After I started my venture into Chinese Tea, not a day goes by without some variation of ‘Chinese Tea’ appearing on my search engine, be it utensils, culture, history, benefits, types of and so on. With each click, I am increasingly convinced that there is a definite following for Chinese tea, even among those who can’t discern the difference between ‘乌龙’and ‘普洱’.
In fact, I discovered the existence of www.teabloggers.com – no prizes for guessing the subject matter- I was pleasantly surprised to see a vibrant online community of tea lovers. If you search for the location of the bloggers, the following a map pops up to show there is a high concentration of bloggers in the United States and Europe but Asia is conspicuously unrepresented.
To ascertain if the ‘tea’ in question was the same as the subject of this blog, I went through the listing of the member sites.
Note that this is by no means a review of their blogs; being a newbie blogger I am in no position to review other blogs. Rather I am merely highlighting those who blog about Chinese tea to test my hypothesis. Also, I only skimmed through the first page and the tags for them, so if I am mistaken, I stand corrected.
(In case you are wondering, for blogs in foreign languages, oolong & pu-er/pu-erh are usually spelled the same in any language)
In the same order as it appears on the members roll of teabloggers.com, here’s the list with those giving reasonable coverage to Chinese tea highlighted in Red.
1) Steven Knoerr, 39 Steeps
2) Alex Zorach, Alex Zorach’s Tea Blog
3) Babette Donaldson, The Emma Lea Tea-Zine
4) Barbara Gulley, Barb’s Tea Shop
5) Brett Boynton, Black Dragon Tea Bar
6) Horacio Bustos, Blog de té (Spanish)
7) Roy Fong, Camellia Sinensis Blog
8) Carol Sill, Cha-Cha-Cha: Adventures in Tea
9) Corax, Cha Dao
10) Cosmin Dordea, Chadao, Way Of Tea Europe
11) Armandas Burba, ChaYi 茶艺 Искусство Чая Art of Te (Russian)
12) Serena, Là dove fumano le tazze (Italian)
13) Roland Petrov, Exotic Tea Store Blog (dead link)
14) Cinnabar, Gongfu Girl
16) Neil Desai, Indie Teas (deadlink)
17) Jen Picotti, An International Tea Moment
18) Mike Morton, It’s All About The Leaf
19) Naomi Rosen, Joy’s Teaspoon
20) Ken Macbeth Knowles, lahikmajoedrinkstea
21) Lainie Petersen, Lainie Sips
22) Gingko Seto, Life in Teacup
23) Madam Potts, Mad Pots of Tea!
24) Timothy Hsu, The Mandarin’s Tea
25) Emmeny McIntyre-Beadle, The Meaning of Tea Blog
26) Brittiny Lawson, My Steeped IdentiTEA
27) Georgia Silvera Seamans, Notes on Tea
28) Jennifer Petersen, Over the Teacups
30) Sina Caroll, Red Circle Tea
31) Hanny Guimarães, Rota do Chá (dead link)
32) Jamie King, Rub of the Green
33) Barbara Tuson, SBS Teas Blog
34) Adam Yusko, The Sip Tip
35) William Dietz, Sir William of the Leaf
36) Anne Downen, SororiTEA Sisters
37) Jeremy Lopatin, SustainabiliTEA
38) Erika Cilengir, T Ching
39) Marshal N, A Tea Addict’s Journal
40) Michael Kofman, TeaAmigos Tea Reviews
41) Tea Alberti, Tea & Co. (Spanish)
42) Deborah Huff, tea & travel (dead link)
43) Will Bailey, Tea Chat Blog
44) Nikki Means, Tea Escapade (Mcafee says it’s a suspicious site)
45) Eric Daams, Tea Finely Brewed
46) Nicole Martin, Tea For Me Please
47) Marlena Amalfitano, Tea For Today
48) Michael J. Coffey, Tea Geek Blogs
49) William I. Lengeman, III, Tea Guy Speaks
50) Sara Shacket, Tea Happiness
51) Cornell Pasare, Tea Heaven
52) Mary Ann Edward, The Tea Horse Caravan
53) Pei Wang, Teanamu
54) Katrina Avila Munichiello, Tea Pages
55) Dawnya Sasse, Tea Party Girl
56) Jenn Stump, Tea Reflections
57) Stephanie Davies, The Tea Review
58) Marika Hicks, Tea Snobbery
59) Alexis Siemons, Teaspoons & Petals
60) Thomas Conner, Tea Squared
61) A.C. Cargill, Teatime with A.C. Cargill
62) Brian Pfeifer, Tea Traveler
63) Roland Gehweiler, Teeblätter: Teewelt-Blog
64) Natalia Panne, teewelt – Der Tee-Blog (German)
65) Kay McCourty, That Pour Girl
66) Etienne Guillot, Le Vide et le Plein (French)
67) Chris Cason, The Voice of Tea: a tea sommelier’s blog
68) Max Tillberg, The Way of Tea: En köpguide för te
69) Jason Walker, Walker Tea Review
70) Tony Gebely, World of Tea
71) Brandon, Wrong Fu Cha
There you have it, out of 71 bloggers, 52 of them (73%) consume Chinese tea either primarily or as part of their ‘diet’. Though there are some Chinese by descent, most of them are ‘Westerners’.
These are merely those bloggers who are included in the Association of Tea Bloggers which require the blogs to be in existence for six months (that eliminates mine, at least for now) and minimum of three posts a month. There are some other bloggers not included in this association who are equally passionate about tea, one of whom is Tea Lady Mel from sunny Singapore just like me.
All that I have written so far is really a long-winded way of saying that Chinese tea is merely for the Chinese nationality or ethnic Chinese. Other cultures too have experimented with and ultimately embraced this delightful beverage.
Online communities like Steepster.com and Ratetea.com are gathering tea enthusiasts all over the world and not everyone is discussing their Darjeeling and Earl Greys. Oolongs, Pu-ers are garnering just much attention.
Of course, the popularity of Chinese tea in the Western world should not come as a real shock to anyone, taste transcends geographical borders and race.