Blog

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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Presenting the 2009 Imperial Ban Zhang

Here Jean is proudly sharing the 2009 Imperial Ban Zhang. This pu-erh tea cake comes from the mountainous regions of Ban Zhai, where many antique tea trees grow.

This specific terroir results in an astringent tea. It is bold and deeply desired by tea experts and tea lovers. The tea is characteristically bitter and yet not harshly so.

During the aging process, the fruity concentration increases and becomes sweeter.

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Chinese Pu-erh Tea and French Red Wine

Twenty years ago, I had my first encounter with pu-erh tea at a friend’s house in California. The color and the smell of the tea intrigued me. The taste reminded me of a French red wine from the Bordeaux region that we call Grave. Like pu-erh tea trees, the first Grave vines were planted more than 2,000 years ago in the southwest of France.

The similitude of the two beverages is striking—the deep dark color of the liquor, the pronounced earthy flavor and the fact that pu-erh tea can be aged like wine. This was all very intriguing to me when I first encountered it.

I took a liking to pu-erh tea. Since then, I have tasted hundreds of different varieties and made it my beverage of choice. The word "terroir" comes up in conversations about tea. Like wine, tea tastes and aromas are unique to the place where they are grown. Terroir is a French word coined by winemakers of old to convey a sense of origin and uniqueness of grapes and of resulting wines. It is a concept with such universal application that it can be used for everything that grows under the sun. So why not apply it to tea?

In dealing in pu-erh tea, we are dealing with the “fine wine” of China! The same intense devotion of lovers of the beverage is readily apparent, the same labyrinth of grading and certification, the same conflicts over the best soil, the best leaf, the best method of processing, and the best way to serve the brew.

Pu-erh tea (also known as aged or vintage tea) is another of China's great treasures and has only recently been discovered in the West. It is unlike any other tea in the world. Westerners can appreciate its similarities to fine wine, with which it shares many attributes.

Like in the great wine regions of the world, pu-erh tea production is highly regulated to ensure superior quality and authenticity. Only aged tea that comes from Yunnan Province qualifies as pu-erh tea.

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Pu-erh’s Healthful History

Pu-erh tea history began 3,000 years with the citizens of Pu, who drank their beverage daily.

The tea is referred to as the healing tea because of its curative abilities. Modern science has concluded it is because of microorganisms—yeast and penicillin—that form during production.

The catalog of healthful properties is long. Polyphenols help purify the blood and prevent blood clots. The tea also contains chlorophyll, which helps with digestion. Vitamin C helps reduce cholesterol. These elements in turn aid weight loss and hypertension. Vitamin P or bioflavid can regulate blood pressure and the tea’s alkaloids improve digestion. Other properties of the tea attack arteriosclerosis and diabetes, detoxify the body, and aid vision and the body’s nervous system.

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Camellia sinensis – A Miracle Plant

All tea derives from the camellia sinensis plant, which is endemic to a few regions of China, Tibet, and northern India. Two main varieties of the camellia tea plant exist: camellia sinensis, variety sinensis, and camellia sinensis, variety assamica.

The sinensis variety has small leaves and grows in the high, cool mountainous regions of central China and Japan. Premium tea grows better at higher elevations where mist and dew provide protection from direct sunlight.

The assamica variety has broader leaves. This form of camellia grows better at lower elevations in moist, tropical environments, such as those found in northeast India as well as China's Szechuan and Yunnan provinces.

Tea plants all share a few common traits—shiny, dark green leaves and small white flowers that reach an average diameter of three centimeters (1¼ inches). Their bright yellow stamens are bushy and look white in some forms.

Wild tea trees can grow up to 18 meters (60 feet). In Yunnan Province is a 1,700-year-old tree that is more than 30 meters (100 feet) tall. Tea plants, also known as tea bushes, are maintained at a height of about one meter (3 feet) by constant pruning and harvesting. This size is maintained because it produces richer, fuller leaves.

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Six Famous Tea Mountains

A legend says that Zhu Geliang, also called Kongming, came to the area in Yunnan of the six great mountains. He left one gift on each mountain, with each gift giving a mountain’s tea special distinction. The mountains became known as the Ancient Six Tea Mountains. Following are the characteristics of the tea from each the six mountains:

Youle Mountain: Large-leafed trees, bitter taste that changes to sweet, non-distinctive aroma, light orange color.

Mangzhi Mountain: Small-leafed trees, bitter taste that changes to sweet, light aroma, deep orange liquor color.

Mangzhuan Mountain: Large-leafed trees, slightly bitter taste that changes to sweet, plum smell, dark yellow color.

Yibang Mountain: Small-leafed trees, slightly bitter taste that changes to sweet, orchid aroma, dark orange color.

Gedeng Mountain: Small-leafed trees, slightly bitter taste that changes to sweet, fresh smell, dark orange color

Mansa Mountain (Yiwu Mountain): Large-leafed trees, slightly bitter taste, strong honey plum and orchid aroma

Eventually, tea production volume fell off from the six major mountains. The tea center of gravity moved to the other side of the Lancangjiang River, also called the Mekong River. Six new tea mountains were named in modern times:

Nanluo Mountain: Large-leafed trees, slightly bitter taste with under taste that’s sweet, honey and orchid smell, clear orange color; the tea picked around Qingming smells like a lily flower

Bulang Mountain: Large-leafed trees, slightly bitter taste that changes to sweet, aroma like plum incense, flower honey incense, and orchid incense, clear orange color

Bada Mountain: Large-leafed trees, bitter taste that changes to sweet, plum fragrance and honey aroma, clear, transparent orange color, shining dark green leaves; among the hundreds of old wild trees is one in Hesong village that is 1,800 years old

Nanqiao Mountain: Middle-leafed trees, mostly bushes, slightly sweet taste, moderate aroma, dark orange color

Mengsong Mountain: Medium-leafed trees, mostly shrubs, bitter taste with slightly sweet after taste, dark yellow color, very dark green leaves

Huiming Jingmai Mountain: Large-leafed trees, bitter and strong taste with a sweet after taste; largest concentration of wild tea trees among the 12 mountains

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