Part of a series on How To Expand Your Tea Education.
Becoming informed about tea can be easy and hard at the same time. There are more than enough books about tea. Some would even say there are more books than there is demand. You can find training courses and certification bodies.
One of the first places to look is online. Online has its advantages. There is so much free info available, some of which is more accurate. Websites and blogs also get updated more often than books. A mistake in hard copy can cling tenaciously to life. An online resource can correct those misunderstandings quickly. However, a web resource can also spread erroneous info quickly.
Here are the sites I go to when I want more information, or when I want to double-check. While some of these sites can offer varying degrees of knowledge depth, there is much for the advanced tea reader. These are in no particular order.
Thorough coverage of the growers and tea masters that Austin and Zhuping work with in their zeal to bring fine Chinese teas to market. In many cases you are reading what the tea growers and masters know about tea processing and tea varietals.
What I like about Tea Masters is the focus on Taiwan teas, and the ability to read of the changes that occur in a tea across harvest periods. Stephane can frequently return to farmers and read of the changes in tea across seasons. It is a great way to learn how tea harvest and processing can change a tea.
I go to Tony’s site because I like the research he has dug up about tea business (especially online tea biz) and the science of tea.
A collection of tasting articles on classic and unique Japanese green teas. There is background information about the teas being tasted, usually including the varietals and glimpses at the processing methods used.
The team at Camellia Sinensis travel the world to source teas, and have done so for years. They have a tea school as well, educating tea-lovers on the glories of tea. Their blog is a great source of information on teas from India, China, and beyond.
The link above directs to the archive for Global Tea Hut Magazine. That is the real meat and potatoes. The information is quite intense, as there is often a focus on pu’er and wulong teas. Many tea aficionados, especially those inclined toward East Asia, view these 2 types of tea as the epitome of spiritual tea craftsmanship. You may have to sieve through a dense cloud of Daoist and Buddhist spiritualizing to get to the more practical tea knowledge. But when you do, you hit pay dirt.