by Hao Jing
"You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one"
June 21, 2020
What does it mean to be authentic? Does simply proclaiming to be something imply that we are what we claim to be? From the Head of State of the most powerful country on earth, to small home grown brands, it seems that as long as you dare claim to be something, and if you do so publicly and frequently enough, it will be deemed to be true by others.
Call us stubborn, old school or outdated, but we believe that it takes more than empty claims to be something. Especially so for the sacred values and philosophies that countless before us fought to uphold and preserve. We believe that living, as opposed to merely saying, is the way to show the world who we are. To do otherwise is blasphemous.
Instead of telling you that we work with a fifth generation farm in Kyoto, we bring their best tea to you on a plane rather than letting it sit in hot and humid conditions on a ship like what many others do, so that the tea can speak for themselves. Instead of claiming to be THE way of tea, we simply brew tea. For we believe the world is bigger than us, and every road leads to Rome. Instead of trying to push for the highest profit margin by cutting cost, we believe our job is to provide the best value for money for our customers. Instead of hiding beside excuses of efficiency, we chose right from the beginning to whisk each and every cup of matcha, fresh upon order - even for those bottled latte we sent out during the circuit breaker. This is the same principle we go by when curating tea — what we serve is also what we drink, be it one of our matcha to start off the day or a loose-leaf brew to end off the night.
We still believe in the Asian way of apprenticeship of a bygone era — metaphorically washing our sushi rice year after year. Believing that people can tell the difference. Believing that instead of churning out as many posts on social media as we can, there will be those among us who appreciate a time-consuming thought piece, be it about art, tea or life.
Is it tempting to choose the easy way out and answer the siren call of fast food consumerism? Of course. But we choose to struggle. And we choose to be a dreamer, hoping for the day the world will slow down, look back, and join us.