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  • #8310

    LatteTeaDah
    Participant
    @latteteadah

    Hardest part? The writing bit…
    Ideas are easier to come up with, but trying to write for a mixed audience is tough. I’m surrounded by people and friends who know so little about tea that they call me their “expert,” yet I’m acutely aware that my depth of knowledge is lacking when reading other’s efforts. And I’m not nearly as disciplined in journaling as others – I have to have something inspire me and have it be meaningful or it’s not worth jotting down.
    So for the most part I try to describe what I learn and what context it’s in. There are some who cannot stand that approach – the “describe what you’re wearing and what kind of day you had” narrative for a tea experience – but that’s how some of us experience things.

    Good topic!

  • #8237

    LatteTeaDah
    Participant
    @latteteadah

    @xavier later this fall, mid- November, for a short 3-day weekend to revisit old haunts. Long story, but I had planned a 10-day trip there in 2010 and was driven to Metz/Lorraine instead (where I once taught) and have been trying to find the time to get back to Paris since then to actually do the tea shopping I had planned to do originally.

  • #8233

    LatteTeaDah
    Participant
    @latteteadah

    There are PCBs in all kinds of things. I was likely exposed to it as a child, our neighborhood was next to big electrical towers and everything “urban” under the sun. I remember drinking water straight from our garden hose. Yet I’m closer to 40 now, and while my mental state may be questionable, my health is still sound.

    I introduced family and friends to “boba” – my favorite tea haunt sells it. I personally don’t drink it because I’m sensitive to the sugars they add to it in their “milk teas.” But the others are addicted to it. Had it this afternoon. There’s a huge bag of it in the family cupboard to make it ourselves at home. I might be tempted to take another look at the label and the origin. But I don’t know that we’ll stop drinking it.

  • #8232

    LatteTeaDah
    Participant
    @latteteadah

    Well, it’s about time, I have to say 🙂 Their web site and PR announcements last year were worded as though they were opening these stores in New York right away. Was sent a sample of their tea to review, and had to correct my post – it was only an online venture at the time.

    I may actually have to plan a a seperate weekend trip to NYC now and check them out. I’ll be in Paris again soon, but may not have the time to stop at one of their flagship stores while I’m there.

    Have to say my favorite is the black-leaf version of The du Hammam and the tibetan-style blend (name escapes me at the moment.)

  • #6320

    LatteTeaDah
    Participant
    @latteteadah

    Here’s a quick write-up about my first steepings of the abovementioned Fu Brick.

    http://insteep.teatra.de/2011/12/23/fu-brick-hei-cha/

    It’s not what I was expecting, but in a good way.  More approachable for mainstream palates than Pu-er – I still prefer Pu-er because I like strong tea, but this is a good changeup.  The brick I purchased is particularly on the green end of the dark tea spectrum, so it wouldn’t likely appeal to folks who don’t like senchas and those types of flavor profiles, but it’s definitely a good sip.  The vendor I ordered from has other varieties labeled in the ‘Dark Tea/Not Pu-Er’ spectrum, so I’m looking forward to trying those soon, but I’ll be working my way through this brick over the Holidays.

     

  • #6318

    LatteTeaDah
    Participant
    @latteteadah

    Thanks to all for the replies and my apologies for posing the question and then being absent for a few days (holidays and work!)
    I will be trying my Fu Cha brick this evening and will try to get a post on what I think and pictures.  Based on the responses, I that the vendor might be marketing it ‘properly’ – it’s not as available here in the States, I suppose I should thank my lucky stars that a local vendor has it available to try.  I’ve tried a few pu-ers in my time, so I’m hoping I might be able to discern at least if there’s a flavor difference.  I don’t have my microscope handy to look at the probiotic features.

  • #6298

    LatteTeaDah
    Participant
    @latteteadah

    I think the comment being discussed was given a bit too much credence.  The context seemed to be more of a knee-jerk reaction to a series of bad business decisions on their part than as something the tea community should take to heart. 

    Just as @verity and @liberteas have mentioned, it’s no different than any other kind of community.  There are the enthusiasts, the marketers, the people who make a living from it – all coming together at different places and each having their own expectations of how things “should” be and why they each show up.  For the most part, I think we all understand those differences and tolerate the widely-varied approaches we all bring to the kettle. 

    I’ve seen it play out in other genres – a former fiance decided one day to quit his well-paid programming job and monetize his video game blog.  He manages the social media and mechanics of it well, but didn’t account for having to live at the whim of the public.  Just traded one set of stressors for a new set of stressors.

