Virtual Tea: Interview with Bittersheng

I interviewed Mike T, who posts about tea on Instagram @bittersheng. Talking about the bonding nature of both tea and online communities, read it below.

How long have you been drinking tea?

I have been drinking tea for about a year!

What are your favorites tea styles and why?

My favorite tea style is young sheng pu'erh, preferably bitter (go figure).

Any area or subject that you are hoping to exploring more?

Shou puerh and other post fermented teas! 

What sessions have stood out to you in recent memory?

I recently had a video session with my good friend Ian, whom I have known for years. We lost touch when he moved to Ohio (we knew each other from a vape shop we both worked at in NJ). It warmed my heart that we could bond all over again over something as pure and simple as gong fu cha.

Why is tea a big hobby for you? What draws your interest and made you want to document it via Instagram?

Tea was actually something I found while in rehab, since usually rehab coffee is terrible, I started drinking tea and it instantly became an obsession. Its has been a huge part of my personal recovery, in October I will have a year clean, and I owe a huge part of that to tea! I started documenting it on instagram, mostly because there's less of an open dialogue, being an introvert and all. It's funny though because since I have been more active in IG in the tea community I have full on conversations/video chats with people I have met there on a daily basis! Tea has helped me break out of my shell for sure.

Any tips or advice for people beginning to explore the vast world of tea?

It sounds silly but, go at your own pace and be patient with yourself! There is a lot to absorb for someone new to tea! It can be easy to burn out!

Zachery Wolf