• Social Media

    The Trouble with Tech Startups and Tea

    Last year I wrote a bit of a rant about crowdfunding and the issues that it presents the tea world. Not much has changed since then but the recent demise of tech startup Teforia got me thinking about this subject again. Dan Bolton’s article on World Tea News provided some great insights into why this happened but there was one glaring issue that I haven’t seen discussed. The trouble with tech startups is that they all try to solve a problem that doesn’t actually exist! Tea Robots Aren’t Necessary People have been drinking tea for a very, very long time. There hasn’t been much in the way of technological innovation (with the possible exception…

  • Social Media

    5 Things Tea Companies Need to Stop Doing on Instagram

    Instagram is probably the social media platform that I use the most. There’s an awesome sense of community there and I love being able to connect with other tea fanatics around the world. It’s also a great way to discover new tea companies. That being said, there are some things that tea companies do on Instagram that drive me crazy. I’m writing about it here in the hopes that I can get through to at least a few of the perpetrators. Using Stock Photography I see a lot of companies using nothing but the same terrible stock photos that everyone else uses, most often from freeimages.com. This comes across as very commercial and impersonal. It…

  • Social Media

    Even More Awesome Tea Creators of YouTube

    Almost three years ago I wrote a blog post called Awesome Tea Creators of YouTube. Things have changed a bit since then. Some of the channels on the original list aren’t active anymore and several new channels have come onto the scene as well. It was high time that I put together another list. Teacups and Blossoms Rebekah has so much energy and passion for tea that is positively infectious. We had the pleasure of meeting in NYC last year and she’s exactly the same in person. It’s her mission to make tea fun and approachable for everyone. Tea End Blog Gabby at Tea End Blog has a great channel that is an…

  • Social Media

    Crowd Funding and Tea

    Lately, I’ve been inundated with requests to write about and share Kickstarter campaigns on my social media channels. Although this is a seemingly innocuous question, there are some issues that I think need to be addressed: The market is flooded  I’ve received requests for promotion from six different companies this week. I have serious doubts as to whether the North American tea market can support such a boom. There a lot of tea companies out there, most of them operating online without the overhead costs of a brick and mortar location. Although tea is on the rise here in the U.S., speciality tea is still a very niche product with a narrow customer…

  • Social Media

    What Tea and Social Media Means to Me

    Last week was spent in Las Vegas at World Tea Expo (you all expect in-depth coverage next week). It’s an event that I look forward to every year, mostly because it’s a time of connecting in person with those who I usually only converse with online. I thought this might be a great opportunity to share my thoughts about what tea and social media mean to me. The topic is particularly timely because I just gave a seminar on this very subject. When I first discovered tea, I was living in a bit of a vacuum. Dorming at a college about forty miles away from home meant that it was just far enough…