For anyone that knows me, the name David Wright and the word blog put together is most likely the last combination you thought you'd ever see... But here it is folks, my first blog post.

For anyone that doesn't know Marilee and myself, let me tell you a little something about our history and how this website came to be. The genesis of our venture is indeed a long tale to tell and something I would love to share with you in more detail when it's relevant. As for now the basic back story should suffice - my assignment is more to address the seeming irony of me being represented through a website.

Our journey in selling tea began 15 years ago when we started offering artisanal teas and gung fu tea service at festivals and fairs up and down the west coast. This was a time when there was virtually no presence of tea in west coast festival culture. We enjoyed four plus years of the nomadic merchant lifestyle and decided to ground out back in our old home: Santa Cruz. After a year off-grid up in the mountains, one thing lead to another, and in 2003 we opened a store called Chaikhana Tea Culture on 41st Avenue. Chaikhana relocated to Downtown Santa Cruz a little over a year and a half later. We opened the Empty Boat tea club on Squid Row Alley in 2007 and closed it in 2009. In 2012, we transitioned our operation from our tiny shop in the downstairs of our home on Cedar Street to a much larger space in Plaza Lane. This is from where I write you now = the Hidden Peak Teahouse. (major nutshell)

This "blog post" is being written with a "Pentel EnerGel 0.7 mm Ball" pen in a "National Brand 1-Subject Notebook." I'm letting you know this because this is the process that has gone into most copy on our website. I write it and my wonderful friend (and our manager) Dawn takes my chicken scratch and transcribes it so you folks can receive it in this, the mode of our day. Alas, the current medium has never appealed to me, so now you can say that you at least know of one person who has never used a computer, never had a cell phone. There I said it, let's move on...

I must admit that I have been through many stages coming to terms with the global digitization of humanity - my process is far from finished as I do still get to meet my old acquaintances from time to time: aversion, judgement, and condemnation. Let me just say however, that for the most part, I'm at peace with this transformation, in the largest sense. In daily conversation (ideally when asked) I will share very strong opinions about all of the sacrifices that are now made in the name of convenience.

So what are we doing here? We're making ourselves more available. Whether or not I'm keen on the technology, it is undeniably the way things are going to be (at least for a while). So, yeah, I see a greater good in making a wider invitation to folks that would like to visit, offering the wonderful selection of teas to those who shop online, and see what kind of unexpected openings that produces.

This website process has been long and arduous, oftentimes being bogged down by my many degrees of separation from the computer itself. A lot of energy has gone into it and though our initial offering is of seven teas only, we assure you that we have many burners going with a variety of offerings at different stages of readiness. What we're intending is to buff out the online store first with all of our pu-erh selection, the reds and the greens next, and ideally a nice selection of gung fu teaware. One aspect of our store is the large selection of vintage and antique teaware that we sell and would like to make available to you through a small but regularly rotating gallery selection.

So in closing, I would like to just say thank you for taking the time to read this. We are a digital free teahouse with representation in the digital media. This is the day and age of mash-ups, mix-ups, and re-imaginings so this seemingly hypocritical paradox shouldn't seem more out of place than anything else.

Marilee in the Tea Tent

Chaikhana Tea Culture on 41st Ave

Chaikhana Tea Culture on Cedar Street

Chaikhana Tea Culture on Cedar (early days)

Chaikhana Tea Culture on Cedar St (later years)

The Empty Boat on Squid Row (early years)

Hidden Peak Teahouse under construction