The partnership with Sergio Herman really got the ball rolling. She put together a tea menu for Oud Sluis and regularly worked with other master chefs since then. Ann’s passion makes her the top Tea sommelier in Benelux. You can find her selections and blends in some of the finest restaurants in Belgium and the Netherlands (including Hof van Cleve, Het Gebaar, Pure C,…). For Ann it is a must that every tea she selects in China be grown biodynamically, without the use of pesticides and herbicides. She also makes sure that the tea growers are treated fairly.
Ann Vansteenkiste wants to tell a story, to share her world and inspire people.
What originally should have been a one-hour appointment turned into a three-hour cosy get-together at Ann’s house. After serving us a delicious cup of tea (which had been brewing all day), Ann discussed her dreams, as well as everything she still wants to achieve (make a documentary) and learn (about tea). Her passion is plain to see. She loves purity, authenticity and the familiarity of intuition. Because when her gut feeling tells her that something doesn’t feel right, she just won’t do it.
‘I LIVE AND BREATHE TEA.’
Thirteen years ago, Ann enrolled in an Herbalist training course. Tea has become her life’s work and profession. Ann is so much more than a tea sommelier however. As a passionate herbalist and aromatherapist, she knows everything there is to know about lots of plants, flowers and herbs. She doesn’t just select and pour tea. She is on a tea mission and her favourite part of her job is to teach and inspire people.
When her son moved to China, the birthplace of the most ancient tea culture in the world, she decided to visit him regularly and bring back the best of what the world of tea, in its purest and most premium way, has to offer. She dreams of giving people a taste of her world by organising tea culture trips or hosting them in her own tea house.
‘Tea should be made with the heart, not with the hand. Create without making it, in the stillness of your mind.’
Heritist lovers, Frederik & Vicky