What is your favorite tea blog? Of course, I hope it is T Ching, but when a winter storm pinned me at my rural home for eight days, I had the chance to investigate some of the tea blogs – and variations thereof – promoting tea, glorious tea! This post examines a fraction of the tip of the iceberg.
Like all competent tea researchers, I began my research with a fresh cup of tea – in this case, Yunnan Gold. Like all researchers who don’t have a clue where to start, I googled “Tea Blogs.” Original, yes? What popped up was astounding. Stunning. I clicked the “Top Ten Tea Blogs” link, with fear in my heart. Turns out that T Ching is seventh on the list. Whew! While there, I followed a link to Ifang Hsieh’s amazing post from last March, Tea Manga. No criteria are given for the rankings, but the person who did the ranking has his own website, Tea Guy Speaks. It has some hilarious videos, a few aesthetically pleasing videos; one really questionable one – each an advertisement for our favorite beverage. Interspersed and in between are commentaries and a variety of blog posts about tea.
At the end of the quick list of the top ten, there is a comments section. Although no new comments have been posted since October, 2011, no fewer than 14 of the 18 comments present included a tea website address: “I’d love it if you checked us out!” I checked five of these. Three are “under maintenance;” one is “domain suspended,” and one is a very active, very pink website selling whimsical teapots, tea towels and very expensive – cute – gift boxes of cheap, cheap, tea bags.
I went back to the Tea Guy Speaks and found his handy Tea Blogs page. Scores and scores of tea blogs are listed there, alphabetically. Here is what I learned:
- Just because it has “Tea” in the URL doesn’t mean the blog is about tea.
- Many tea blogs are tirelessly maintained by a single tea fanatic.
- Lots of “blogs” are actually tea stores with an editorial or personal commentary punctuated by tea musings now and then.
- The turnover/attrition rate of tea blogs keeps apace with online tea stores: more fail than succeed.
I was heartbroken that one of the sites under maintenance, from Australia, adamantly advocated “leaching instead of steeping,” but I am left to my imagination as to how to leach, and why it beats steeping.
I did find some gems: our own Richard Caicedo’s blog, is a delightful collection of commentary, product review, history, and education about his beloved Japanese tea. I read a fascinating post about Wahkoucha, Japanese black tea. T Ching contributor Lisa Dong has founded her own Tea Dhamma Club, which looks like some very serious tea drinking and reflection. And, there is Dharlene Marie Fahl, who inspires and uplifts her clients with a variety of courses and products, including tea. My, what a line-up – and I’ve just covered A – F in the T Ching contributor list!
What tea blog gems have you found?
Next post will share more tea community gems from the T Ching community, continuing through our alphabet of contributors. If I’ve missed your blog, let me know to check it out!