I read a few weeks ago about a museum that a famous French designer (Yves Saint Laurent) had two museums exhibiting his work, his inspirations and some of his notebooks with drawings of dresses he made or inspirations he had. This made me think about how things could shake down the “old house” and bring some fresh and new air in tea. After all, tea is not only for old ladies.
Inspired by what I saw on the Internet about mode and art, I began thinking about something that would do the same for… yes, tea (I know I wrote it two lines above but I wanted to write it down once more just in case you might have missed it) and how it would look like. I know of some exhibits that did that in the past in several towns (and I might have missed some of them in my look around) but I wanted to improve them and to build something new.
Obviously, there should be a drinking and informative space to allow people to discover where it comes from and what it really is. I know that there are many nice pictures or info/data on tea production, processing and consumption. This could help break some mythos or as some would say some “fake news” that are for tea unfortunately floating like leaves in the stream. However since this is not the main topic in this post I will not elaborate but most of them have to do with health benefits.
I would also add a part with “real” plants if I could say so. I do not think we could make any tea out of them but showing the real thing is always a good idea, as people do not know quite often, what they are dealing with.
However the main thing as I intended to say in the first sentences would be notebooks or old books (I saw many of them on the Internet) showing the ideas behind the blends or the minds at work. There are lot of people around here blending tea and making different things out of it. This kind of alchemy is perhaps what sets tea apart from coffee and properly done it could be the highlight of a museum. I wrote alchemy because for most people, this is what it looks like. For others, it is more a try and fail process that in the end brings something together.
Obviously, there is commercial secrecy around these recipes but I am more interested in the overall creative process than in the final product. Perhaps there could be temporary exhibits split along different brands with some notebooks, pictures… written or made specifically for it or made by specific artists in collaboration with different creators/artists…
This part of the creation process is unknown by other people out of the business and deserves more advertising. As I said earlier, this creation of a blend is a mix of art and craft, something unique that could open the eyes of people, enlightening their smell and increasing their willingness to taste new things.
After these first exhibits and after having found the strengths and weaknesses of the overall idea, the same organisational principle is to be used with other things like “pure” teas or how people in the smaller gardens and/or in the more creative ones are doing sometimes quite unorthodox things. If you need to see what I am talking about, just look at some of the findings of Lazyliteratus over here.
There are always new things to wonder about and to show to the curiosity of people. Displaying the creativity of the industry, an industry that always is on the move towards new things, is a good idea to attract people to this “museum”.
The real problem is more how to duplicate things all over the world as tea comes and goes from different places, it is not like designs that is linked to a peculiar city. There are two possibilities, duplicating things all around the world in different cities or places or making a travelling expo that would stay in one place or in another for as long as necessary.
Both have their pros and cons but for now I will get back to my dreaming state and let the wings of my tea museum dream unfold as I had a dream…