• 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…

  • Tea Tips

    4 Simple Ways Restaurants Can Improve Their Tea Service

    I think almost every tea drinker I know has bemoaned the sad state of tea in American restaurants at one time or another. Even high-end establishments disappoint with tepid water and poor quality tea bags, although there are some rare exceptions like NYC’s Eleven Madison Park. I’m always confused by this because very often the same place will offer coffee from one of the so-called “third wave” vendors. Here’s the thing, making tea isn’t hard. It doesn’t require a gargantuan effort. There are some really simple changes a restaurant could make to transform the customer experience. Don’t Make It an Afterthought Tea is usually found at the very end of a menu, often as…

  • Blogging

    5 Things to Do When Contacting a Tea Blogger

    Last week I wrote a post called 5 Things to Avoid Doing When Contacting a Tea Blogger. The response was surprisingly awesome (big thank you to everyone who shared it on social media!). It was only fair that I put a positive spin on it now. It can be hard to know what proper etiquette is, especially if you’re new to the industry. The steps below should set anyone off on the right foot. Do Your Research It’s really important to do your homework before hitting send on that email, tweet or Instagram message. Reading through several weeks of posts will give you a good picture of what that blogger specializes in. What are…

  • Blogging

    5 Things to Avoid When Contacting a Tea Blogger

    +Tea for Me Please turned the ripe old age of 8 this year. As far as tea blogs go, you could say that I’ve been around the block a time or two. In that time I’ve experienced the best (and the worst) of tea company PR. A good portion of the faux pas have been committed by marketing firms but occasionally it was industry folks who should know better. This is a topic that has come up at every Tea Bloggers Round Table that I’ve been a part of so I thought it was about time that I talk about it here on the blog. Here are some things to avoid when contacting a tea…

  • 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…