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In these writings, Jean shares the joy of discovering an isolated tea estate, the warmth of laughter shared with new acquaintances, and the musings that come only from enjoying a trusted tea with old friends.

Most of all, he shares his love of people and of rural China.

The Tea Industry Twitterati

Welcome to the Tea Twitterati 100. Wild & Bare Co. is pleased to host this listing of the 100 most active tea industry social media users. The digital shrinking of the world has made it possible for tea connoisseurs and industry people to stay connected—and here are 100 excellent connections.

Twitter is tea-friendly for drinkers and producers alike. It turns out that 140 characters is just the right number to tweet good news of an especially fine tea harvest, or to break the news about another health benefit for tea-drinkers. Or you can just tweet your followers about the delightful tea social at your place last night—sort of a public service message.

To compile this list of industry Twitter users, Wild & Bare culled online “tea” sites. The listed 100 are the ones most connected to their tea-loving peers. They are the ones that most regularly tweet their followers and stay in touch with the tea community. The listing is extremely useful to devotees of the camellia sinensis plant.

We hope you will consult the Top 100 list to stay on top of tea news. The listing will be systematically updated to ensure it doesn’t become stale. After all, no one likes stale tea, or stale tea twitterati.

W&B is dedicated to spreading the word—via Twitter and other social media—about the joys that come from sipping exquisite artisan Chinese teas. We trade only in superior tea products and refuse to short-change either our customers or our growers. Fair trade and full value are our benchmarks as a tea industry member.

Want to follow us? Check our tweets for the latest blog postings by Wild & Bare Co. founder Jean Alberti at wildandbare.com

Happy tweeting.

Sr. No. Logo Name Twitter Profile
#1) TeaJay @TeaJayTweet
#2) ESPemporium @ESPemporium
#3) TEAVANA @TEAVANA
#4) DAVIDsTEA @DAVIDsTEA
#5) Davinitea @Davinitea
#6) Slig @sliggitay
#7) Moonleaf Tea Shop @Moonleaf
#8) Afternoon Tea @Afternoon Tea
#9) Honest Tea @Honest Tea
#10) Peet’s Coffee & Tea @Peet's Coffee
#11) Caffeine Zone @Caffeine Zone
#12) AdagioTeas @AdagioTeas
#13) Bubbmix @Bubbmix
#14) GREENBOAR @GREENBOAR
#15) Bloom Teas London @Bloom Teas London
#16) Dragon Pearl Tea @Dragon Pearl Tea
#17) Foreign Tea @Foreign Tea
#18) Nü Green Tea @Nü Green Tea
#19) Immortalitea @Immortalitea
#20) Hawaiian OLA @Hawaiian OLA
#21) teapigs @teapigs
#22) shopemporium @shopemporium
#23) Strange Brew Coffee! @Strange Brew Coffee!
#24) Bigelow Tea @Bigelow Tea
#25) Samovar Tea Lounge @Samovar Tea Lounge
#26) ITO_EN @ITO_EN
#27) Mighty Leaf @Mighty Leaf
#28) Stash Tea @Stash Tea
#29) Art of Tea @Art of Tea
#30) 52teas @52teas
#31) EBOOST @EBOOST
#32) Nestea Indonesia @Nestea Indonesia
#33) Rishi Tea @Rishi Tea
#34) Chronic Ice Tea @Chronic Ice Tea
#35) Coffee Couture @Coffee Couture
#36) WildandBare @WildandBare
#37) Coffee & Tea Fest @Coffee & Tea Fest
#38) Rize Energy @Rize Energy
#39) Tea Review Blog @Tea Review Blog
#40) Cafe Steep @Cafe Steep
#41) Tea Lovers @Tea Lovers
#42) Camellia Teas @Camellia Teas
#43) Grounds 4 Hope @Grounds 4 Hope
#44) World Tea Media @World Tea Media
#45) High Tea Society @High Tea Society
#46) James Pham @James Pham
#47) Devonshire Tea @Devonshire Tea
#48) The Exotic Teapot @The Exotic Teapot
#49) Numi Organic Tea @Numi Organic Tea
#50) Clipper Green Tea @Clipper Green Tea
#51) Tea Connection @Tea Connection
#52) Brew Tea Co @Brew Tea Co
#53) Team Oo @Team Oo
#54) Lahloo Tea @Lahloo Tea
#55) Calais Tea @Calais Tea
#56) Zen Tara Tea @Zen Tara Tea
#57) Tea Garden @Tea Garden
#58) Argo Tea @Argo Tea
#59) Erin's Tea @Erin's Tea
#60) mama_tea @mama_tea
#61) McKenna's Tea Cottge @McKenna's Tea Cottge
#62) Té House of Tea @Té House of Tea
#63) My Tea Belly @My Tea Belly
#64) Premier Ketones. @Premier Ketones.
#65) Mendo Maté @Mendo Maté
#66) TEA & TEA @TEA & TEA
#67) eteaket tea boutique @eteaket tea boutique
#68) Jhen Tea @Jhen Tea
#69) Lipton Ice Tea @Lipton Ice Tea
#70) Townshend's Tea @Townshend's Tea
#71) Folks Coffee Tea @Folks Coffee Tea
#72) WeAreTea @WeAreTea
#73) Eat Green Tea @Eat Green Tea
#74) Tetley Tea @Tetley Tea
#75) TavalonTea @TavalonTea
#76) Tea Forte @Tea Forte
#77) tea4skin @tea4skin
#78) JINGTea @JINGTea
#79) Tea Box @Tea Box
#80) paulgerst @paulgerst
#81) Rooibee RedTea @Rooibee RedTea
#82) ZhiTea @ZhiTea
#83) grenx @grenx
#84) Bhakti Chai @Bhakti Chai
#85) two leaves tea @two leaves tea
#86) Crazy Bitch Tea @Crazy Bitch Tea
#87) Gypsy Tea @Gypsy Tea
#88) The_TeaShed @The_TeaShed
#89) Allegro Coffee @Allegro Coffee
#90) Teas Etc @Teas Etc
#91) cantontea @cantonteaa
#92) baxter tea @baxter tea
#93) Steenbergs @Steenbergs
#94) StormTea @StormTea
#95) salada tea @salada tea
#96) PortsmouthTea @PortsmouthTea
#97) Koyu Matcha @Koyu Matcha
#98) Tea Gallerie @Tea Gallerie
#99) BostonTeaCo @BostonTeaCo
#100 Meghan Mercier @thelooseleaf
Peet’s Coffee & Tea
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A Herbal Tea Gives New Hope to Breast Cancer Victims