    This appears to be what happened here.  Someone decided to monetize their tea hobby, didn’t do enough initial research or expected that it would all fall neatly into place, and got some bad-but-fair reviews. Is that the tea community’s fault?   I don’t think it is.  Are we all shiny, happy, inclusive, uber-knowledgable gurus?  No.  But I think the majority of us are fair-minded, tolerant, and welcoming of people who are also fair-minded and tolerant.

  • #6415

    LatteTeaDah
    Participant
    @latteteadah

    @jackie – Right.  There’s no such thing as a $5 purchase there.  Not for a large container of loose tea.  Not even 10 years ago when they were relatively new and up-and-coming.  $5 for the first 2 oz.  But try to get out of there with a simple 2 oz.!  Ha!

    I gave up on them when they changed their blending ratios.  Everything looks like fruit salad now compared to what it used to be. 

    What I think is happening is that more people are walking in the door because they’ve heard about it and they’re present in more places, but they’re not consistent customers.  Once or twice a year for a “splurge” or a purchase of their less-expensive teaware.  But I don’t know anyone who’s ever purchased their cast-iron teapots (have people looked at what they’re asking for those things?) and while I have friends who are still convinced that they’re selling tea vs. fruit chunks, these friends only window shop.  It’s hard to justify paying so much for so little when they figure out they can get good tea cheaper other places.

  • #6250

    LatteTeaDah
    Participant
    @latteteadah

    I had been seriously contemplating a trip to Kyoto and Shizuoka to visit a few of the farms, and then the tsunami and Fukushima disaster struck.  There’s no danger in going there, but it seems kind of strange to be touring around when there’s still so much happening and concern about fallout.  Would feel like I was in the way. 

    I’ve been watching Michael Palin tour the Himalayan region on PBS, visiting an Indian tea estate and drinking Tibetan Po Cha along the slopes of Everest.  That kind of trip would be my next choice, but there’s so much political unrest that I don’t know if that kind of thing would even be possible or safe to do as an individual.  He had the BBC and 40 pieces of camera equipment with him.  I would only have my wits, my asthmatic lungs, and my French as my assets.  That and $4.50 will get you a steeping of Gyokuro at the local cafe.

  • #6212

    LatteTeaDah
    Participant
    @latteteadah

    I haven’t read the book, but glanced at the wiki explainer and as a concept, it makes a lot of sense.

    I just wanted to touch on the idea of the grocery store being the “undiscovered country” for tea, so to speak, as you’ve alluded to.  It’s already started being tested as such for both coffee and tea, and the response has been lukewarm.  I wouldn’t really categorize it as the “blue ocean”  If you walk into any major mainstream chain, you’re going to find the same 4 or 5 tea companies competing with each other.  Lipton has even started marketing a loose leaf package of their ubiquitous orange pekoe.  So the tea consumer that has an inkling that loose leaf tea is better than bagged tea will still be reaching for the Lipton rather than trying something different.  You won’t find a Pu-Erh tea for sale in a Kroger or a Super Valu. 
    And the mega-grocers like Target and WalMart brand their own teas alongside the 4 or 5 bag brands.  There’s no room for the smaller, quality tea brands to introduce their wares.  They have more success at stores that market health – Whole Foods and Co-ops.
    The health market for tea was once the blue ocean, now turned red with the number of wagons on board.

    Starbucks has already tried to tap the grocery market with Tazo and their flavored coffees, even re-branding their teas as “full-leaf” and so forth, but I haven’t heard of it being a huge success.

  • #6387

    LatteTeaDah
    Participant
    @latteteadah

    I tend to agree with Xavier – the success of this move depends on what he ends up selling.  If it’s luxury tea made from quality sourcing and staying away from “trends” – he might have a loyal following.  If he gets anxious and starts branching out into unknown territory with fruity-tooty experimental blends or things people aren’t expecting from what they know of EIC, he might get some push-back. 
    Risky, but can be done right.  There are a few ‘legacy brands’ in the U.S. with a long history like that in other fields, but I’ve never heard of an ‘outside’ party taking one over successfully without having to re-invent things altogether or having customers lose interest.

  • #6492

    LatteTeaDah
    Participant
    @latteteadah

    Petite corrigée (lien)  http://atoutoiseau.blogspot.com/2011/09/east-india-company.html

    Eh ben, elle avait la chance d’etre invitée!  Par contre, je trouve bizarre qu’un vendeur de thé de ce niveau oserait servir leurs thés précieux comme Silver Cloud dans des tasses en plastique….mais quelle chance de déguster leur version Earl Grey sur place.  C’est sans doute un lieu à ajouter à son planning lors d’une visite à Londres.

