A Ramble on Tea Reviews (and Wine): Part 1

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It’s just after midnight here in our Nation’s Capital. And I’m wondering why President Obama hasn’t ordered any of our “Drink for Change” blend? Which then led me to Twitter. Random? Of course.

While on Twitter I noticed a significant jump in people following Pearl Fine Teas. Interesting. I hadn’t been paying attention the last few weeks. I clicked to see who was interested in us. Even more interesting. As I browsed the list, checking out fellow TeaPeeps and clicking on their sites or being led to other sites related to tea, I noticed something even more interesting than the last interesting thing…

puter1There are a TON of Tea Review websites out there. When did this happen? So I sat with this thought for a bit… Why are there so many sites that review tea? Why do so many people want to review tea? Why are people building websites and social networks around reviewing tea? Is anyone really interested in someone else’s review of tea? Remember, I was in advertising for many years and my default is extreme curiosity and intense questioning about things like this.

I must admit here on my very own TeaLove Blog, which is mostly about tea and my thoughts on things related to tea (hence totally teacentric) that even I am only mildly interested in another persons review. There I said it. From a business perspective I love the idea of people trying our teas, having an opinion about it (hopefully positive) and then telling others. I like the idea of community. I don’t know how I feel or what I think just yet on the whole “review” thing.  Not knocking the reviewers, just so curious on this new trend. And forming an opinion. (Because I always have an opinion on something.)

I mean… I’ve seen movies where critics have given 2 thumbs down for a movie that I loved. Dare I admit to loving Anchorman? Shallow Hal? Dodgeball? Did I fall asleep watching Ghandi? I really did. But I did love Slumdog Millionaire!

When people ask me what tea they should drink, I always pause for a moment, and then suggest teas that I believe are of high quality and value, and why I think they may like it. However, even though I may like that tea, it doesn’t mean someone else will. High quality aside.

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i love this wine

A few years ago I had a client who was (I think still is) the CEO of a bank. He and his wife were lovers of California wines. I remember talking to him about my growing interest in wines and reading Wine Spectator. He looked at me and said, “Elise, drink what you like and forget the rest. Who cares if something got a low rating. If you like it, drink it.”

I had no reply to that. He was right. Plus he was my client. And a lot taller then me. I feel that way about tea as well. If you like it, drink it.

I LOVE good tea. I also LOVE good wine. But what does good really mean? I’ve had the pleasure of sampling collectible wines: 1989 Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape (Yes! It’s true!); 1996 Latour Corton Charlemagne; 1989 Paul Jaboulet Aine, Hermitage La Chapelle; and a fabulous 1990 Caymus Cabernet Special Selection. I’ve also had Yellow Tail and an unbelievable Pinot Noir from Sonoma-Cutrer for $45 a bottle that left such an impression, I’m ordering a case. Seriously.

lipton4I’ve also sampled many spectacular teas. Some considered so good they are collected and sold for a small fortunes in Asia (ie: puerh). Some I liked and some I didn’t. I’ve also had Lipton. Who hasn’t. There is a time and place for all things, including Lipton Tea. Think iced on a hot summer day.  I refuse to bash Lipton, though I know some people who do. Sir Thomas Johnson Lipton began in 1870 and is currently one of the biggest tea distributors in the world. Its been around for 139 years! People like it.

“Whats her point you may be saying…My point is that, some of us are tea snobs. Some of us are wine snobs. Some of us are both. Is being a snob really such a good thing? I dunno. In the end what matters is what tastes good to YOU. Enjoy the pleasure and the journey of sampling teas and form your own opinion on the leaf (or grape). For good or for bad, its the pleasure of discovering what you like that’s fantastic. And, if you find a tea you absolutely love ENJOY IT. If it happens to be a tea in a bag from a roadside diner paired with the meatloaf special… Who cares. If YOU like it, sip it. (I can feel the tea community twitching as I type this.)

pearl_logo-smallAll that said… I do prefer a whole leaf tea to fannings and anyone out there who would like to review some of our teas (Teaviews & Steepster) and shout out good things to the world about us … you know where to find me.

