Thank you!

I wanted to thank you for all the beautiful and kind messages I received about Drew. His family and I have been very moved. Drew was and is surrounded by truly great people in the tea community!

Many thanks also for sharing your wonderful ideas and suggestions for a memorial project. We are still going through your feedback and I’ll be in touch again after I’ve come back from the US where I’ll be visiting Drew’s family.

Thank you for your support!

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About Drew

Dear teaxplorer readers,

This is Maria, Drew’s wife. It is with a very heavy heart that I write this post to let you know that Drew passed away on 30 May after battling cancer and Crohn’s disease.  A small funeral service, followed by a celebration of Drew’s life, took place on 10 June in my native Germany, which is where we spent the last two months with family.

Some of you knew about Drew’s illness, but he never liked to give this topic more time or space than absolutely necessary. Drew always chose to focus on life instead and on what made him happy and sparked his curiosity. Tea was one of his greatest passions. Blogging about tea, sharing his photography and having conversations with the tea community around the world always brought him an enormous amount of joy.

In Drew ’s blog folder, I found notes for a blog post in which he was planning to talk about what “teaxplorer” meant to him personally while going through cancer treatment. It is an unfinished draft, but there are a few parts that I would like to share with you, his readers – tea lovers and fantastic tea businesses around the world that became so dear to him over the past three years.


Me, tea and cancer

In April 2015, I had surgery for complications due to Crohn’s disease. During surgery, they found an extremely rare form of cancer in me. I was lucky because it was in time. Some might criticise that it wasn’t spotted earlier, but I chose to externalise. It wasn’t part of me, not “me”.  Cancer is just a wake-up call, a chapter in my life where I needed time to re-access me and correct my life path, through loves in my life, such as my unbelievably supportive wife, my family, fully taking in life (rethinking life – both good and bad) and taking more time to explore things that I love, like tea. Blogging about tea has kept me busy, it provides normality in my life. 

Therapeutic aspects of tea – and the tea community

Despite growing research, I will not suggest here that tea can prevent or stop cancer. I am not a medical researcher or doctor that can make such claims. Rather, like other types of therapy and medicines, it is a great complimentary therapy for ME, and it makes me happy.

The tea community has helped me on this path. 

Thank you all and especially Jaye, Paul, Kyle, Alex, Jade Leaf, Baraka Teas, Postcard Teas


Fully taking in life

…and that’s what we did. Always hoping that we would have more time, and enjoying every moment of what we had.

Some of the things Drew loved the most: travelling and exploring places, photography, drinking great tea and enjoying good food.





Exploring London


Enjoying seafood in Granada

Teaxplorer…. lives on


Having a cup of mint tea in Morocco

With Drew no longer with us, teaxplorer will change, but it will not end. Although I’ve learned so much about tea from Drew, I do not have the knowledge to continue with his blog in the same way he did (this would make Drew smile, he liked to introduce me as his coffee-drinking wife).

However, many people have been so incredibly generous and asked me if there is a good cause they can support in Drew’s name. His family and I immediately felt it would have to be a project related to tea, tea-making, tea cultures and health aspects of tea, all in the spirit of teaxplorer. I think this would make him happy.

I’ve been in touch with Tim d’Offay from Postcard Teas where Drew used to work, and we’ve been discussing some ideas for an event in London with workshops and tea tastings.

I would love to hear from you as well. Please comment or get in touch via if you would like to share your ideas for a teaxplorer project.

I’ll post more details here soon.

Thank you!


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TEA REVIEWS: Jollybrew – The Guv’nor & Delicate Darjeeling

IMG_0437Website: Jollybrew
Twitter: @jollybrew
Facebook: Jollybrew
Instagram: jolly_brew
Blog: Jollybrew Blog
Company location: High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, UK

Jollybrew is a UK-based online tea shop. It sells a large range of loose leaf teas, herbal and fruit infusions, tea bags and tea accessories. You can read more about Jollybrew and its team and products on the company blog.

Today I have the pleasure of reviewing two teas sold at Jollybrew. The first is a green gunpowder from Taiwan, followed by a 2nd flush Darjeeling.

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TEAWARE REVIEW: ingenuiTEA available at Tea Studio

Tea Studio Website: Tea Studio
Twitter: @teastudio
Facebook: Tea Studio
Instagram: tea_studio_london
Blog: Tea Studio Blog
Company location: London, UK

I’m pretty traditional when it comes to teaware, but I’ve seen this style of teapot around for years and was intrigued to try one. Tea Studio sells two sizes of this tea pot called ingenuiTEA, and they are designed not only to make tea infusion fuss-free, but to produce a good tasting cup of tea. Read on to see if I think ingenuiTEA is simple to use and makes great tea.  Continue reading

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TEA REVIEWS: Three new Chinese black teas at What-Cha


Website: What-Cha
Twitter: @What_Cha_Tea
Facebook: What-Cha
Instagram: what_cha_tea
Company location: London, UK

Always on the hunt for new and interesting teas, What-Cha has recently acquired three new black Chinese teas. One is a pearl, another is a loose leaf and the final one is a cake.

Read on for more information about these teas.

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TEA REVIEW: TeaFromVietnam – Red Lily Black Tea

TFV logo

Website: TeaFomVietnam
Twitter: @TeaFromVietnam
Facebook: Tea From Vietnam
Instagram: teafromvietnam
Blog: TeaFromVietnam
Company location: Thai Nguyen, Vietnam

Red Lily is the black tea version of Golden Lily, one of four oolongs that started being developed in Taiwan in the 1950s. Golden Lily proved so popular as an oolong that green and black tea were later produced.

Read on to find out more about TeaFromVietnam’s Red Lily.

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TEA REVIEWS: ChaTale’s West Lake Long Jing & Bamboo Tea

Cha Tale
Website: ChaTale
Twitter: @chatale_uk
Facebook: ChaTale
Instagram: chatale_uk
Blog: ChaTale Blog
Company location: London, UK

ChaTale is tea club/subscription service that delivers two teas to you each month. There are four subscriptions to choose from: Yummy Breakfast, Detox, Caffeine Cleanse and Caffeine Free. Typically a subscription costs £6.49 per month (shipping included), and you receive enough tea for 20 to 40 cups, but for one week only, ChaTale is offering new customers an opportunity to try 30 cups of loose leaf tea for £1. Use code ‘DREW20’ when checking out to take advantage of this offer.

Today I’m reviewing two teas available in ChaTale’s subscription service. Read on to find out more about its West Lake Long Jing and Bamboo Tea.

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