Over the past few week s I have been conducting short interviews with the public. I have been specifically targeting people that have a passion or love for tea and that are willing to share this passion with me. The interview consists of asking the interviewee a few simple questions in the hope to gain an understanding into what tea they drink and how the prepare it. I have had a variety of answers that has given me a small understanding of my client base.
The conclusions I have made so far tell me that, like I predicted, the majority of the local community drink “British” black tea. Not only do they drink this standard brew but they use teabags instead of tea leafs. This conclusion comes to me not as a shock but as confirmation to my previous claims. The word calm is the most common stated when asked to associate a word with tea, other word like warm, leaf and cup were mentioned.
Other information that has come out of my research indicates that the reason that teabags are so widely used is for convenience and because of the fact that they are so easy to use. There appears to be negative connotations of mess when the interviewees were asked about tea leafs, this could be an area that I could look into. Even though the majority of the interviewees used tea bags there was a fair few that liked to use tea leaves. When asked why they prefer to use tealeaves they simply said “for the experience”. I conclude from this information that currently people are drinking tea in a convenient way rather than for the experience, I plan to change this.
The way people serve tea also seems to be emotionless. Everyone spare a few simply serves tea in a mug. Some people only serve tea in teapot when they have guests and some not even then. The simple through a teabag in the cup and take it out when I feel like it attitude seems to poison the mind of so many people. I understand that this does not cause a lot of people any problems currently as they are solely consuming “British tea”, a tea that is so hard to prepare badly that there is no need to develop a skill for its preparation. This lack of skill in tea preparation has a knock-on effect that renders a large bulk of the population unable to brew real leaf tea. Due to this research I have determined that there is need for an educational product in this field.
From reading over my interview notes I have discovered that only one of the interviewees answered yes to the question regarding pride in the tea preparation process. The main reason why they don’t feel pride seems to be that fact that they repeat the task daily without hesitation and so the task is both too easy and to common to be proud of. There seems to be more pride in the uses own personal utensils rather than in there preparation process. Almost everyone at some point stated that they have a special item that they use in the process, a teapot, spoon or even a mitten.
I asked briefly about British culture and why the interviewee’s through tea was such a big entity within it. The comments that were made all aimed at or directly stated that British tea culture revolved around the social aspect and how tea flows through the way we great and interact with people. For example when you enter a home tea is used to break the tension and relax you, in an upsetting situation tea is used to take your mind of it. Tea is used to calm and bond people whatever the situation.
Overall experimentation and introduction to the experience of tea needs to be encouraged and as it stands people don’t understand what tea culture stands for. With this new found information I plan to create a device that not only educated the user to what’s out there but also opens the users mind and makes they physically want to try new things.