Tea Adventures in An Online Wonderland
By Robert Schmelter
Alice in Wonderland
New York Tea Meetup Group
Social networking has made it easier for enthusiasts to unite online in praise of a common passion. For some, it may be friending a favorite band on MySpace. Others track the comings and goings (and random thoughts) of their favorite celebrities on Twitter. A fan of Jimmy Buffett? You and thousands of other Parrot-heads can share your favorite concert memories on Facebook.
It was only natural, then, that social networking pages would also pop up for beverages -- and tea is no exception. In the 21st Century, Alice need not fall down a rabbit hole to enjoy a tea party with the Mad Hatter. She just has to log onto Facebook, where she can find a plethora of groups dedicated to the appreciation of tea; groups such as Tea Lovers, or the multiple groups dedicated to black tea.
If she wanted to ditch the Mad Hatter and his cronies, Alice could find a new group of tea enthusiasts on sites such as Meetup.com, where she could search for groups that meet for tea in her area (depending, of course, on how the WiFi reception is in Wonderland).
Meetup can help tea lovers across the country find groups of people who meet on a regular basis to revel in the glories of tea consumption, whether at a hip new tearoom or someone's backyard. In New York City, tea lovers can join the New York Tea Meetup Group, or for the anglophile there is the New York British Culture Group, which organizes regular tea events. The city of Chicago has its own group, called the Chicago Tea Lovers Meetup Group.
If Alice suddenly developed a taste for green tea, she could always visit GreenTeaLovers.com, where she could learn about the health benefits of green tea in its blog, or she could discuss her newfound love with other devotees in their forum. Not to be outdone, GreenTeaLovers.com also has its own Facebook page, proclaiming the virtues of green and white tea.
While taking a break from croquet with the Queen of Hearts, Alice could connect with tea lovers across the globe on Hot for Tea, a social networking site designed solely for tea lovers around the world to visit and discuss all things tea. This website a full multimedia experience, with videos and photos to go along with the blog posts, message boards, and chat rooms.
Alice also could visit Adagio's own social networking site, TeaChat -- a lively message board where visitors discuss brewing methods, favorite tea varietals, accessories, the blends that they've created, and more. Board members offer tea recommendations, rate and review products, or participate in polls. TeaChat also has a section for swapping or selling tea accessories with other members.
Regardless of the platform, these sites have the same thing in common: the desire to share thoughts and ideas about tea in a friendly environment, whether you're a tardy White rabbit or three feet tall.