episode 1

Why do we love
tea so much?

with Nadia De La Vega

steeping together
podcast - episode #01

Why do we love tea so much?

with Nadia De La Vega

november 2021
Length: 36:08 see all
Listen on:

episode transcript

Marika de Vienne 0:20

Welcome everyone to our very first episode of Steeping Together, the podcast where we explore the vast world of tea over a cup of tea with tea enthusiasts. I'm your tea-obsessed host Marika and I am so excited to be sharing this adventure with you all today. So I guess I should probably start by telling you how this all came about. You see, in the DAVIDsTEA head office, we talk tea all the time. And the conversations that we started having just like, at lunchtime at the tea cooler, just catching up with colleagues were always so fascinating. Because when you find yourself in an environment where absolutely everyone is completely passionate and obsessed with tea, the things that come out of these conversations are just really, really fascinating. They were just so good. I can't express to you how many wonderful conversations and thoughts and feelings I've shared with my colleagues here at DAVIDsTEA, and we always wanted to share this with the outside world, but we just didn't know how, you know. Emails are so short, blog posts don't really express the kind of insane passion we would have. So how do we get this message across? How do we share our absolute love of tea? Well, I mean, everyone else has a podcast, right? So we figured, hey, why not us? We could do that! So this has been going on for years. These conversations have been going on for years and we have finally decided to pull the trigger, start the podcast and share it with you, and today I am so excited to welcome our very first guest: Nadia De La Vega. Nadia, welcome!

Nadia De La Vega 2:09

Thank you, Marika, for having me.

Marika de Vienne 2:11

So Nadia, would you care to introduce yourself the way you'd like to be introduced?

Nadia De La Vega 2:16

So hi, everyone, my name is Nadia De La Vega. I'm the Director of Tea Sustainability and Content here at DAVIDsTEA. And I'm really excited to be here.

Marika de Vienne 2:25

That's an excellent introduction, Nadia, you are you are in fact the Director of Sustainability and Content. You're just so versatile and you have so much experience and you've been in the tea world for six years now?

Nadia De La Vega 2:39

Oh my god, actually, it's gonna be close to 10, next year.

Marika de Vienne 2:44

10 years! And before that you had so much experience in the food world as well.

Nadia De La Vega 2:49

Yes, I did. I dabbled in the restaurant and the wine industry before coming to DAVIDsTEA.

Marika de Vienne 2:57

Wow. So are you are you a flavour junkie? Are you...

Nadia De La Vega 3:02

Yes, I love tasting, I love food, I love exploring things through my palate, through my nose. I think that I have a real like addiction to it.

Marika de Vienne 3:18

Nice, you're in the right company. The right people, we're all kind of tea and flavour-obsessed here.

Nadia De La Vega 3:26

I think yeah, I think when when I found DAVIDsTEA, it was the perfect marriage from my passions because I'm trained as a scientist, but I've always had this love of flavour, of food, of exploring tastes basically so this married those two loves of my life.

Marika de Vienne 3:49

And I mean, as a scientist, you're someone who's - not to say that anyone who isn't a scientist isn't naturally curious - but there is a pull to understand why something tastes the way it tastes, how it tastes the way it tastes, how you can manipulate it through heat or pressure or time or fermentation to have it give you the result that you're looking for. So it really does seem like it's a match made in heaven.

Nadia De La Vega 4:13

I like to think it is.

Marika de Vienne 4:16

I agree with you and there's no one else in the room so we're gonna go with that! So Nadia, picking the very first topic for our very first episode was slightly overwhelming. I didn't know what to start with, like do we start by talking about the different types of tea? Do we start talking about water temperature, water quality, origins, terroirs, varietals, like the list is endless, and I think I could have discussed any one of those topics with you but the thing that kept coming back over and over again in my mind is why tea. Like why do we love tea so much, and not just here at DAVIDsTEA, as a species, why do we love tea so much? And so it's a very big question. If we managed to even answer a part of it in the next 30 minutes, I will be delighted. But it's a task I think you're up for. And I want to start off by saying that very often, I've heard it said that tea is the second most consumed beverage on the planet. What do you make of that statement?