A certain type of herbal tea has a pink glow about it. That's a good thing. Specifically, it means that the tea seems to be effective in fighting breast cancer.

Breast cancer is acknowledged in some countries by the displaying of a pink ribbon, a campaign symbol that stands for fear of the disease and for hope in finding means of preventing it. The news out of England is that drinkers of a herbal tea have a natural remedy for the disease growing sometimes right under their nose.

The herbal tea in question contains remnants of a plant called virgin's mantle. The plant goes by the botanical name of fagonia cretica and sprouts in some areas of Europe and arid regions of Pakistan, India, and Africa. Pakistani women battling breast cancer reportedly drink tea containing extracts of the plant and a hospital in Pakistan began employing the tea decades ago to combat the cancer.

This herbal tea is not talked about as a cure, but curing the disease isn't everything at this stage. Getting the cancer to go into remission is itself a wonderful medical result and tea containing the extract seems to do that. The other up side to the tea is that it doesn't appear to have the terrible side effects of, say, chemotherapy. That is, the drinkers' hair doesn't fall out nor is weight gain a problem. So while the benefits of drinking the herbal tea are not curative, they are medically and psychologically positive.

British university and hospital researchers say they are "confident this extract has something to contribute" to the breast cancer fight. Breast cancer victims will drink to that.

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Tea’s Role in Meditation is As a Companion

Chinese oolong tea or another fine tea can be a wonderful companion in meditation, whether consumed before (as some advocate) or during meditation.  It is not, however, a mental crutch. One shouldn’t lean on it too much. Meditation is an intellectual exercise that can pull a person deeply into personal reflection, intensive pondering, and other “spiritual” explorations. Unfortunately, most people skip meditation entirely in favor of turning on the TV or talking on their smart phone. Consider yourself lucky if you have a meditative habit.

If you do, what is tea’s role in your meditation? It should be as a companion, or so some experts say. That sounds pretty non-essential—a companion, is that all?  But if you stop to consider companions who made a difference in your life, the role of companion rises in signficance.

Just as your best friend, your traveling buddy, your spouse held you together or pointed you in the right direction in a crisis, a soothing, awakening Chinese oolong tea can help you sort through options and uncover answers. You still must do the thinking, of course; the tea just helps by calming nerves and clarifying confusion.

How does an oolong Chinese tea or organic black tea bring such influenceto your mental activity? The caffeine in tea stimulates thinking, though it is up to you make the thinking productive. The theanine in an oolong Chinese tea, or an organic black tea, or a quality green tea sharpens mental focus and brightens acuity.

