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Beyond the Leaf

  • Visiting Puer China

    Hi, I've just recently arrived in Puer, Yunnan province, China as a member of U.S. trade mission and industry group. While here I will be attending the International China Tea and Puer Convention.  I am here as a representative of the U.S. tea industry with a few other tea professionals from various countries and the U.S. In addition to being a great opportunity to learn about puer tea, this hopefully will be a great chance to develop new sources for puer and other Yunnan teas, which I can buy direct from source. While I am here in Yunnan I will try to post more frequently and let folks know what's happening here. Bill Below:  We were wonderfully greeted at the Puer airport as we arrived. 20130526-055749.jpg 20130526-055722.jpg
    Tags: Travelogue

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  • Welcome!

    Welcome to my blog about tea and TeaSource and whatever (hence the subtitle “Mutterings of a Tea Merchant").  I know there are a ton of blogs out there nowadays, and if I were in your shoes I would be wondering a few things... Why is Bill Waddington doing this? Because my employees (and customers) have strongly been encouraging me do it.  My employees are constantly tugging at me-trying to drag me into the 21st century.  Whereas my natural tendency is to go back in time-I think I would be very comfortable in the mid-19th century- think clipper ships full of tea. When folks ask my political leanings, I sometimes respond “Luddite.”  But I’ve come to the conclusion, after much persuasion by employees and many requests by customers (which totally astounds me), that they are right.   A blog has the potential to be a great way to yak about and educate about tea. Who the heck is Bill Waddington and what is TeaSource? If you were expecting a blog about birding or biology/micro-evolution, you’ve stumbled across the wrong Waddington.  But stick around; one of my goals with this blog is to have fun. I am Bill Waddington and I founded TeaSource in 1996.   TeaSource is a specialty tea company (as opposed to most of what you find on your local grocery shelves).   A good analogy is: think of TeaSource as a wine store vs. buying Mogen David or Gallo from your local convenience store.   My job is to find the best teas in the world (at various price levels) and bring them back to the U.S. An informal statement of our philosophy might be: We take tea very seriously; we don’t take ourselves too seriously. What should I expect from this blog and should I not expect from this blog? In general I will be blogging about what it is like to be a tea merchant (this seems to be what people are interested in).   Under that overall heading many different topics may fall:
    • What I do, on a regular or exceptional basis
    • What TeaSource does, again on a regular or exceptional basis
    • I would love for folks to get to know TeaSource a bit: our philosophy, our employees, our activities etc.
    • Anecdotes, tidbits, educational stuff, mutterings, about the world of tea.   This may include some guest blogging and some stuff that may seem far afield, but the world of tea is a vast and one of my strongest goals is to give folks some unvarnished insight into that world.
    • Serious tea geek stuff/info/data/other resources about tea
    My intent is to make this blog casual, fun, informative, engaging, and interesting.  I will try to have at least one posting per week, sometimes more; hopefully on Mondays (travel and personal life permitting). You should not expect a lot of promotion/marketing from this blog.   That’s not the point.   If you want to be kept up to date on promotions, discounts, sales etc. I would strongly suggest you sign up for our email newsletter and/or visit our website. I may make quick mentions of relevant promotions or links to specific teas that I may be writing about, but I won’t spend much time on that kind of thing. Are there any kind of guidelines, rules, or parameters to this blog? Yep, treat other people the way you wish to be treated. Comments are welcome.  But common courtesy and civility are the guiding principles; and this applies to all postings, comments, and even to the language and word choice used on this blog and in comments.   If in doubt, you can always phrase things as you would if you were speaking to your grandmother.   Deletion of comments or banning of commenters would be at my discretion, if the above guidelines aren’t followed. Overall we are trying to be informative, have fun, and increase everyone’s insights and access to the world of tea. -Bill
    Tags: Tea Basics

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