Nadia De La Vega 5:28

I think that we have all heard that statement. I feel like it's used everywhere. And it's one of those statements that because you've seen it used so many times it became a fact. So I don't know who was the person that actually collected this data. But if we're considering tea as Camellia sinensis, or any type of herb that you infuse in water, if that's, I think the description that we're giving for tea, then I'm totally on board with it.

Marika de Vienne 6:00

Absolutely, just mathematically it would make sense. So when we say tea, we're referencing the Camellia sinensis plant, which means the plant that will give you all the varieties of tea such as white, green, black, oolong, pu'erh. But there are many, many herbs and spices that are also infused. Maté being one of them. Chamomile, lavender, I mean that's another endless list. So if we're talking about anything to which hot water is added, and then consumed, yes I'm on board, like you, I'm on board with the notion that this is the second most consumed drink on the planet. So let's talk beverage for a second. There are essentially six beverages that changed the course of human history. I have no other way of putting it. It's a pretty momentous statement that I just put out there. But there are six beverages that really changed the nature of the human race. So we have water, we have tea, we have coffee, we have beer, we have wine and hard liquors, and we have soda pop. And these beverages have come into human civilization at different times. Tea is really one of the most ancient because it doesn't require a fermentation process like liquors. Soda is a very, you know, 20th century invention. Tea is extremely, extremely accessible. It's hot water and leaves. So why do you think, aside from its accessibility, why is tea the second most consumed beverage on the planet? I'm now saying it like it's a fact too, but we're gonna roll with it. It is a fact!

Nadia De La Vega 7:43

So again, if we're talking about Camellia sinensis here, or focusing more on Camellia sinensis, I think that there's many reasons. One of the reasons is that this amazing plant, you can extract so much flavour - variety of flavour, just by manipulating the plant itself. I think that is one of the things that drives me the most, and that I think everyone, most of the people working here are driven and passionate about. It's how this plant can express so much flavour just by the manipulation of the plant, and also from one same tea, by just manipulating different variables like water temperature, steeping time, re-steeping it, in what vessel you're sleeping it. How you can get like a plethora of flavours and sensations, just from one same plant, like it's mind blowing to me. I think the second would be the feeling that you get when you're drinking tea. For some people, it can be comforting, for some others it can be euphoric. You know, I think that there's a range of emotions that tea brings to us. Like you've mentioned the accessibility, and also the stories behind the tea.

Marika de Vienne 9:02

There are hundreds of thousands of stories around tea from the origin story in China, from just the story you heard from your grandmother. I mean, there's so many moments in life that have happened around tea, that it's hard to encapsulate in a 30 minute podcast, quite honestly. It's really, really daunting. But I want to go back to one of your first points, sorry. You were talking about how you can extract a variety of flavours from this one leaf. One of the things that I find really fascinating, like you mentioned is that this all comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. And from the same plant, you'll get white or black tea, green or oolong or pu'erh, and that's in the processing. So there's different processing methods. There's the oxidation levels, there's the the way that you pick it in the morning is really going to depend what leaves they use to pick it. And then once it's finally processed and finished, then the consumer of tea, the lover of tea has so many tools before them to change the flavour yet again.

Nadia De La Vega 10:11

So this is where, when I really delved into the world of tea, I think that my mind was just like a deer in the headlights, you know, because I saw so many similarities in the wine production and in tea, where it's like, in wine it's grapes, right, and how you manipulate them or the variety of the grape gives you so many different types of wine. But then, with tea once you get it as a consumer, there's so many ways that you can manipulate the flavour or extract the flavour. In wine, it is, and I'm not saying by any means - I love wine. And there you can also control the temperature, but with tea you can re-steep, you can shorten the steeping time, you can increase the water temperature or decrease the water temperature. Like there's so many things you can do as a consumer to manipulate your experience.

