Hello and welcome! We are Sprudge, the world’s most popular coffee publication, and for the last decade, we have published stories all about the world of coffee every single week, sometimes two or three or more a day. But this week, if you will so kindly permit us, we’d like to try something a little different.
This week we’re going to run around a dozen or stories about tea. This is Tea Week on Sprudge presented by Breville USA.
Yes, tea! We really, really love the stuff. But moreover, tea is enjoying a particularly interesting cultural moment right now, as access to better and better quality small lots grows worldwide, and the ancient culture around tea enjoys new interpretations and points of influence. As a beverage and medicinal practice, it is thousands of years old, with roots in mainland China and a cultural footprint across nearly every nation in Asia; and at the same time, it is blowing up right now amongst young people in the all around the world, across social media and Instagram, and at high-end tea shops and coffee bars from Taipei to London to New York.
It has never been easier to have access to great tea, and yet this access is threatened by political forces. Mankind’s fundamental urge to trade openly with other peoples and cultures around the world is under attack by an ugly, virulent resurgence of isolationism and racism. Tea stands against all that—it is both old and new, local and global, a personal practice and yet inherently political—and that’s why we love it so much.
Across these pages, you’ll find stories about tea shops and tea influencers, traders and purveyors, ceramicists and design artists around the world. We’ll explore how tea interacts with graphic design (“Tea Cakes are the New Sneaker Drop“), and travel to Taiwan with one of America’s foremost young tea buyers (“For Song Tea, Sourcing Matters—But It Isn’t Everything“). We offer a series of guides on where to buy delicious tea and how to get started with the stuff you need to make it, from ceramics to home brewers like those offered by our sponsors at Breville USA. We talk to tea shop owners like Elena Liao of New York City’s Té Company and Lina Medvedeva of Floating Mountain, both of whom escaped the corporate world to follow their passions into tea entrepreneurship.
We’re also looking forward to serving you tea in person this week! On Thursday, March 7th and Friday, March 8th we’re throwing the doors open to our HQ in Portland for an open tea service, featuring complimentary teas from around the world (featured in our guides) served in artisan ceramics, along with a hands-on chance to explore Breville USA’s range of tea brewers, kettles and steepers featured in these articles, including the Tea Maker, Tea Maker Compact, Smart Tea Infuser, Smart Tea Infuser Compact and IQ Kettle Pure. There will also be yummy tea snacks. Check our Instagram for full details!
This is our first real crack at writing about tea on Sprudge, and we won’t nearly come close to telling every meaningful story from this deep and fascinating world. We hope to continue writing and reporting on tea in the months and years to come, bringing in more viewpoints and perspectives on the topic along the way. And don’t worry, we still love coffee! Coffee and the global industry around it will always be our main focus here at Sprudge, and we assure you, a great many gallons of coffee were brewed and consumed over the course of writing and researching these stories.
But for this week let’s cast our eyes together on the world of progressive tea in 2019. There’s fascinating stuff happening here, both from a culinary and cultural perspective. Today tea offers a fascinating global culture mash-up for modern drinkers, and there’s never been a better time to fall in love with it.
—The Sprudge Team
Sprudge Tea Week is presented by Breville USA.