• Learn About Tea

    How to Taste Tea Like a Pro

    I often get emails from people who tell me that they enjoy reading my tea reviews but they could never truly appreciate tea themselves. That simply isn’t true. Being able to evaluate what you are tasting is a learned skill. While some people might be born “super tasters”, the vast majority of us need to put in the work to train our palates. This is a lesson that I learned many moons ago while working in customer service for a wine retailer. I love white wine but really struggled when it came to tasting reds. I was a total newbie and because of that, my palate had not been trained in the same…

  • Blogging

    Guide to Tea Blogging: Ethics, Reviews, and Sampling

    I kicked off a series called Guide to Tea Blogging back in December but haven’t had a chance to revisit it. New bloggers often reach out to me asking for advice so it will helpful to have blog posts on different topics to direct them to. The ethics of sampling come up pretty often so it seemed like a logical next installment.  Ethics and Sampling  One of the obvious perks of writing a tea blog is indeed receiving free samples. However, getting free samples should not be the reason that your blog exists. The same rule applies for press passes to World Tea Expo and other events. Unscrupulously greedy bloggers give the good ones a bad…

  • Blogging

    Guide to Tea Blogging: The Importance of Accurate Analytics

    I get a lot of questions about the ins and outs of tea blogging, especially from those who are very new to this crazy thing we do. This post is the first of what will likely be a bit of a new mini-series. I thought I would start with the issue of analytics because it can be one of the most complicated aspects of tea blogging. Those of you who are retailers might also benefit from this kind of information. Regardless of the platform that you use to blog, it’s important to know that the native analytics are unlikely to be accurate. I use Blogger and it took me a while to figure out…

  • Learn About Tea

    A Beginner’s Guide to Actually Enjoying Puerh

    While many of my readers are as addicted to puerh as I am, I thought that I should include a bit of an introductory article in this inaugural journal. Fermented teas can be really scary when you’re first starting out. These recommendations are based on my own tastes and experiences. Although I’ve been a serious tea drinker for a long time, puerh was my last frontier until the last two years or so. I was pretty convinced that I hated the stuff. In hindsight, I realize that many of the first samples I tried were rather bad quality and not really representative of the category. Fishy shu or musty, poorly stored sheng has…