Marika de Vienne 11:14

It's so adaptable to an individual experience, like if you want. So I love oolong teas. Love them, it is absolutely my favourite category of tea. And I have a tendency to steep them at a higher than recommended temperature. Because I like the nuttiness on certain oolongs to come out more. It's a personal preference. And it's not necessarily the way I would steep it when serving it to someone else. When I serve it to someone else, I have a tendency to stick to the guidelines, stick to the recommended steeping time and water temperature. But when it's all about me, Nadia, I burn those leaves, I don't care - I want that nuttiness to come out. And that's why I think tea is just so adaptable, is because with the same leaves, but just slight variations in the preparation, I've made it a completely personalized drink.

Nadia De La Vega 12:11

It's very similar. I love oolong, as well. To me, I didn't know oolongs until I started working at DAVIDsTEA and when I discovered them I was fascinated. And I was more fascinated by the fact that it was the same leaf that I would drink every day in a black tea. Yeah, like that blew my mind. But I do the same with a black tea, where I'll get our Orange Pekoe, for example, and in the morning I want I want it as a latte. So I'll add a bit more and I'll steep it for longer so that it can withstand the milk. But later during the day I will just steep it less and have it on its own so that I can really feel like the floral qualities or like the more fruity notes that come from it. So it is what you're saying. You can personalize that experience even with the same leaf.

Marika de Vienne 13:06

Mm hmm. Yeah, I feel like I'm gonna say the words "I love tea" a lot.

Nadia De La Vega 13:13

I think it's gonna happen in this podcast.

Marika de Vienne 13:16

I'm gonna overuse the sentence, like “I love it!” But I really do. I really like how it takes a minimal amount of skill and a minimal amount of knowledge and a minimal amount of control to truly learn how to personalize it for yourself. Now to that point, I have another question for you. Do you believe that tea is more of a meditative personal drink or more of a social beverage? And this question comes from two different places. When you know tea was first introduced in Japan (from China), it was really used as an aid for meditation for monks. And then when I think of the British tradition of tea time, I think of you know, four o'clock to you or like a tea party, you know, like high tea. So it is at once a beverage that is associated with personal introspection and reflection, and another with just, you know, a kind of gourmand kind of party. And so where do you fall in that question?

Nadia De La Vega 14:22

I definitely dip my toes in both. I think tea can be such a meditative drink. For example, I cannot start my morning without a perfect cup of tea. And iit needs to be that quiet comfort that I'm seeking just to like set my day. But I also think that I've had the most memorable experiences sharing it with other people. Drinking a cup of tea with someone, it allows for great conversation.

Marika de Vienne 15:08

Yes! Because, okay, I've had great conversations on beer. I've had great conversations on wine. Have many of those conversations deteriorated near the end of the evening? Yes, maybe, this isn't about me! But you know, we'll put a pin in that. Because I think everyone knows what I'm talking about. But when you have conversations with one person or many people over a cup of tea, what I always find is that it energises you if you're using Camellia sinensis, there is some caffeine involved, but you don't become inebriated. Everyone becomes activated while still being sober. It ignites your mind but calms your spirit, which allows for fascinating exchange. Really deep, beautiful moments.

Nadia De La Vega 15:57

And there's some times when you're having copious amounts of tea that you get a sense of being like, euphoric.

Marika de Vienne 16:06

I was gonna say drunk –

Nadia De La Vega 16:08

Yeah we often use that term here.

Marika de Vienne 16:11

I like saying “tea drunk” because I think it catches people off guard, they think of tea as a very - you know, you hear teetotaller, you know, you hear someone who, if you drink tea then you're not going for that kind of extreme emotionality. And our listeners don't know me, you know me, I am all about extreme emotionality. I'm being extremely reserved right now, already. But if you drink enough tea, and we're talking, you need copious amounts, which is something that we do on a regular basis because we work at a tea company and because we love tea. You do get the most delightful buzz. Just a note to our listeners: here at DAVIDsTEA. We don't condone becoming “tea drunk,” we're just talking about our experience. We're not saying this is something you should do. We're just saying it is something that is.