And which teas are best for meditation? Different drinkers and thinkers have their own preferences. Some good choices are a quality black tea such as Keemun Mao Feng, a fine grade of green tea such as Tai Ping Hou Kui, or an oolong such as Zheng Yan Wuyi Shui Xian Rock. A superior herbal tea—such as Guangxi Jao Gu Lan—also can relax and filter out the stress that impedes clear thinking.

However, no matter how finely it is brewed, a serving of tea is not distilled insight or wisdom in a cup. Those qualities are found only in your brain. The tea just helps you discover them.

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The October Hunt For Purple Petals

Ah, the middle of October. You know what that means: purple chrysanthemum picking time.

The purple chrysanthemum is a wonderful combination of beauty and function. A chief function is as the main ingredient in a delicious herbal tea. But the perennial doesn’t grow just anywhere. Unless you happen to be strolling in the mountains near Qiaoban village in Zhejiang Province, you won’t see it.

Herbal tea lovers around the world hold their collective breath this time of year, hoping that someone indeed is trekking to the mountain to harvest the purple flower. Chinese tea connoisseurs have been cultivating chrysanthemums for several thousand years. The petals come in several colors, are hardy (including, in the case of the purple variety, emitting an odor that repels insects), and have long been a favorite of Chinese artists.

But it is the flower’s drink ability that warms the hearts, and the palates, of herbal tea drinkers. The purple chrysanthemum petals brew into a tea that is cooling and fresh. It is delicate, yet can be infused several times for repeated tastings. Its light green tea soup yields a smooth floral taste.

Were that the flower’s only appeal, you might say…so? Well, the herbal tea also is a detoxifying cleanser, washing from the body the unhealthy build-up of negative elements. It is a notably healthy tea, in other words, another good reason to drink it.

So if you have favorite tea suppliers—we could recommend one, Wild & Bare—now is a good time to pull their chains and tell them to make sure at least one tea maker around Qiaoban is heading for the hills. It’s time to pick some purple chrysanthemums.

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This Just Might Be Your Bowl of Tea

Something old and something new—it sounds like a wedding day saying. But in this case it refers to a traditional way of drinking Chinese tea that seems to be making a comeback among a new generation: drinking tea from a bowl at a tea stall beside street or road.

According to an article this month in China Daily, the stalls are finding new clientele, at least in Jinan, the capital of coastal Shandong Province. The owner of one stall reported that he was selling upwards of 300 bowls of tea on weekdays, more on the weekends.

Tea by the bowlful is unquestionably at the lower end of the Chinese tea-drinking spectrum. There is no formal ceremony dictating how to do it, nor time consumed in the process. There are no niceties and courtesies intended to ingratiate a guest. There are, in fact, no teacups, and the teapots are notable for their volume, not their delicacy.

The whole idea of Chinese tea stalls was—and is—to quench thirst with a passable brew. The teas generally are blended or otherwise unremarkable in their taste and aroma. Tea masters are not part of the job description for a tea stall operator.

Yet the Chinese teas served in the hand-held bowls are palatable. They are refreshing. They also are inexpensive and, therefore, readily available for every passing thirsty stranger, young and old, rich and poor, connoisseur or tea-gulper. This egalitarian outlet for tea perfectly fits the reputation of tea as the second most consumed beverage in the world.

Chinese tea by the bowlful—fast food for the tea lover.

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Fight The Flu with Green Tea

Here comes flu season. How can you ward off a viral attack this year?

Here’s one suggestion: Wash your hands with green tea. That’s not a misprint. Washing the skin with a green tea solution apparently helps disinfect it against flu.

This claim is from a September report out of Seoul, South Korea, which credits green tea with eliminating the virus under laboratory conditions. The research was by the Department of Biotechnology at Yonsei University.

Professor Woo-Jin Shin led a team of researchers who created an artificial skin and thoroughly impregnated it with a strain of influenza virus. They then washed the skin with different concentrations of green tea. In every test, the virus was eliminated, even in a solution containing just one teabag of green tea in 120 milliliters of hot water.

If you only drink tea made from loose leaf tea, now you can buy both loose and bagged tea with a clear conscience. Brew a favorite green tea from the leaves and then wash up using the bagged tea. It sounds a little kinky, of course, but staving off a flu attack is worth trying something that seems a bit strange.

Gargling with green tea has been proven to fight the flu, too. A controlled experiment a half dozen years ago with more than 100 elderly residents of a Japanese nursing home showed that gargling with a “catechin solution” significantly reduced incidents of flu.

A study last year of 2,000 Japanese school children who were given cups of green tea showed similar results. The caffeine in tea is not recommended for children, of course, but presumably gargling with the tea would have the same positive impact on the children as it did on the elderly residents of the nursing home.

Green tea: flu fighter!

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