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 that I didn’t get to see my friends and family as often as I would have liked. Not being able to share my newfound passion for tea with anyone nearby led me to turn to the internet in search of knowledge and a sense of belonging. I found that almost immediately on Twitter. It was so exciting to find real people who were even bigger tea nerds than I was at the time. I’m a rather shy by nature so exploring tea online suited me just fine.

I wrote reviews for Teaviews.com for a number of years but decided to give tea blogging a try after discovering a couple of the tea blogs that existed back then. It was never intended as a serious endeavor. +Tea for Me Please started out as a log of my personal tea experiences. It actually came as a shock when other people started reading what I was posting. Since then I’ve connected with some truly amazing people around the globe through blogging and using social media. There is a core group of fellow tea bloggers that have become more like a family (you all know who you are!).

For this reason, social media is so much more than analytics and the number of followers. It’s how I explore tea and connect with my readers. It has also provided an opportunity to form friendships that I would have struggled to find otherwise. An introvert like myself is very unlikely to speak in public. I was beyond nervous while doing it but I was able to push past those insecurities in large part because of connections formed on social media. Seeing so many familiar faces in the audience was more reassuring than I can find the words to explain.

What do tea and social media mean to you? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments!

Nicole has been writing about her love of the leaf since 2008. Her work has been featured on World Tea News, The Daily Tea, Tea Journey, and other publications. She is the winner of the 2018 World Tea Award for Best Tea Blog.