Nadia De La Vega 17:06

But if you do, we're not judging you.

Marika de Vienne 17:08

We're not judging you. You can actually come join us, we'd love to have you!

Nadia De La Vega 17:13

But yeah, it is a real sense of euphoria. Yeah, it's a real sense of happiness. And you don't get the next day hangover, so…

Marika de Vienne 17:22

No hangover, and not the same caffeine crash that you get with coffee.

Nadia De La Vega 17:27

When I drink coffee, I do get like more than one or two cups. I do get that anxiety, like heart palpitations. So I love – with tea I’ve never gotten that. And if I do I just drink a little bit of water. And then I'm like – ah, now everything’s fine!

Marika de Vienne 17:44

And then you can keep going. Oh my! I don't know about you, Nadia, but I firmly believe that there is a cup of tea for every moment of every day, for every person out there.

Nadia De La Vega 18:05

I definitely have to agree. Even for those people that are like, tea is not my thing. I would encourage them to try different types of tea. I'm just laughing because I remember, I was watching a TikTok the other day and it's a hilarious thing of a lady saying like, “Don’t drink green tea in the morning, it's gonna take away all the happiness. Go for that coffee.” And I thought it was hilarious. But I would encourage them to try other types of tea. If green tea is not your cup of tea, try something else. There's so many flavours out there in tea.

Marika de Vienne 18:50

It blows my mind when people say they don't like tea. Because I mean, I understand that up until this moment in their lives they haven't found the tea that they like yet, because mathematically with 5000 natural types on the planet and then hundreds of thousands of flavoured types, I have a hard time believing there isn't a single tea out there that you don't like. You just haven't found it yet. And you know what? That's fine. That's the whole point. There's a whole world to discover when it comes to tea. And you know, even though we're both tea nerds, enthusiasts, professionals, I don't think either of us would ever call each other experts.

Nadia De La Vega 19:39

I'm like daunted by that, that term, because there's so much to learn. Even for someone who's devoted their – I've devoted my past 10 years of my life. I think that I'm just scraping the surface. There’s so much to learn. There's so many people out there, there's so many books. How many books have you devoured?

Marika de Vienne 20:02

It's a lot, it's a lot. I mean I've been in the tea business almost 20 years now. And one of the reasons I started, aside from loving the beverage, was because I knew – the day I decided to make this my career, I knew that I was never going to know it all.

Nadia De La Vega 20:23

There's so much. And flavours – I still am discovering new flavours.

Marika de Vienne 20:30

Every day. I mean, fortunately because it's our job we come into contact with a lot of products. But every day I learn something new about tea, and it's just it's just so so so exciting. So I think we should stop. We should take a break. I'm going to enjoy this cup of tea that you've made for us today. Can you tell us what we've been sipping on this whole time?

Nadia De La Vega 20:53

So to get our, you know, our juices flowing, we're drinking Cinnamon Oolong. It's such a beautiful, beautiful oolong! And one of the crazy things is that it’s a scented tea. It’s not an oolong with cinnamon. No, it's a cinnamon-scented oolong.

Marika de Vienne 21:17

So walk us through that, just the differentiation, because I think if you say Cinnamon Oolong, first you'll think they took cinnamon, they took oolong tea and added pieces of cinnamon. And that's not at all what this tea is. When you look at it visually all you can see are oolong leaves. But the flavour of cinnamon is there.

Nadia De La Vega 21:40

Yes, it's there. And it’s not the heat of cinnamon. It's the warmth of cinnamon? The flavour compounds are there, but you're not getting the –

Marika de Vienne 21:54

Red hot. Kind of piquant. It’s absolutely the floral aroma of cinnamon.

Nadia De La Vega

So it's similar in process to what a jasmine-scented tea would be. But the difference here is that they heat the cinnamon with the tea leaves. So that really releases the aromatic oils, and the aromatic oils – because tea is so permeable, it absorbs all those flavours and it's delivered here in the cup and it's just a wonderful round cup of rich oolong with that warmth from cinnamon without being spicy.

