OSP: Tea #3 The Social and the Solitary

People put-tea-ing the word out there

I was honestly surprised by how many blogs there are out there, totally dedicated to tea! Tea reviews and tastings, how to brew each kind of tea properly, guides to knowing what tea to buy and where to get it. Blogmetrics has a list of the 25 top tea blogs out there! I didn’t look into how they determine who’s “top”, but they have a link on there to their 20 criteria.

A good idea

The last 2 weeks I’ve really enjoyed reading and even back-reading some articles. Here are my personal favourites in no particular order:

  • The Snooty Tea Blog I found fun – I enjoy her writing and how personal she makes her tea reviews. The photos on the Snootea blog are aesthetically very pleasing, satisfying my right-brain compulsions.
  • Tea Masters on Blogspot looks very professional and meticulous. It’s run by Stephane, a guy who lives in Taiwan and shares his tea knowledge & experiences, some of which he draws from his tea mentors (he mentions Teaparker, author and connoisseur). His photos reflect how much attention he pays to detail, and his tea reviews are quite literary 🙂
  • The Tea Addict’s Journal’s last couple of posts have been more practical and experience-based – it seems like he’s in China right now, in tea paradise – and he’s posting about how to buy good tea from local tea shop rather than heading for the supermarket, as well as the gems he’s found along the way.

Start exploring, there are so many!

That goes for tea on Youtube too! The Chow channel has a video interview with tea connoisseur James Norwood Pratt, where he told a very moving story about a Japanese tea master he met who would conduct a tea ceremony with every kamikaze pilot, before they took off for their final & fatal mission. This is only a small part of a really interesting interview (I didn’t know that your brewing water should never even get to boiling point at all… I thought letting it cool was ok) Oops.

My book wishlist

Any subject I get interested inevitably bleeds over into my obsession with reading. Whether the book I pick up is a nonfiction dedication to the subject or simply a story with vague relation to (or with a context of) whatever I’m interested in, I’m in. 🙂
Some of these books I’ve read and some I haven’t yet:

The Colour of Tea, book cover Copyrighted to Hannah Tunnicliffe on hannahtunnicliffe.com

The Colour of Tea, book cover Copyrighted to Hannah Tunncliffe on hannahtunnicliffe.com

  • The Colour of Tea by Hannah Tunnicliffe.
    Rated quite highly on Goodreads by enough people to convince me, and with a synopsis as engaging as I hope the book will be. The main character Grace is dealing not only with personal issues, but also with moving to a foreign place (Macau), she deals with these issues via a love of baking and tea. Her problems aren’t completely on hold, though; they come back as they inevitably do. Please do this book the justice of reading its original blurb on Goodreads, and possibly reading it too. When I’ve read it, I’ll come back to this post and do an actual review of it. If there’s someone out there who already read this one and want me to publish their review of it (totally crediting you), contact me!

 

by Jan Whitaker

by Jan Whitaker

  • Tea at the Blue Lantern Inn: A Social History of the Tea Room Craze in America by Jan Whitaker
    It seems like drinking and spending money wasn’t all there was to do in the roaring 20’s! Having read a bit about how crazy, exciting even thrilling those years could be, I think I would enjoy reading about something that would stereotypically be a bit more sedate: tea rooms, rather than jazzy-swing clubs. Apparently there were a lot of tea rooms springing up and thriving just as 1920 hit, and this is a look into what they were like, why women chose to express their independence there and how they have influenced modern eating-out habits. Check it out on Jan Whitaker’s website
by Douglas Adams

by Douglas Adams

  • The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams
    Ok, it’s not exactly about tea, but noticing how many tea references Douglas Adams has in his various books (including instructions for making a proper cup of tea in The Salmon of Doubt), this is enough of a connection for me to pick up a book of his again! I read Hitchhiker’s Guide quite a long time ago, and I absolutely love the humour; it’s about time I read his Dirk Gently series.
    *Note: This is the second book in the Dirk Gently series.
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Filed under Books, food & Drink, Obsessions

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