Crowdsourcing an archive

So, one reason the blog isn’t nearly as active as before is because I don’t have a lot of new things to say. I feel like a lot of stuff that I need to say, I have already said (sometimes multiple times) somewhere on this blog.

However, the way this blog is currently organized is not very conducive to reading older posts. You can scroll chronologically, but that would include a lot of drivel with the more interesting posts. Some people have told me they have gone back and read everything, but even then, keeping track of stuff is hard. You can try the various tags I used, but I have kept those fairly general, so they’re not super useful (probably an understatement).

Thus I am writing here to ask for your help – if there’s something I’ve written in the past that you believe is interesting/useful/changed your ideas about tea, then I would love for you to tell me via a comment below (preferably with a link to the post itself). I’m going to try to collate them into an “archive” of sorts with individual links to posts on a separate page, so that people visiting this blog for the first time have somewhere to go to read the more interesting things. I see traffic statistics on posts, so I have some idea what are the ones people get linked to, but more traffic doesn’t mean better, especially since more clicks makes no difference for me given that there are no ads. So, tell me what you want to see in this “archive” of posts. I’ll try to keep it short-ish – maybe an upper limit of 20-30 posts in the past. We shall see, and thanks in advance for your suggestions.


Crowdsourcing an archive — 13 Comments

  1. Hi Marshaln, Honestly I still enjoy blog very much. Your recent taiwan series was very ineresting, I feel.

    I know it’s already in your FAQ and I don’t totally agree with all being said in your Guide to buy in China but I think it was brilliant to me to read before venturing.

    I disagree slightly of it as I actually had more good tea experiences in tea shops in China than bad ones but the series was very informative.

  2. I have read this blog from the start, and over the years suggested to other people they do so. The primary difficulty is scrolling up from the bottom of the page to the next chronological post, and then reading back down, and scrolling back up again. I don’t know if there is a setting a reader could use to reorder the posts in order to go chronologically from the top. Maybe there is, and I’m just the idiot who doesn’t know how.

    For me, the most valuable reading was the graduate school years when you traveled and searched China for good tea. These posts contain the depth and continuity of a novel, and gave me much to think about, the journey, nature of tasting and so forth. I hope these posts will find their way into book form.

    • That’s quite interesting – I find a lot of those posts to be more filler than anything. I suppose you could thread a narrative out of it, but it will require a lot of cleanup. Thanks for the input though

  3. I’m one of those people who has read every article. This blog is what got me into tea.

    Here are the articles I keep for reference:

    Making & Drinking Tea

    Good & Bad Tea

    Evaluating Tea

    Buying Yixing

    Raising Yixing

    Zhuni Yixing

    Silver Kettles


    Traditional Storage

    Puerh History

    Not about blog posts, but all of your research on the history of gongfu brewing is super, super important and not well known outside of hard-core hobbyists. It would be amazing to have a place on the blog where you include your work on the topic. (I pulled together this research in a reddit post here:

  4. I have been reading your blog since last year and have started to read again from the very first post to the newer ones. Thanks so much for this blog – it is really a gold mine of info about tea!

    The posts I feel the most helpful that I can remember are along the themes of:
    1. Guide for beginner to understand the types / origins of Puerhs and how to tell real one from fakes – example:
    Cooked vs. Raw,
    examples of fake cakes,
    characteristics of famous / popular Puerhs (like this link – where you described how Menghai cakes typically look like)

    2. Posts about the water to brew with tea and what makes a water good with tea and to discuss which bottled water brand is better to brew tea with – example:

    3. Posts with info from your own research which we can never find elsewhere on the internet:
    Research about Yixing clay components, history of tea and tea culture etc.
    Example I can remember – the origin of oriental beauty. It’s also interesting that a descendant of the original maker of this tea in Taiwan also commented in this post:

    Again, thanks so much! Cheers!

  5. Thank you for your helpful blog.In addition to some of the posts others mentioned above,
    I enjoyed reading this one too

    I started drinking white, green and oolongs 12 years ago. But only bought 1 (bad) ripe pu-erh cake 5 years ago on a trip. I wish I had come across your blog before I visited Hangzhou and bought some longjing there a few years ago. Your longjing rule is helpful. I did wonder why the Bilochun in Suzhou restaurants tasted rather ordinary. Which part of (or near) Suzhou area do they grow Bilochun?

    I started drinking sheng 18 months ago. Bought 10 cakes so far. Purchasing puer tea isn’t as relaxing as consuming it. I started reading your blog ~18 months ago and it has been difficult to find posts that will be most helpful for my situation. I have just been reading random posts and found most of the posts listed by KH and Peter above quite helpful. But I do feel a bit like a time-traveler with a messed up sense of time and order. Unfortunately, I’m not as organized as KH or Peter at providing the links to the post I found helpful. Sorry about that.

    I do plan to re-visit Taiwan (Taipei, Taitung area, Sun Moon Lake, Alishan etc.) and Japan (Kyoto, Uji,Takayama, Kaga, Kanazawa) and I wonder if you know of decent tea shops or tea houses there. Beyond Taipei’s Wisteria Tea shop. I enjoy sitting around tea houses sipping tea and spending away an afternoon.
    Anyone? I also love to read comments here.
    What are your favorite Taiwanese teas? Aged oolongs? From…? I’ll have to go back and read your recent Taiwan posts more carefully. I was obsessed at figuring out where Yuchi é­šæ±  is in Taiwan after reading your post. Taiwanese romanization ~Wade Giles always takes me extra effort for my brain to process.

    Also, there are some tea shop chains in China that offer no-haggling policy can be an OK tea shopping experience. I remember reading a couple of names in the comments section somewhere on your blog. I came across a Xie Da Yu shop once. They are ok to shop from. I forgot other shop names.

    Your posts often bring up a lot of very pertinent tea issues, but I’m often not clear of what the best actions to take are, in reaction to the issues. For example, even before reading the article on serious tea over-harvesting or use of various chemicals. My mind started wondering about over-harvesting possibilities already when I read vendors offering tea products from various harvest seasons within the same year. Do you have a personal approach to responsible tea buying that seems to work for you?

    Thank you for your enjoyable blog.

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