This upcoming week marks one year of The Weekend Sessions, so I would like to take some time to give myself a proper introduction, reflect a bit on the last year, and give a bit of a preview of what might go on for the next year, as I am anticipating some changes.
Before moving on, if this is your first time coming across my site, welcome here! If you’ve been following along for a while now, I would like to give a sincere thank you for sticking around! This site has gotten a lot more attention that I was thinking it would, and I really appreciate everyone who has been reading and sending me messages along the way.
Lets start out with who I am and why I’m doing this. My name is Micah. I’m a 30 year old living up in the prairies of Canada, and I have developed a love of tea and fascination with puerh.
For a good while I was deep into the coffee scene. I was always researching the best coffee, hand grinding the beans, brewing up in an Aeropress or V60, loving the process and drinking an obscene amount of it. Then one day out of the blue I suffered my first panic attack, followed by another one not too far down the line. They came out of nowhere and the feeling was so foreign to me that it would take a while to figure out what it was. One of the first steps in diagnosing was cutting way back on my caffeine intake. I have never really been one to do things in moderation, so instead of cutting back from twelve cups of coffee a day to a respectable one or two, it was easier to just say “no more coffee!” and switch over to tea.
I was drinking grocery store tea but I knew from a previous trip to China that much better tea was out there, so I went to Reddit’s /r/tea community and started researching where to source some better tea. Also in this time (actually, a bit before my first panic attack), my granddad was diagnosed with cancer and wasn’t doing too well. He was born in the province of Shandong in China and grew there until his family fled back to Canada during the war. I thought it would be a nice idea to find some tea from the region where he grew up and bring it over to drink with him. With the help from the /r/tea, I placed my first order with Yunnan Sourcing and brought some Laoshan green tea over to drink with my granddad. He loved it. I loved it. And it kick-started my obsession with tea that’s lasted the last couple years.
Over time my panic attacks started becoming more frequent, intense, and debilitating. Not knowing when one is coming, what you’ll be doing or how long it’ll last really takes a tole on your mental well being. Somewhere in this time I became interested in puerh and started drinking lots of it. On weekends my wife likes to sleep in but my internal body clock wakes me up bright and early, so I would get up and drink puerh every Saturday and Sunday, and leave little reviews on the daily “Whats In Your Cup” threads on /r/tea. It was a nice distraction from everything else going on and people seemed to enjoy reading my reviews. After a few people messaged me recommending that I start a blog I mentioned it in passing to my wife, who strongly encouraged me to go ahead with it, so we settled on a name, she came up with some graphics, and The Weekend Sessions was born.
This last year has been a handful. I’ve spent a lot of time traveling for work which isn’t the most fun thing as you’re trying to navigate life with panic attacks, my grandfather passed away, my wife and I adopted a puppy, then shortly after we found out my wife is pregnant! There’s also been way more going on, but I’ll spare you the details. Through all of this, it’s been difficult to keep up on the blog, but it’s also been a wonderful experience and something I look forward to doing every week. Carving out time to spend a few hours doing this isn’t always easy, but it’s been very rewarding.
My favourite thing about drinking tea is that even though I do it by myself, it’s very much a team sport. The tea community is the friendliest, laid back and most welcoming one that I have ever been a part of. It’s the only community I’ve found that nobody cares what anybody else is doing, as long as it makes them happy. Whether you only drink the gooiest of the shooiest or dollar store tea bags, as long as you like what’s in your cup it’s all good. The internet has a tendency to bring out the worst in people, so to find a pocket like this is a rare thing. I should give an extra big shout out to Jonah at Bitterleaf, Glen at Crimson Lotus, Char from Oolong Owl and Nicole from Tea For Me Please. Since before even placing my first orders, Glen and Jonah have always gone above and beyond for me, answering more questions than anybody should have to answer about puerh and tea in general, and Nicole and Char have been fantastic to chat with about all my beginner blog questions. To single out these people almost feels unfair though, as dozens of people or more have been incredibly helpful on this journey. From sending tea care packages and trades, to a meetup or two, or just chatting, there have been tonnes of people I’ve loved talking with and I’m thankful for you all!
As I said above, my wife and I are expecting our first child to come along in mid July. This being our first one, I’m not entirely sure what to expect in terms of how this will effect the blog. I do know that kids aren’t free, so my tea budget is likely going to have to be slashed quite a bit. I imagine I’ll still try to sample as much as I can, but I’ll need to be a bit choosy with buying cakes. This isn’t the end of the world though. One of my goals with this blog was to do yearly updates on the cakes I own that are still available for purchase, so I’ll start revisiting those shortly anyway and will pepper in new productions as I can. The other hurdle will be time. There are probably going to be gaps as we adjust to our new life and get in the swing of things, but I have no way to predict what that’ll look like as of right now. There are some non-review things I’d like to explore a bit – some experiments, vendor interviews/spotlights – things that I can mess around with in my spare time over a few days so I can still get some posts up when I don’t have the time to dedicate to a focused review. Or, maybe this baby will sleep like an angel and the blog will be largely unaffected. I don’t know – time will tell. Even though there will likely be periods of silence as I figure out how to make this all work, this blog remains a passion of mine, is great for my overall well being, and I have no intention of letting it go any time soon.
I’d like to again thank you all for reading. Whether you’ve left comments, messaged me, or read along silently, I do genuinely appreciate all of you. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go drink some tea.