This is the first of what I hope will become a monthly series of blog postings on this site. As such, it is best now to use the space to set out the purposes of the blog and to establish some ground rules.

The primary purpose of this blog is education – principally mine, I must admit. Before writing about any given subject I must, of course, research it thoroughly. This is not to say that I won’t express opinions; I have lots of these and this blog will be iconoclastic. But opinions only carry weight if they are grounded in careful research. This research will involve delving into the relevant tea literature as well as tapping into the knowledge of colleagues in the industry. I shall educate myself at each step and only then try to pass my findings along to you.

Research, of course, will take me to books and I will include reviews of books, old and new, that I find important or useful and that would make good additions to any tea library. I also will do profiles on interesting, important or influential people involved with tea. These may be growers, importers, retailers, academics and so on; basically anyone who is making (or has made) a contribution to what we know, or think we know, about tea. And I will pass along whatever useful information I uncover on my tea travels.

I shall address some of the contentious issues faced in the tea world. By this, I do not mean opining on whether the milk should be added to the tea or vice-versa but rather such topics as the concept of “terroir”, what it is, and whether it aids at all in our understanding of tea. And what is the role of tea in a healthy diet, anyway?

Finally, I shall very occasionally review teas. And this brings us smack into the ground rules that will govern all of the posts in this blog.

  1. I will not review anything in which I have a commercial interest. I have a newsletter for promoting Tillerman Tea so I won’t do that here.
  1. I will only review tea and books that I think are exceptional, or noteworthy. This blog will not contain any negative reviews of any product.
  1. I will purchase all of the tea and books reviewed. I will not accept any review samples or copies from any source.
  1. Clearly I love Taiwan and Taiwanese tea, but for purposes of this blog, the world is my canvas.

The blog entries will be categorized under five headings:

  1. Issues
  2. Personalities
  3. Book reviews
  4. Tea reviews
  5. Travel commentaries

As is customary in the “blogosphere”, there is an opportunity for readers to post comments at the end of each piece. I encourage you to do so and I also encourage a healthy debate on the topics that are discussed. Just be sure to do your research too.

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