Marika de Vienne 22:31

Yeah, it's not spicy. It is spiced, but it is not hot or overwhelming. And it's been the perfect accompaniment to this conversation. I can't wait to pour another cup for myself and we'll be right back in a few moments.

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Marika de Vienne 23:28

All right, welcome back. It is time to play “What Are You Drinking?” The quiz where we ask our guests three situational questions, some realistic some completely out there, and they have to use all of their experience and expertise to tell us what they would drink in any one of these situations. Nadia, are you ready to play “What Are You Drinking?”

Nadia De La Vega 23:50

Oh my god. I feel like I'm on a TV show – ARE YOU READY?!

Marika de Vienne 24:00

Come on down!! All right Nadia, question one. Your daughter is having a bunch of friends over to play after school and you want to make some tea for them to enjoy. What are you drinking?

Nadia De La Vega 24:12

If it is a warm summer day, I think I'm gonna be steeping either Caribbean Crush, okay, or Maui Madness.

Marika de Vienne 24:24

Okay, so both fruity, caffeine-free, iced teas.

Nadia De La Vega 24:30

Yes. And Maui Madness, because the colour is just insane, this summer I was making popsicles non-stop with it for my kids and they loved it because of the flavour and the colour. And Caribbean Crush, I think it's like the equivalent of a fruit juice tropical feel, but without the sugar. Very satisfying. Yeah, those would be on tap.

Marika de Vienne 25:00

I think the colour alone, I have tried to get my kids into tea and they don't care. They really don't care unless the colour is really vibrant. If I'm drinking something like Maui Madness that's pink, like immediate interest, “Mama what are you drinking?”

Nadia De La Vega 25:19

Even from the leaves itself, they look – like not the leaves but the fruit pieces – it looks purple. Sometimes it can steep more pink and sometimes it steeps like light purple. And I don't know, they're like all over it.

Marika de Vienne 25:35

That’s perfect, you’ve really chosen a drink for that situation. Well done. Are you ready for question two?

Nadia De La Vega 25:41

I'm ready. Hit me.

Marika de Vienne 25:42

Nadia, it's your birthday and you know what that means. It's the perfect time – it's the best day of the year! It’s the perfect time to break out that tea you save for special occasions only. What are you drinking?

Nadia De La Vega 25:59

Oh my god Marika!

Marika de Vienne 26:02

So happy there's no timer. You can take your time. Don't worry. I don't want to stress you out.

Nadia De La Vega 26:07

I'm so stressed. I’ll drink some Cinnamon Oolong. I'm gonna sound basic because I always talk about this tea! But I had to have it, but it has to be the perfect – in the morning, it has to be the perfect cup of Orange Pekoe, but there's a very specific way it has to be done.

Marika de Vienne 26:32

Okay, okay, so it's it's Orange Pekoe, but it's your birthday. You're steeping it in a special way.

Nadia De La Vega 26:38

I steep it in a special way. It's on a loose leaf. But you boil the water first and you add the leaves to the water, to the pot.

Marika de Vienne 26:48

What – why?

Nadia De La Vega 26:50

Why? But you don't let it boil. You just heat the water in a nice like metal kettle over fire. Over fire.

Marika de Vienne 27:00

Oh girl. Okay, wait, you keep adding elements to this. Okay, paint me this picture. Okay, so first of all, there's a wood-burning fire. Let's start there.

Nadia De La Vega 27:13

It doesn't have to be wood, but if you want to get fancy, okay, fine! I just said fire.

Marika de Vienne 27:21

It’s your birthday, I don't know, I’m elevating everything. Okay, it's a wood-burning fire. Perfect.

Nadia De La Vega 27:27

There's a metal kettle.

Marika de Vienne 27:29

It has to be a kettle or a pot? It's a kettle, okay.

Nadia De La Vega 27:34

It’s a kettle, and you have your loose leaf. Orange Pekoe, from Sri Lanka. And you boil your water, you bring it to a roaring boil. You remove the kettle from the fire and there you add a lot of Orange Pekoe, like four Perfect Spoons.

