Welcome to Geek + Tea! Your North of the Border, beyond the wall, above the 49th parallel, in the great white north, amongst the land of maple syrup and honeybees, and your source for all teas fandom and geeky!
My name is Aly and I am the tea geek and plant nerd behind this screen. Although blonde and very feminine I admittedly, have been studying plants my entire life and have made it into a career as a botanist and agriculturalist. And, I love tea. They go hand in hand - up late working on stats, need tea. Need to relax and enjoy an episode of Firefly, need tea. Stressed out because a crop is failing or someone harvested the wrong plant, need tea. In general there is always a need for tea.
Geek+Tea actually got its start in 2013 as part of my botanical herb business Cottage Botanicals. But of late it has outgrown its original packaging and has now moved into an alternative universe. You can still purchase our botanicals and herbs, but I found I needed a venue that appealed more to geekiness. A Whovian loving, Marvel-ous, and Firefly obsessed tea geek, I hope Geek+Tea will open up more opportunities to get my geek on and go to wizardry festivals and comic cons and to get more people interested in how awesome (and necessary) tea and plants are to life.
Needless to say, in every way I am a tea geek because I am a botanist, which means I am a plant nerd. I know plants. I will prattle off latin names and forget the common ones, but I will also brew up a pot of tea and forget about it only to come back hours later to still enjoy a cuppa. I love searching for the rare and unique, but there are bagged teas I enjoy almost as much as my own creations.
So, when I am not wandering the forests identifying and gathering plants with Gandalf, Thorin and Nigel (yep, those are our cats), my husband and I are working in the garden, going camping and hiking along the Bruce Trail with our dog Gimli. Most of the herbs are grown on our property or wild-collected in the Canadian Shield on a family farm, and all purchased ingredients are certified organic and fair-trade. My ringtone is the theme from Harry Potter, and I wish I lived in a Hobbit hole, so get to know us and you'll get to know why plants are awesome and why you need tea.
So keep calm, and put the kettle on to boldly go where no tea has gone before!
- Alyson Baker
15+ years working in agriculture / urban gardening
10+ botanical lecturer / outdoor education instructor
BSc Plant Biology (Hons) - University of Guelph
MSc Plant Pathology - University of Guelph
Diploma, Outdoor Adventure Naturalist - Algonquin College
Certified Interpretive Guide - National Association of Interpretation
Member, Chartered Institute of Horticulture (UK)
Member, Doctor Who Society of Canada
= Actual Master Gardener and Professional Plant Nerd.