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.

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Cyprus

 

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Exploring London

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Enjoying seafood in Granada

Teaxplorer…. lives on

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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 teaxplorer@gmail.com if you would like to share your ideas for a teaxplorer project.

I’ll post more details here soon.

Thank you!

Maria

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16 Responses to About Drew

  1. whosforabru says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. He’ll be greatly missed. My thoughts are with all of you x

  2. Lou Berkley says:

    Saddened to hear of your loss, Maria, but also heartened that you’ll be carrying the standard forward for Drew’s terrific blog.
    Condolences,
    Lou.

  3. My deepest condolences for your loss, he was a fantastic asset to the world of tea and will be greatly missed.

  4. I’m so very sad for your loss. Drew was always one of my favorite tea writers. Please let me know if there is anything that those of us who aren’t local can do!

  5. So sorry to hear about you and your family’s loss. Had been in touch with Drew for sometime, didn’t know his cancer was so advanced.

    Would be proud and happy to be involved with anything you plan in the future in Drew’s memory. Likewise, if there are any causes we can assist, again please don’t hesitate to reach out.

    Loosing someone so young is a painful experience for those close to them. It is important there is a positive outcome in some way large or small and that people can take inspiration from those that have passed.

    Life is so fragile – remember the smiles and the sunny days together.

  6. I’m so sorry to hear this Maria. I’ve been thinking of Drew because he hadn’t been tweeting. I’d definitely like to donate to a cause in Drew’s memory and when the event happens in London I would definitely like to come. I’m thinking of you and your family.

  7. Philippa Perryman - Hope & Glory Tea says:

    So very sad to hear of your loss – our thoughts go out to you and your families.

  8. VALERIE KEELAN says:

    Dear Maria – thank you so much for posting Drew’s blog. A tea-related event in Drew’s memory is a wonderful idea so we look forward to hearing more details (and if you’d like any help, please let me know). We are thinking about you every day and sending love and strength to you.

  9. Nikki Tysoe says:

    I am so sorry. Drew always came across as so passionate about tea and so vivacious. Such a huge sad loss to the tea community.

  10. Dear Maria,
    Deeply saddened to hear of Drew’s passing. This is also a huge loss for so many of his friends near and far and some of us who only knew him from social media interactions and his wonderful tea blog. I’m forever grateful that Drew was the first person to review my book on his blog and his review was intelligent and balanced.
    I loved reading of Drew’s tea adventures and insights. I was looking forward to reaching out to him when I visited UK this summer. Thank you for sharing his post.
    I’m glad that you will be continuing his tea blog. I would be honoured to donate to any cause that you choose to remember him.
    You are in my thoughts.

  11. Pingback: About Drew | Subscription Cafe

  12. Ann Davis says:

    We are so very sorry to hear this news. A very sad loss.

  13. mariairchenhauser says:

    Thank you all for your kind messages and lovely tributes! It is very moving to see how many lives Drew touched with his passion for tea and travel. Thank you!

  14. RuiA says:

    Just like everyone else before me, it was a terrible shock hearing of Drew’s passing.

    Although I never met him personally and I was a couple of times in the teashop where he worked, at least part time, but it was this blog that kept me informed of many UK sources of tea.

    Glad to hear that you are intending to keep it going in some form or other.

    If there is anything we could do please let us know.

  15. My condolences to you and Drew’s family Maria. I hadn’t opened my old wordpress account and just found out that Drew has passed away. I’m very grateful to him as he’s one of the first people to review tea from my website. I feel that was a huge help and I appreciated my interaction with Drew as he was always a nice guy to be in contact with. If there’s anyway I can contribute tea or any information on tea please feel free to contact me.

  16. Stephanie Zerkel-Humbert says:

    Dear Maria, I just learned of Drew’s passing. I am so saddened to hear this. I teach at the KC college where Drew was a young student/student worker in our Humanities office. He was such a special young man and a very talented student. His sparkling personality and wit were evident then, and I always thought so highly of him and had many delightful conversations with him while he worked with us. He was very special to us.

    My brother died of cancer 8 years ago; it is a horrible disease and takes way too many wonderful people at way too young an age. I can’t imagine your grief at losing your beloved husband, but I do know the pain of losing someone to cancer. My heart goes out to you and both of your families.

    Stephanie Zerkel-Humbert

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