10,000th hit

One of you reading this post today will be the 10,000th visitor of this blog. Not a large number, I know, but given that the average blog has 7 readers a day (according to The Economist), I feel like I’m not doing too poorly.

This blog began on January 28th, 2006, as a sort of record-keeping method for all the teas I drink. I wanted to be more systematic in my tea drinking and record keeping. I found that I was mixing different teas up in terms of what I think of them, and thus writing down a record, with pictures and what not, could well be the best way of keeping track. A blog format made sense. That’s also why I called it by the somewhat silly name of “A Tea Addict’s Journal”.

The blog changed over time. I have taken to taking more pictures. I have also started commenting less on tea-related things, for some reason. I suppose partly because I think that what drives you all here is not what I think about certain issues related to tea, but the tea itself. Since I am in China, and I have access to teas that are rarely seen in the West (where most of you are), the best I could do is at least write about them.

In many ways, I am merely a commentator, sometimes a picky, inquisitive, and opinionated one, but a commentator whose job is to talk about teas that I come across. I don’t claim to always know what I’m talking about. If I sound authoritative when I write, that’s because too many caveats will make this blog unreadable. I think I am learning, just like everybody who reads this blog, everytime I drink a new tea. It reveals new things to me, and adds one more reference point for evaluating future teas that I drink, whether it be a green, an oolong, a puerh, or a red. I think I have developed my taste in tea more in the past few months in Beijing than the previous four or five years combined, and I think the act of blogging about what I drink has benefited me because it makes me more critical of and pay more attention to what I drink. By sharing these observations, I hope that others can somehow benefit from what I’ve learned.

At first only myself and maybe a few people close to me were reading this thing, for obvious reasons. Then, gradually, readership grew bit by bit. I discovered other sites, such as Teachat, LJ Puerh Community, Cha Dao, RFTD, etc, and also made new friends like Toki, Phyll, bearsbearsbears, among many others, some of whom I have now met in real life. It is encouraging to see that other people are reading this blog, some on a very regular basis, and that, in turn, is a motivation to keep writing, because I know that there will be people who are at least interested enough to check back here. Some I can tell who they are by where they’re located, etc, but others I have no idea, but somehow found their way to my blog and decided it worth their time to look once in a while. I have romantic notions that one day, I will open a teahouse somewhere where I can share this wonderful drink with people in person, sipping each cup, talking about it, exchanging views, ideas, thoughts about it. Tea is, after all, partly a communal experience that is best enjoyed with a few friends. Alas, that’s not possible, not yet anyway, so for now, a blog will have to do.

I know Xanga isn’t very comment friendly, and I wish I could change that, but since I can’t… if you feel like announcing yourself, please drop me a line at marshaln (the at sign goes here) gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you. But regardless — thank you all for reading along.

P.S. I wish I have a way to reciprocate all the links that others have put on their sites to this blog. I still haven’t figured out if there’s a way to post permanent links on the front page of this one. If anybody knows where/how, please let me know.


Comments

10,000th hit — 9 Comments

  1. I do enjoy reading your blog and will continue to do so.

    I am new to teas,use to be heavy coffee drinker,now kind of more tea and less coffee.

    I am from an older generation,never the lest,enjoying your blog.

    Woody.

  2. It’s a great site, and one of my regular daily reads these days – thanks for the great work.

    Regarding the somewhat tricky commenting facility, is it possible to set up one’s own web-space in China? You could easily run a blog-supporting PHP script and essentially have everything under your own control, rather than Xanga’s.

    Either way, here’s hoping that we all get closer to our shared goals of opening our own teahouses around the world. It would be really quite something to visit a teahouse knowing that it was set up by someone you know, out of their passion for the experience of drinking tea.

    Toodlepip,

    Hobbes

  3. Did I win anything being THE 10,000 visitor?  Did I?  πŸ™‚  Keep up the great effort, MarshalN!  I’ve learned so much from our friendship and your blog.  So a big thank you!

    I used to have a romantic notion of having a wine business…not I’m not sure if it should be a tea business instead.  Maybe both.

  4. I’m afraid some visitor from France (there are more of them these days) won the 10,000 visitor award :p.

    Hmmm, maybe you’ll be the first one to pioneer a wine+tea mix cocktail???

    Hmmm, maybe I should patent that first.

    Or maybe you can open one next to mine — you sell wine, I sell tea. That’ll be fun, if only we can do it without having to worry about feeding ourselves.

  5. Keep on blogging MarshalN as you are the most reliably obsessive poster in the pu-erh net world. As my belly won’t take green puers anymore, reading your blog has become my last sheng pleasure.

    Just out of curiosity, do you do anythingelse as intensely as drinking tea?

    Hster

  6. “you are the most reliably obsessive poster in the pu-erh net world”

    I’ll take that as a compliment πŸ™‚

    How come your belly won’t take green puerh anymore? If you drink in moderation (mixing in other, heavier/hotter teas like red tea or cooked pu or some such) you should be ok.

    The weather (winter) and when you drink your puerh (say, way after mealtime — when your stomach’s empty) will also have something to do with your body’s reaction to the tea.

  7. I’m always pleasantly surprised and grateful that you continue to post with freshness on this singular topic. The current english speaking world of on-line pu-erh geekdom is smaller than a cricket; I shudder to think what we’d be forced to do without your dispatches.

    Lightbulb moment! You may be right about the winter empty stomach. I’ve been trying to brew far in between meals as Western food(cheeses and such) tends to dull my palate. I will have to brew tomorrow on a full belly. I had been quite bummed about this raw burning sensation from young shengs remembering psychopuncture who mentioned sheng not being kind to older drinkers :^(. I must have confused older for being born in the seventies instead of being a septugenarian.

  8. Well, I do try my very best to keep the teas I talk about varied and interesting. Talking about the same tea for five days in a row with no variation in how I brew will be pretty boring.

    Ouch for psychopuncture :p

    But yeah, eat, rinse your mouth, then try drinking sheng. It might work.

    Of course, aging it will make it easier to go down πŸ™‚

  9. Congrats on the readership. I haven’t been reading much lately for two reasons. Being low on tea spending money and being low on free time made interest low. Now that school is out for Christmas/winter, I have some time and some gift money. Interest in tea is perking back up! :] I’ve been going through your old posts catching back up on what I’ve missed. I enjoy reading it all, and of course the pictures are great.

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