It’s been three months since I last wrote a tea blog post, which is about three times slacker than my longest previous gap. Over seven years and many words – this will be my 395th blog post on this site (after about 8 on my first location, and there’s about 20 on Beasts of Brewdom, which I’ll explain later) – this site has been hosted by Tea Trade.
Tea Trade was set up by Jackie and Peter Davenport, and it was designed to be a home for a tea community.
In what I fondly think of as “the old days”, when Twitter ruled the netwaves, there were maybe 30 or 40 of us that had conversations every day, and it became a two part process – share your short ideas, opinions or sarcastic remarks on twitter and your longer ideas, complex opinions or more sarcastic pieces via your Tea Trade blog.
At this time, there appears to be four bloggers active on Tea Trade including myself. When I think about the dozens that used to be publishing regularly, it makes me sad.
But yet, for an independent blogging platform to even exist after 7 years is a great achievement. And it’s mostly been harmonious – I myself have only conducted one bitter feud in all that time – and while there has been some criticism of Tea Trade over the years, all of the aforementioned criticism came from the most unpleasant, cowardly, narcissistic, hate-fuelled person ever to grace the tea-infused corridors of the internet, and that reprobate can stick their small, jaundiced teapot up their backside. (TOOT!)
I’d like to think that some of the others are merely awaiting for something worth saying. Jo, of Scandalous Tea blog fame, overcame personal tragedy and launched a modelling career in her 60s and may be too busy for all but the occasional post. Ken, who used to write the charming blog Lahikmajoe Drinks Tea and is a world expert on unexpected goats (you had to be there!), is hopefully merely resting these last 5 years and may spring back into action, if not on his own then on the semi-defunct Beasts of Brewdom. (If you’ve never been there, it’s a rather alarming blog created for when Ken, Geoffrey Norman and I have something to say that is even too outrageous for our own blogs. )
So, that leaves the ‘quartet’ I mentioned in the title.
Apart from my own humble* offerings, there are three other blogs you should read.
I Heart Teas, by Rachel Carter. The blog is described as “a fusion of information about tea, coffee, wine, skin loving bath and beauty products, fitness fun, and how they all apply to life” and while I might suggest a rewrite of that (“tea, life and other, inconsequential, things”) Rachel’s honest and refreshing style makes for good reading.
Teaconomics, by Xavier Lugerini is unmissable, Firstly because it’s a blend of two things that interest me – and should interest everyone – tea and economics, And secondly because he does actual research, not just the sort of rumour and innuendo that I find inspiring. His English is exceptional when you consider it is his second language, and certainly much better than my French.
Steep Stories is simply my favourite tea blog. Written by Geoff Norman, Portland’s #1 tea tour guide, a fellow Beast of Brewdom and hands-down the best pairing of exceptional taste buds and fearless descriptions that there is.
Now, it may be that other tea blogs that started life on Tea Trade was still be using the engine but have their own domains. I’m not sure, but other great blogs may still reside in secret.
Pete and Jackie have created and nurtured something wonderful. Incidentally, if you are a budding tea blogger, you should consider siting your site on Tea Trade If not , then I recommend being a regular visitor, and enjoying the tea quartet.
*One is supposed to say “humble” but really, it’s brilliant, as we all know.