This year has been absolutely unprecedented, hasn’t it? We have lived, and are living, through a global pandemic – and we all deserve to be commended for that. We have been obsessively washing our hands, wearing masks wherever we go, and we haven’t been on holiday in what seems like years. Some of us have been working from home, some of us have been putting our lives on the line to go out to work, and sadly some of us have lost our jobs. But, we think, the biggest thing that we have sacrificed during this pandemic is that we have kept our distance from everyone. We haven’t seen our friends and family; we haven’t gotten a hug from Mum or a sloppy kiss from Granny. During this time, it has been really easy to feel lonely and feel like you haven’t seen another human being in an age. All in all, we can agree that it hasn’t been the brightest of times. But there is a light in that very dark tunnel. It is a light that we call, the calling to tea. Many people are unaware that a virtual tea community exists, but it does, and we are thriving.
(Sewwie pictured on the left and Peebs on the right)
So, to introduce ourselves, we are Phoebe - or (Tea)Peebs - and Sewwie. We are both Instagram content creators who love tea! This year I (Sewwie) took the courage to show more of myself to celebrate my page reaching 1000 followers; I have taken on new challenges such as tea segments on InstaLive with fellow tea bloggers and have even led my own Tea Master class at work remotely - as part of learning at workweek. Soon I will combine my love for Skincare and Tea in a new venture - watch this space! I (Peebs) joined the tea Instagram communi-TEA in the middle of June 2020, after a few jokes from friends that I should start a page as my tea collection was rapidly growing. I finally gave in and started with teas from Debonair Tea company, and Bird & Blend and quickly found ArthurDove Tea Company after this. Since then, I’ve hosted giveaways; I’ve hosted an InstaLive series (chaTEAing with Peebs; where I talk to owners of small tea businesses and other tea bloggers) and I’ve made my first tea blend. The small tea business is integral to my values as a tea Instagrammer and I try to only buy teas from small businesses. Anyway, since the summer, there has been such a growth of tea Instagrammers and small tea businesses on Instagram. The small business really has become the backbone of this community, and more and more we (as tea bloggers/Instagrammers/customers/appreciators) are able to close the gap that once separated us from those businesses. It is so easy now to drop companies a message and have all of our questions answered on our handy telephone-device. Over the last 6 months, we have seen mountains of tea reviews, hundreds of teapots and teacups; we have seen tea swaps and giveaways, InstaLives and daily challenges. We have seen so much from amazing creators who orchestrate their pictures perfectly, to those who just want to share a brew they love. We have seen companies share their new blends, their tricks for good tea brewing and learnt all about them. We have all grown in this time, and we have done it together. In such little time, we have built a supportive community that is free of judgement, full of acceptance, and always has space to grow. This community transcends location, and it has given us the opportunity to connect with people from all walks of life and from countries across the globe. It really has closed the gap that once separated us. In light of this, we wanted to really showcase what some of the tea community has been doing with their time during 2020. So, let’s celebrate them together:
So, in this time of uncertainty, let’s celebrate each other. I (Peebs) actually have a tattoo dedicated to this idea; I have the word פירגון (Hebrew. Pronounced: ‘Firgun’) tattooed, which means to celebrate each other’s achievements selflessly - and that’s really important in unprecedented times like these. This is one of the reasons for having a community - even virtually - is important. Our community celebrates us, it reminds us that we are not alone, and it brings all of us a lot of joy. As a huge thank you for the support we have both received recently, we wanted to do a big project for the community. This is where the Secret Santa Tea Swap comes in - #secretfesteaval2020. Anyone who loves tea, and is based in the UK, can be involved - the more the merrier we say! All you need to do is follow us both on Instagram; like one of our posts about the tea swap; comment your name and your location. We will send you all the details once you leave your comment on our post. The deadline to sign up is the 5th of December. We also have an incredible list of sponsors (including @sachasiblends) - which you can also check out on our Instagram feeds - who have generously donated some of their teas for a prize draw just before Christmas. We are so very excited about the Secret Santa Tea Swap, for all the exciting content we will see during December 2020, and for all the wonderful things to come for us all in 2021. Joy and happiness, Peebs and Sewwie If you want to hear more from Peebs and Sewwie then let us know here or visit their Instagrams at @thatsjustmycupoftea and @sewwie.tea.