Teacology

Tea, with an Ecological Approach

About Teacology & Alex Zorach

I’m Alex Zorach, the creator and editor-in-chief of RateTea.  This is a personal tea blog where I focus on the intersection between ecology and tea, interpreting both broadly.  I wish to look at the world of tea, herbs, and my work on RateTea, through the lenses of ecological thinking and sustainability.

Me in my native habitat, birdwatching, with SEPTA tracks in the background.

Me in my native habitat, birdwatching, with SEPTA tracks in the background.

Teacology is my second tea blog; my first (which is no longer active) had the uncreative name Alex Zorach’s Tea Blog.  I also have a third blog, much more casual, called SpontaneiTea.

This blog was inspired largely by my frustration with Blogger as a blogging platform.  If you read my old tea blog, you’ll find that I’ve been applying ecological thinking to tea for years now.

I talk about a lot more than tea.  You can find many of my personal writings and photography on Cazort.net.  I also publish on Wizzley.  And if you want to connect with me on social media, you can find me on Google+, Twitter, and Tumblr.  You also may enjoy my YouTube channel, where I speak about a wide range of topics, particularly focusing on culture, but often coming from an angle of sustainability.

4 thoughts on “About Teacology & Alex Zorach

  1. Dear Alex,
    Thank you so much for creating/editing your sites on tea. When I first started looking at rate tea to try and find a good anhui black tea I noticed your reviews right away, not realizing you were actually the editor. I love the way you communicate about what your perceptions of a tea were, and what you think are the various high and low points of its quality and pricing, how it compares/contrasts with other teas of its same class, etc. Well done.

    In any case, being limited in time, I am wondering if you might have any thoughts on what might be the best couple of options for purchasing tea for someone living in the Baltimore/Washington DC area of the States (and someone who particularly loves Chinese blacks, especially Qimen, and to a lesser degree Fujian and Yunnan, depending on the year, etc.) I always used to order from a great company located in Connecticut called Specialteas, and the prices were about the lowest you could find given the consistently exceptional quality of teas they carried. They had a Golden Buddha which was simply remarkable, and every time I prepared it for friends, they were shocked that tea could taste so wonderful. They also carried several levels of keemuns which although they varied slightly in quality from year to year, always ranged from good to excellent.

    Anyway, that company was tragically bought out by Teavana, which although it carries some fine teas, charges about twice as much for them, and is just ridiculous with their marketing. If you go to a physical store, the employees tend to have far more training in closing the deal than in knowing anything worthwhile about what they are trying to sell. Lately I’ve been using a company in New Jersey called Adagio.com, and their prices are more reasonable, but I’m not always crazy about the quality. I tried a company on the West Coast called Silk Road Teas which came highly recommended by a friend living out there, but I think something tends to happen during the shipment across the continent with heat, etc, as the tea always seemed a bit “baked” for lack of a better term.

    So, sorry for all the rambling, but if by chance you have any thoughts.recommendations, I would be ever so grateful.
    Thanks so much,
    Michael

    • Thank you for your comment and apologies for the slow reply! I also had the opportunity to try SpecialTeas’ teas, and I really enjoyed them. I do think that their closure was a major loss for tea drinkers; it even sparked the closure of one tea company that depended on them as a supplier.

      I know Adagio Teas and like them too, but there are many companies that I think I prefer, especially for certain types of teas. Upton Tea Imports is one of my all-time-favorite companies, and it tends to have lower prices than nearly all companies offering a similar level of quality. Their selection is also huge, but I think they’re better for some types of teas than others: I like their black teas, especially from India, but they also have good Chinese black teas as well, and I also like their inexpensive Chinese green and oolong teas. I do not recommend them for Pu-erh or Japanese teas.

      TeaVivre is a newer company that ships directly from China that I have grown rather fond of. Another company I like a lot is a tiny company, Life in Teacup; they have some amazing offerings of high-end Chinese teas of all types, including stuff that’s very hard to find elsewhere in the US.

      I couldn’t do justice to all the companies out there though in a single, brief comment, which is why I continue posting a lot on RateTea. I hope this is helpful!

  2. Hi Alex,

    I enjoyed your blog on local teas… do you happen to know of any local herbal teas grown and sold around San Francisco, CA?

    Thanks,
    Josh

  3. Oh it’s you Alex, looks like I always find your sites while browsing. Great info, as usual!

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