Marika de Vienne 27:53

Okay, so we're talking four Perfect Spoons? It's like 10 grams.

Nadia De La Vega 27:59

Yes, of Orange Pekoe, and you let it steep. You let those – for more than five minutes. “Oh my God, Nadia, what are you doing?” That’s what I like Marika! You can’t tell me what I drink!

Marika de Vienne 28:12

No no no, that was not the face of judgement! That was the face of someone trying to figure out okay, so you’ve let the water come to a rolling boil but then you've taken it off and you've let it calm down, so you're not scorching the leaves and you're not cooking the leaves. So what is this added element? Like why would you do that as opposed to just boiling a kettle? I mean, again, it's your birthday and that's the situation we're in and you can do, you know, living your best life, I get it, but what's the flavour difference? Like what does that method bring out that a regular steeping would not?

Nadia De La Vega 28:47

I feel it brings out more astringency. Okay, so I want more of the astringency but I still want to retain the sweetness because I'm going to add milk. Because it's my morning tea and I want it with milk and sugar. Yeah. But then I think the next cup of tea, because it's my birthday so I'm having more than one.

Marika de Vienne 29:12

It's also your question, I only asked you for like one tea but you know what, it's your birthday so you can do it!

Nadia De La Vega 29:20

Jasmine Black Pearls.

Marika de Vienne 29:23

Okay, Jasmine Black Pearls is a classic fragranced black tea but it's so perfect for any – I’ve rarely encountered a more perfect tea.

Nadia De La Vega 29:36

It’s just luxury. I've told Marika this, I feel that Jasmine Black Pearls is like waking up in a fluffy white linen hotel bed. You know, the fluffy duvet, the perfect pillows. That's what I feel like when I'm drinking Jasmine Black Pearls. And it's my birthday so I want to feel like that all day!

Marika de Vienne 30:02

Do it, Nadia. Absolutely. Every time I make Jasmine Black Pearls, I feel like I'm doing something good for myself because I deserve it. Whenever I make Jasmine Black Pearls I'm like, yes. I deserve this. All right. Question three: Turns out that the giant mansion you just inherited from your great great uncle twice removed is haunted.

Nadia De La Vega 30:30

It was too good to be true.

Marika de Vienne 30:32

Who would have thought? The ghosts seem pretty nice though, and they agreed to stop haunting the place if you can make them a cup of tea that tastes better than anything they have ever tried when they were alive. What are you drinking?

Nadia De La Vega 30:48

Damn, Marika.

Marika : I didn’t write this!

Nadia: Yes you did!

Marika: No I didn't. You have to appease ghosts…

Nadia De La Vega 30:57

Appease ghosts… How old are the ghosts? Are they young or are they old?

Marika de Vienne 31:06

I mean, in ghost terms, they're young. They're like 200 years old , you know what I mean, they're not afraid of electricity. You know, they're not like, what is this? You know, they're cool with like fire and stuff.

Nadia De La Vega 31:22

Okay, that's good to know. And we're in North America, like in this region?

Marika de Vienne 31:31

Sure. I feel like if I say Europe, it gives you more to work with. Just because –

Nadia De La Vega 31:37

Well okay, let's say the Western world.

Marika de Vienne 31:39

Western world. Yes. They’re speaking English.

Nadia De La Vega 31:44

Okay. I feel, I'm going like two ways.

Marika: You’re hedging your bets.

Nadia: Yes, hedging my bets. I'm not putting all the eggs in one basket. I want these ghosts to like me!

Marika: You want them to leave!

Nadia De La Vega 32:05

I think I would make a cup of S’mores Chai.

Marika de Vienne 32:07

Okay. Interesting.

Nadia De La Vega 32:09

Yeah but here's why. Okay, because it's gonna blow their mind that they're drinking something that tastes like a chocolate, a cookie and a marshmallow, together in a drink in a cup.

Marika de Vienne 32:24

I see where you're going. You're going for the innovation, the modern innovation.

