CommuniTEA Spotlight Retrospective: January – June 2023

This post is a CommuniTEA Spotlight Retrospective: January – June 2023.

It compiles members of the tea community featured in my monthly newsletter, Tea Infusiast News, during the first half of 2023. And, this post provides updates, too!

Spotlight January – March 2023

Let’s begin our CommuniTEA Spotlight Retrospective with tea people featured in the newsletter during the first three months of 2023.

La’Shell of Books by the Cup. specializes in book and tea reviews and pairings.

Books by the Cup was the CommuniTEA Spotlight in 2023. The image includes a photo of La'Shell, black women wearing dark glasses who has short curly hair, smiling and holding a book.

Since being featured in the January 2023 newsletter, we collaborated on portable electric kettle reviews. La’Shell also started a broadcast channel–Sips by the Book. She’s hoping it will function like a virtual book group with some behind the scenes tea time! If you go to the Books by the Cup Instagram profile using your smart phone, you’ll see the Sips by the Book Channel link.

Photo of Omar Riverstone of Heritage Teaworks, Tea Infusiast News' February 2023 CommuniTEA Spotlight. Black and white photo of man with pale-skin, darkish hair and a bear and mustache.

Omar Riverstone of Heritage Teaworks is a skilled woodworker who uses upcycled materials. Check out @heritageteaworks on Instagram or Etsy. Omar creates beautiful things! Since being the spotlight for the February 2023 newsletter, Omar has been creating tea trays, wooden tea cups and gaiwans, acorn-shaped containers, and Japanese steamer trays.

Tea on the Trail, the March 2023 CommuniTEA Spotlight in Tea Infusiast News.

Nicole McKinney is the creative force behind tea_on_the_trail, a tea account that focuses on tea photos in nature. She’s an award-winning professional photographer. Nicole also designs and sells tea merchandise. Since being featured in the newsletter in March 2023, Tea on the Trail celebrated its fifth anniversary in June!

This post features my interview of Nicole in honor of that milestone.

Spotlight April – June 2023

Let’s continue the CommuniTEA Spotlight Retrospective with tea people featured in Tea Infusiast News between April and June 2023.

Taniya Gupta of @yogateapoetry runs wonderful events that draw on her skills as a yogi, poet, and trained tea teacher. Women’s empowerment is a regular theme. Taniya’s first book of poetry, What Will People Say, debuts in early January 2024. Learn about this gorgeous book of vulnerable and powerful poems and pre-order it at (I am grateful I was able to read an advance copy. I LOVED IT!)

Taniya Gupta of YogaTeaPoetry, the April 2023 CommuniTEA Spotlight. Taniya is of South Asian descent. She has long dark hair, and is smiling in this photo. She is wearing a black shirt.

Since being featured here, Taniya and I collaborated on an experiment blocking out chunks of time where we didn’t listen, watch, or read anything. You can read Taniya’s perspective here and my reflections on this experiment at this post.

Maxime of Sciences Thé earned a Ph.D. in biology/cancer research. He applies his skills to share scientific research about tea–why different teas taste the way they do, health claims, and more! I also love the artistry of his photos. Maxime shares information in French and English on Instagram @sciencesthe and on his website. Since being featured in the May 2023 newsletter, he has written posts like “Intestinal Microbiota and Tea.”

Connie of @teainspoons began posting tea reviews in 2015. She also shares other tea content on her blog and newsletter. From single origin to flavored, she reviews a wide range of teas. Since being featured as our June spotlight, Connie was one of the storytellers at my November 2023 Story of a Teacup. That event raised just over $300 for a nonprofit that supports caregiving. Thanks for donating your time and skill, Connie.

Connie of Tea in Spoons, the June 2023 CommuniTEA Spotlight from Tea Infusiast News. A photo shows Connie, an Asian women with bobbed black hair and glasses, picking tea. She is wearing a dark jacket.

Retrospective and Upcoming

I hope you enjoyed this CommuniTEA Spotlight Retrospective: January – June 2023. It has been a joy following their work and updating you on what they have been up to since they appeared in my newsletter.

In January, Tea Infusiast News will share updates of tea people featured in the CommuniTEA Spotlight during the second half of 2023. Make sure to subscribe to stay connected.

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