5 Reasons to Learn More About Tea

[First, a moment of silence for those who lost their lives on this date 14 years ago.]

There are many reasons to learn more about tea, but to keep things simple I have selected 5 reasons that seem the most important, at least to me. This was spurred by a blogger named Hannah, who connected with me through Facebook, and I was thrilled, that is, until today. I woke up to a very disappointing message. Sadly, Hannah told me that she doesn’t want info about tea, just mindless enjoyment. Sorry to hear it. Tea is a wonderful subject to study and know more about. I am committed through this blog and my social media accounts to spread the joy of tea knowledge. So, here goes…

1 Telling truly good teas from bad

So much to learn about tea!
So much to learn about tea!

There is a lot of fakery going on out there, so being informed helps you make better purchases. Over the years I have written on this topic for various tea blogs, and it’s one that never hurts to be repeated. But telling fakes is just part of the picture. There are various versions of Silver Needle out there now, so how do you know which is the good one? And price is not an indicator. This is where tea reviews are supposed to come in, but…

2 Sort the good reviews from the bad

There is a lot of tea out there, and lots of tea vendors sending out samples to people like Hannah with only one goal: get a link on that blog back to their store site and improve their page rank so they show up better in search results. So tea reviews these days are pretty useless overall. And when they are written by someone who is just saying that it tastes good or bad or that it inspired a poem, they are even harmful, causing you to miss out on a truly good tea, which leads me to…

3 Getting more from the tea you buy

Fine teas are often very delicate and need to be prepared just so to get the best flavors from them. When I started writing about and reviewing teas, I did my utmost to learn about a tea before trying the sample of it. This helped me prepare it properly and also to learn other factors, such as water quality and steeping vessel, that affect taste. It’s how I learned that the same leaves can be infused several times. And it led me to…

4 Telling the hype from the truth

Today, tea seems to be mostly about hype. And much of this is meant to be emotional, not sensible. Verdant Tea is a prime example. They suck in customers with a big tug to the heart strings. But is the tea really any good? And how much did they really pay to the tea farmers. Not picking on them, but I needed a good example, and they were the most recent site I have seen like this. It takes a lot to earn a dollar these days, and when we spend them, we should know that we are getting something truly worth that dollar. Of course, you may also want to help others, etc., but some vendors think that is all they need to do – get you thinking you are helping someone, whether it’s poor tea farmers or donating profits to some local food co-op. I prefer to buy good tea and donate directly to that charity and support tea farmers in other ways, such as this blog and social media, which leads to…

5 Helping others learn more about tea!

That is my goal. I firmly believe that knowledge enhances enjoyment. It has certainly worked for me. And knowing about how tea is grown, who does it, etc., helps you avoid the wild claims and zero in on the true areas where you can help, if so inclined. I hope you will share my articles here and write your own.

Your thoughts and comments always welcome (I have to monitor them to avoid spam).

© 2015 A.C. Cargill photos and text

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2 Comments

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  1. This post made me realise the benefits of living in the promised land of coffee. I live in Finland and here tea is usually associated with Lipton yellow label (which in Finland has barely a gram of tea in a bag). And even when there are better brands, like, ooh, Twinnings at a cafe, if they are ready brewed, they’re so weak, you have to add a teabag to taste anything. Then there’s the other end of the scale, who serve looseleaf tea in coffee presses in boiling water and so that for example a brew of green tea just cannot be enjoyed.

    I did not mean to whine so much, but tea is something I feel passionate about. But the benefits of this tea culture is that the people who care about tea and sell it, care about it a lot. There is usually one or two shops in a town who sell looseleaf tea and the branding has not yet proceeded so far as to get over the Finnish craving for Fair trade and organic.

    It seems like living among coffee drinkers is actually a good thing.

    Like

    • The point is that anything, including coffee, is enjoyed more if you know more about it. For someone to tell me that she prefers to remain ignorant, as this woman did, is very disappointing. As for Finland, you deal with the same issues that much of Scandinavia does. Hope that can change.

      Liked by 1 person

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