Tuesday, 1 February 2011

luring them over to the leaf side

Seems most teablogs are in some ways similar. To a degree at least. There's a mix of tea tasting notes, and pictures of leaves, plants and entire fields of tea depending on the blog you go to. There seems to be a mix of both scientific, empirical data and more personalized impressions of tea drinking and customs.

Although I attempt to include things here that are to be expected in a typical teablog, I enjoy doing things that one wouldn't necessarily expect to find on a teablog. It's been a while since I purposely talked about tea in relation to topics that reasonable people should make every attempt to avoid, such as religion, sex or politics. But there was a time when I made every attempt to touch on these sorts of subjects. Not to offend. Maybe just to see what I could get away with.

Another way that I've set myself apart is to focus on attracting new people over to the leaf side. Whether describing tea basics here on the blog or slowly introducing people in real life to more and better tea, I really get excited when I can make tea drinking more enticing to someone who has little or no experience with loose-leaf tea.

Whether it's a client or a friend, I take every opportunity to serve tea. Maybe the first time someone's visiting, I'll offer a choice of beverages. If they show any interest in tea whatsoever, then I'll regularly serve it from then on.

My friend Jarrod comes over regularly to play music, and he seems open to try just about anything. He was here for the Darjeeling tea tasting I did a few months ago, and each time he's here his taste is stretched just a bit more. He drinks his coffee black, so I started off with a malty Assam and then a smoky Yunnan. But after he seemed to like the more delicate teas at the tasting, I started branching out even more. We've worked our way through some highly oxidised Oolongs, and he's already able to distinguish some very subtle flavours.

Here's Monique & Jarrod way back then, and I'm sure you'll hear more about my experiments with serving him tea in the future. You can't wait can you. Maybe he's just being polite by trying all of this tea. In that case, I'll make it my challenge to find something he dislikes so much it over-rides his manners.


  1. Politics, religion and sensual talk? All connected to tea of course? You should link back to such delightfully controversial articles.

    So, when you get together with Monique and Jarrod and Herr und Frau "Schmidt" do you discuss such matters over tea?

    In my experience, when I chat tea on our site, we start with the leaves but discuss a host of other subjects while we sip.

    I'm sure you realize that by providing your friends with fun & laughter while they're drinking, they'll quickly associate tea with great times. Awesome! Way to go! Yes, you're a clever man.


  2. I personally really like when you (or any tea blogger) brings in other, "atypical" topics. For example, a new tea blog that really got my attention was Neil Gorman's Lao Ren Cha. Some of the posts are more stereotypical but he has others that explore questions of the pace of a culture and the way we view relationships. But I think one can get a lot more atypical than that. The world we live in is full of rich connections and boundless potential for analogies and strange comparisons.

    I love those sorts of things!

  3. Nice post, strikes a chord. Most tea blogs I know (and that may of course not be that many because I like tea but only recreationally so to speak) seem to want to tell you about paddy fields or silvertips, or rainy harvest times, and that can all get a bit tedious in my view. Your post is different, I even detect a slight Hemingwayesque tone. No really, I liked it a lot.

  4. Nice job both on the blog and the "luring them over to the leaf side" :D