Saturday, 20 March 2010

Goose eggs

Two things happened today that I need to get off my chest. One was good and the other not so much so.

Someone I know asked me how he could get into tea. This is exactly what I want to do with this blog. Sure I want a dialogue and to entertain you, but if someone comes here to see what the hell I’m doing, and he has NO interest in tea whatever, and gets even fractionally passionate about it, then my work here is complete. Ok, as is often the case, I’m exaggerating. There’s an element of truth in the sentiment, though.

He said he drank coffee black and sweet and didn’t like the taste of milk in tea. I suggested based on this info that a dark Assam would fit him well. What do you think, gentle reader? Would you have offered the same suggestion? Please make a comment what you’d tell a guy who wants to get into tea but doesn’t know where to start.

The other thing is that I hooked this up to google analytics and found out how few people actually come here. It’s atrocious. There are more people on Mars than read this blog. Rows and rows of goose eggs where figures should be. People used to come look at what I was writing/doing, but the lean years are upon us. Sadly.

So here’s what I’d like. If you’re here reading this right now, and who else would it be, please let me know in the comments section what you’d like to see improved. How can I make lahikmajoedrinkstea better? Am all ears. Hope you say something. Anonymously or not. Say anything for heaven’s sake.

14 comments:

  1. I stopped looking at my traffic statistics years ago, but that's probably because I don't care.

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  2. I think Assam is a good choice, but respectfully suggest Nilghiri might be even better.
    As far as your blog, the fact is, us tea fanatics are reading each other's blogs, but hardly anyone else does.
    So I personally don't care if only 50 people watch my vblog and about ten people regularly read by written blog, as long as they are people I most want to communicate with

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  3. I'd point him toward Keemun, actually, or breakfast blends that go well without milk; Mighty Leaf's Organic Breakfast comes to mind (and can be bought in sachets, and in some stores).

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  4. Well thanks for the tea suggestions. I will try them and look forward to a world of discovery. As for the amount of readers... I don't know what to say. It's such a complex issue but in my ignorance I believe it's just it that the web is a perfect representation of 'the real world.' By that I mean there are businesses and the rest are just people trying to get heard. Unless they make money, blogs are nothing more than handing out flyers in the street. You'll hand them all out but most will be binned, few if any will be read. Now hand out fine glossy top name mags and ... you get the analogy. Look what happened to TouTube. How many video blogs are now the main attraction?

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  5. "If I can't have a proper cup of coffee from a proper copper coffee pot, I'll have a cup of tea."

    (No I won't, because I don't drink coffee either.)

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  6. I'm not sure. I like a plain layout, but I also read your blog because your tweets drew me in. After that it doesn't matter what the layout is.

    Looks don't matter to me.

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  7. Yeah, stop looking at the traffic statistics. They're a) demoralizing, b) incomplete and c) not what it's all about. Sure getting lots and lots of people is important. Getting lots and lots of people requires that you give the followers you have reason to keep coming back and recommending it to their friends. You're doing that.

    Add more logistics/practical help. Tell people specifically what to ask for (as you're doing) and how to buy. What do they need to think about? Help people make better choices. Comparison charts. Links to many many other sources of information (the more you link out, the more people will link back). That's all I can think of here at the airport. Keep it up!
    Nick

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  8. Thanks Nick. All of that sounds sensible. On it, as it were.

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  9. Guessing which Nick that is, he's a mondo blogger so will defer to his wisdom.

    As to strong, black tea, I'd suggest a Kenya, brewed 4 tsp to the pot. Chez nous we live on Whittards Original (blend of Kenya, Assam and Sri Lanka). Being in Texas we have to buy it on line and spend more on shipping than on the tea! I make it strong enough to bend the spoon, then add milk and just enough sugar so that my tongue can't figure out if it's bitter or sweet.

    It's key to follow the Golden Rules of tea making - loose leaves only, measure the tea carefully, warm the pot, use freshly drawn cold water and pour just as it boils (never re-boil), steep 4 minutes at least... This all takes about a minute longer than using a crummy tea bag with microwaved water. The difference in taste is immense.

    After 4 years living in England, Brit friends who visit Texas beg me to make them a cuppa when they come round.

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  10. Fantastic post Bob. You're clearly in the right place here. Hope you come visit more often.

    Do you know steepster.com?

    Might be of interest.

    All your tips are good. Need to try Kenya #tea. Only know the java.

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  11. Thanks and will check out steepster.com.

    In the USA there's a perception that tea is weak, real men don't drink it, etc. Not true at all! I love tea because it can be whatever you need it to be.

    True story: While in England, two 20-somethings came out to install an ISDN line at my house. As is custom, I offered them a cuppa. The one lad knew that he took his tea white, one sugar, while his partner always took his white, two sugars. Having made the tea, I called out to him and asked, "Which are you, one sugar or two?"

    Loudly responded: "I'm one, I am!"

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  13. Love it.

    I wrote a post a month or so ago about that perception of weak men drinking tea.

    The other thing that Germans associate tea drinking with is being ill. When people inquire about what's in my thermos during my day, and I say,'It's tea,' they often ask if I'm under the weather.

    There was also a thread at leafboxtea.com about the ability to swill tea all day and be more productive as a result. All good stuff.

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