Nadia De La Vega 32:29

So that they can be like, “Whoa, what is this sorcery?”

Marika de Vienne 32:33

Hence your question about the age of ghosts. Nadia you're a thinker, you know that?

Nadia De La Vega 32:39

It’s because I'm drinking Cinnamon Oolong. Or – Phoenix Oolong.

Marika de Vienne 32:48

Why? Okay, so Phoenix Oolong is an unflavored natural oolong from southern China in Guangdong. What's the thinking there, Nadia?

Nadia De La Vega 33:01

I also think that it will blow their mind to taste the fruitiness that you get in this oolong. To me though, this oolong taste a little bit – It's weird, because no one else gets this flavour – But like sweet potato. Like something sweet. I know. I get I've gotten everything from from fig, caramel.

Marika de Vienne 33:29

I always taste peach pit. Like a stony peach is what I taste when I taste Phoenix Oolong.

Nadia De La Vega 33:38

I get caramelly undertones. And sometimes something sweet and dense. Like a roasted sweet potato, sometimes, but sometimes it's more fruity. And that's the magic of this tea, of oolong, like this type of Dan Cong oolong. Yeah, so that's my way. Either I get them with the innovation. Right? With the like “What is this sorcery?” And you know, and they would see the beautiful ingredients and be like, “How did they put marshmallow?” Or I would get them with the simplicity and the complexity of a single leaf tea.

Marika de Vienne 34:24

I mean, I hope I hope that works out for you. I think...

Nadia: Did I win?!

Marika: This is a kind of game where like the answers are fascinating. But the points are meaningless. So yes, yes you did win, you absolutely win, well done. Thank you for playing What do you drink? It's not an easy game. But we do intend to play it every week. Every week we'll have different questions, hoping to get different answers and we really hope that everyone can participate in sending us fantastic questions for “What Are You Drinking?” I think you did very well as our first player in the game.

Nadia De La Vega 35:03

I hope I didn't disappoint you.

Marika de Vienne 35:06

You never disappoint me, Nadia, you would never disappoint me. I could keep talking to you for days because I love talking to you. I love the way your mind works. I think the S’mores Chai v Phoenix Oolong is a great example of why I like spending so much time with you. But sadly, we have come to the end of our episode. Nadia, thank you so much for joining me.

Nadia De La Vega 35:28

Thank you so much Marika for having me. I'm extremely excited to hear more conversations.

Marika de Vienne 35:34

They are coming. Don't you worry. And thank you to you all for listening to today's episode. And if you would like to reach us with comments, questions or suggestions for the “What Are You Drinking?” game, you can do so at steeping.together@davidstea.com or through our website, davidstea.com. Have a great week, and happy steeping everyone.

de la vega

about the guest

Nadia De La Vega's tea journey has been anything but linear. Growing up in Mexico, tea was not a common beverage... but luckily for Nadia, her mother would brew black loose leaf tea every morning. She completed her science degree in Montreal, where she developed an affinity for food pairing and recipe development. Joining the DAVIDsTEA family in 2012 (and we are SO glad she did!), she put her superpowers to use to help develop tea-based recipes. As the Director of Tea Sustainability and Content at DAVIDsTEA, Nadia and her team primarily oversee sustainability initiatives and tea knowledge across the brand while ensuring all tea information is authentic, fun and relatable. You can normally find her drinking a cup of Orange Pekoe or Organic Jasmine Pearls, while working on impact initiatives and indulging in some serious tea talk!

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Who is


about the host

Marika De Vienne studied and worked with tea growers and garden owners in China before becoming a spice and tea blending apprentice. Travelling to places like Thailand, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka turned her into a ravenous seeker and lover of all things tea.

Like many at DAVIDsTEA, Marika has a tea drinking problem. Trust us, we don’t think too much tea is a problem but she’s basically a human science experiment on tea consumption…

So, in an effort to channel this obsession into something a little more constructive, Marika now hosts Steeping Together, where she hopes to spark meaningful conversations over a fresh cup of tea with people from around the world.

Marika De Vienne
Project Lead