Ok it’s now 2:23am. I’m done rambling for now and will formulate more thoughts soon on this fantastic growing phenomenon. Part 2 to come…

Happy Sipping! (both tea and wine)

A Ramble on Tea Reviews (and Wine): Part 1

Tea and Climate Policy?

Tea and Politics are HOT. (No pun or Paris Hilton reference intended.)

When I opened my Google Alert email this morning and saw this post on the New America Foundation Blog. I chuckled. Now that’s what I call a segue! Having spent many years in advertising, I can tell ya that’s some seriously borrowed interest. And a way to garner attention! Especially since Obama and Tea seems to be of interest these day. Hmm… (Again, thank you Twitter!)

I get the feeling there are many who see tea as well, weak? I suppose it can be depending on how long you steep it. Or that tea is only for people on the left (I’m in the middle) who practice yoga (which I do) and hug trees (no comment.)

Tea is strong (especially at 5 minutes), makes people happy, is a unifier and has been at the center of many major events throughout history.  Remember: The Boston Tea Party became one of the primary catalysts for the American Revolution that led to the independence and subsequent creation of the United States.

How absolutely fabulous would it be for TeaPeeps like me, and the world in general, if our hopeful New President were to enjoy a cuppa tea at a Press Conference? With Republicans. Or, perhaps while he reviews how he is going to bail us out and reform Healthcare. I would be overwhelmed with joy to know that he wasn’t making important decisions on Red Bull.

Tea is here to stay. And, all things are possible over a simple cup of tea. Like… World Peace. 0% unemployment. And Climate Control.  Am I reaching? Maybe a little, but remember, I was trained by Ad people.

Article below:

Does Obama Drink Tea?January 27, 2009 – 2:32pm

“Tea or coffee? It must be the former, because everyone I know is trying to read his tea leaves, especially when it comes to energy and environment policy.

Crystal balls and beverage dregs may be reliable methods of forecasting some things in our future, but when it comes to sustainability (and that’s really what you mean when you say “energy/environment” or “climate” policy) look to California for a hint of where to focus your personal or corporate viewpoint in the coming months. Here are three big areas where the Golden State is leading and, I believe, the Obama Administration will gladly follow.

First, climate policy. On November 18, 2008, shortly after his election, then President-elect Obama delivered a speech to our Governors’ Global Climate Summit in Los Angeles that left no doubt he will expand California’s climate action plan – – and greenhouse gas reduction targets – – to the federal level. If you missed that important speech, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvG2XptIEJk

The second California sustainability trailblazing that we should watch is in what’s called “green chemistry”. Governor Schwarzenegger set policies and signed laws that require a growing number of manufacturers to formulate products, from bug spray to baby bottles, with non-toxic ingredients and chemicals. Given the anti-science approach taken by the Bush administration on environmental and public health issues, look for the new President to rapidly order his bureaucracy to build on the sound science and smart policy of states like California on a host of these programs that make us healthier.

Last, take a look at energy efficiency. Californians are 40% more energy efficient than average Americans and it’s not because we don’t enjoy watching the SuperBowl on a 72″ Hummer of a TV. It’s because of state energy efficiency standards for appliances and buildings that save people lots of money, along with regulatory policy that incentivizes utilities to invest in energy efficiency programs for consumers. Watch for the feds to do a quick cut-and-paste.

There are other ways the feds will follow California in these matters, with more to come now that so many are inspired by the new President or scared straight by climate change, so stay tuned. But for now, I’ve got to run – – I think I hear the kettle whistling.”

And now I will segue from

Try our Drink for Change Blend. It’s delicious!

Happy Sipping!

Tea and Climate Policy?

Presidential Tea Race Results: Obama Wins!

obama_blendThe people have spoken. “Drink For Change” won by a landslide (90%) while “Extra-Mavericky” fell behind (10%). Were you one of the lucky ones to order a Presidential Tea Blend? Hope so.

Here is to a future full of antioxidants!

Presidential Tea Race Results: Obama Wins!