
3. The blog allows readers to post comments. Thereby, you can get several opinions about a tea or my advices. This is quite important because it's never easy to define a taste or a fragrance. That's why I encourage my readers (especially those who have purchased from me) to post their comments. And you can use the comment function to ask me questions. If the question is good, I might even write a full article to answer it.
You can see that I like interactivity with my readers a lot. I'm actually even forcing you to contact me at: email@example.com if you want to get my selection's price list! You can send me your orders through e-mail and pay me with Paypal (or through a bank if you live in France or in Taiwan) after I've confirmed availability of all items.
Sencha de Shimizu, Oku-yutaka
6 hours ago