  • #6101

    LatteTeaDah
    Participant
    @latteteadah

    From the consumer end of the Twitterverse, I enjoy following the brands and the shops that offer dynamic content – Samovar, even though their offerings are expensive – have a very smart Twitter marketing routine.  They tweet offer videos, interviews, and articles on tea philosophy, interviewing people in all different kinds of fields like Dr. Weihl and Craig from Craigslist.  The tea almost seems secondary, but it manages to still be a part of things – it draws people in.
    There are other independent tea vendors that also do a good job of keeping interest going. 
    Examples I see that don’t really work/appeal to me/motivate me to purchase, mostly from the huge behemoth brands:

    Re-tweeting someone else’s random “I like Brand X” tweets and not expanding on the context, just letting it hang there.

    “Follow us to win a lifetime supply of Brand X Tea” every two days, and never tweeting the result when a winner is chosen, and only tweeting about contests, not about the tea.

    Changing account names every few months after gaining a few thousand followers and not informing anyone of the change. (Only just noticed this week that Revolution Tea changed to Rev Tea and they only have a few dozen followers, but are tweeting to “everyone” as if the thousands were still on board – not sure what happened there.)

    Bottom line I guess is that if you’re going to be serious about a Twitter following, you’re more likely to get people interested if you engage them with content and interaction and not treat Twitter like a simple message board or coupon classifieds.  It’s not an easy thing to do, but there are those who do it well.

  • #6174

    LatteTeaDah
    Participant
    @latteteadah

    Oh, the things we could all say about poor Teavana…

    But you have to think about who they’re marketing to.  If I’m not mistaken, they originated in Atlanta.  Southern Americans rarely think of tea as anything but sugar-laden and black, it’s why McDonald’s and other large-scale places push the sweet tea so heavily, even in the north.

    They do have “good”/”regular” teas, but that’s not what people are buying when they wander in from an afternoon of shopping at The Limited and Williams Sonoma.  If you handed the average someone a sample of a brewed black tea – an amazing assam or a first-flush Margaret’s hope – they might like it, but they’ll think they’ve had it before and will prefer the “exotic” one with strawberry bits.  And yes, those “exotic” teas more often than not brew up to be nothing more than warm kool-aid, but they’re in business to sell beverages, so they give people what they want, and they train their staff to push what’s most likely to go home with someone.

    I honestly don’t see their focus on teaware as being a bad thing.  If people will pay 3x more for a cast iron dragon teapot, that’s the purchaser’s decision, their right to choose.  But they put teaware in the minds of people who wouldn’t otherwise think about it before.  What does it matter if the 20 year olds are blogging about their latest “pretty” glass tea thermos – they’re talking about drinking tea and making it a part of their day – that can only be good!  And when they’re in their 30’s and beyond, and have had the means to look into things with a more critical eye, that only means good things for the other purveyors.

  • #6373

    LatteTeaDah
    Participant
    @latteteadah

    Have you double-checked the link?  It’s showing as “invalid”

    But wow – that tea looks terrific! 

  • #6157

    LatteTeaDah
    Participant
    @latteteadah

    Ah, N’Orleans….

    I went there when I was much younger, so I’m not as “steeped” in it as I used to be but your friend MUST try the Cafe du Monde on Decatur Street if they go nowhere else.  And there is a shop called “Bottom of the Teacup” on Chartres street that will serve fine tea with a psychic reading, if your friend is looking for an authetic adventure.  Both can be googled.  Both in French Quarter.

  • #6515

    LatteTeaDah
    Participant
    @latteteadah

    Great information! Thanks for sharing the tips.

  • #6340

    LatteTeaDah
    Participant
    @latteteadah

    The breakdown is interesting, but I think there’s something that might be getting overlooked.  If the 500 beqs is the limit for un-processed tea, that means someone’s already done the math at some point to break that down into per-serving post-process exposure.  It wouldn’t make sense to set that as the limit, otherwise. 
    And while for some, the breakdown per serving in the article doesn’t seem like much, you have to consider that there are many who consume multiple, multiple cups of green tea each and every day, whereas few people would eat more than 1 banana a day (or even in a week, depending).
    I DO think the extent of the radiation issue is over-hyped, but I don’t agree that drinking the known-to-be-radiated tea is as harmless as that article would make it seem.  If people were only sipping a cup or two here and there, but even at 88 beqs per serving, multiple servings everday would still be a bit much, when there are other sources of tea known to not be radiated. 

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LatteTeaDah

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@latteteadah

active 4 years, 11 months ago