I am exceedingly proud to report that CHA DAO has been ranked among the 'Top 10 Tea Blogs That Aren't Trying To Sell You Something,' a list by Daren Spence at www.blogs.com. Of his rationale in choosing those ten sites, Daren says, 'I selected the following blogs because tea has become big business and as such tea companies purporting to be your friend are actually trying to sell you something. The following blogs (in alphabetical order) simply celebrate tea in all of its slightly quirky glory. Enjoy!'
Of CHA DAO specifically, he remarks: 'This blog is dedicated to the musings of a number of tea aficionados with a shared love of all things tea. Although the blog is undoubtedly accomplished in terms of depth of knowledge, it is more a forum for the discussion on the joy and beauty of tea and is nowhere near as stuffy as some of the other more high-brow tea blogs.' I could hardly be more pleased, as this is very much my vision for what CHA DAO can and should be.
Here's a little bit about Daren himself:
Daren Spence owns Wearetea.com, an online and bricks and mortar tea business attempting to do things a little differently. His previous life as an accountant did little to prepare him for starting a tea business but he and his wife decided to pursue their passion for tea and have a go regardless. They opened the doors of their tea shop near St. Paul's Cathedral in London in 2007. He also writes (sporadically) about the trials and tribulations of running a tea business in his blog Teaconomy - Tales from the Teashop.Hearty thanks to Daren for his kind words about all of us at CHA DAO -- congratulations on his recent wedding -- and best of luck to the happy couple as they forge ahead in the world of tea, particularly in this uncertain economy.
Plaudits, too, on the conscientious way in which they are pursuing their enterprise: I note with further pleasure that they are in the process of joining the Ethical Tea Partnership; the coffee they serve is Rainforest Alliance-certified; and their hot chocolate and sugar are fair trade. While it's true that we at CHA DAO do not sell anything, it is equally true that we are deeply interested in what is involved in buying tea and its accoutrements. And in a world gone mad in so many ways, those are just the directions in which tea vendors today ought to be moving.
Did I read that right? Tea Companys trying to sell you something? How could that be? I thought we were friends.
Congratulations and well-deserved!
thanks everyone [incl those who emailed off-blog] for your good wishes!
Some of the tea store blogs are pretty good ones and I don't mind that they're trying to sell something. After all, I'm a tea lover and might be interested in their products. The blogs that make me cringe are the ones with lots of misinformation for people who want to pretend to take care of their health but not really learn anything about tea and just follow people touting the supposed expertise of what they've seen on Oprah. When I see the term "Wulong" I know to proceed with caution.
If coming to Taipei, here are some nice tea shops
Each morning for the last several years, I rise to study and write about the Chajing, the remarkable Book of Tea by the tea master and poet Lu Yü (733-804 A.D.). My work begins at 4:00 am with a glass of hot tea, a style of tea-drinking noted by Liangxüan 亮軒, a.k.a Ma Guoguang 馬國光, a contemporary writer of sanwen 散文, scattered prose. Although separated by over a thousand years, both Lu Yü and Liangxüan promote tea, its drinking and its art. Neither writer advocates nor advertises any particular vendor or region of tea. Their only criteria for the herb is whether or not it is good or bad, and whether or not the preparation and service of tea is artful and profound. Imagine my surprise to find another, a modern master of tea.
About three years ago, I was introduced to Corax and his site Cha Dao. I have been fortunate to have contributed a number of tea essays to his site, though not all of my submissions have passed muster. I recall a history of Korean tea recently missing the cut, a victim of Corax’s discerning mind and standards.
Cha Dao, there is no doubt, sells no tea. None of my vendors appears anywhere on its list of sites. Yet, I know that Cha Dao is selling tea, selling in the sense that it promotes the best of tea and its practice.
Corax is a rare figure, a man of saintly dedication to tea, its path and its obsession. Like Lu Yü and Liangxüan, Corax provides us all with the practical aspects of tea as well as the aesthetic and philosophical experiences of tea. Such a feat is certainly worthy of praise and many thanks.
steve -- i am speechless with delight at your wonderful remarks. anyone who reads your work knows your mastery of this field. not everyone knows, as i do, your sterling character -- your unimpeachable integrity and your boundless goodness. on all these counts, to have such praise from you is a treasure without price.
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