We're calling this episode "learning tea" because learning about tea can be like learning a language - like learning English, or French, or Chinese, or any other language. There's a vocabulary to tea, and the world of tea is so vast, with so many words, facts and concepts to learn and keep track of, that it's easy to get overwhelmed. Compounding this in the English-speaking world is the fact that tea terms are often actually in another language - most commonly Chinese or Japanese. So what's a tea drinker to do?

To look at one solution to this problem in the world of Chinese tea, today we chat with Lew Perin, the creator of a free website app called Babelcarp. Lew calls Babelcarp a Chinese tea lexicon, but it's much, much more than a dictionary. We chat with Lew about his background in tea, what Babelcarp is and how it works, and how its structure and system of links and cross-references make Babelcarp a virtual encyclopedia of Chinese tea. As an example, we type a sample tea phrase into Babelcarp and look at the answers and cross-links Babelcarp provides. We also chat with Lew about the Babelcarp add-on in the Pleco Chinese dictionary app and how it can be useful in purchasing tea online.

You can find the Babelcarp web app at babelcarp.org. Lew Perin's Twitter feed is @babelcarp.

 

For more information on Talking Tea and updates on new episodes, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/talkingtea.

To inquire about being a guest or having your organization featured, please email us at talkingteapodcasts@gmail.com.

Have something in mind you'd like to hear discussed on Talking Tea? Leave us a comment on Facebook or on our Libsyn episode page, or email us.

Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @Kensvoiceken. 

 

This podcast features music from "Japanese Flowers" (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original.

 

 

Direct download: TT_Babelcarp.mp3
Category:Society & Culture -- posted at: 8:57am EDT
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Arriving At The Source

Most tea consumers never have the opportunity to visit the source of the teas we drink - the tea growers and tea makers in the various tea-producing regions around the world. So here at Talking Tea we've been wanting to hear an insider's take on sourcing trips, to get an idea of what sourcing trips are like and what tea retailers look for when they source their teas.

Today we welcome back Shiho Kanamaru of Montreal's Cha Do Raku, to get that insider's look at sourcing. Shiho tells us how she began Cha Do Raku by developing a network of sourcing connections in Japan and then Taiwan.  We chat about sourcing trips as a form of tea self-education, about the cultural differences between networking and sourcing in Japan versus Taiwan, and about Shiho's use of instinct and sensation to find high quality, unusual and extraordinary teas on her sourcing trips. Shiho also talks with us about some of the challenges of gaining entry into the world of tea growers and producers, about the hard work and rewards of going to source, and shares an example of how she's "arrived at" extraordinary teas through a combination of connections, spontaneity and experience.

More about Cha Do Raku, including its online store and info on its Montreal shop, can be found at Cha Do Raku's website, cha-doraku.com, and on its Facebook page.

 

For more information on Talking Tea and updates on new episodes, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/talkingtea.

To inquire about being a guest or having your organization featured, please email us at talkingteapodcasts@gmail.com.

Have something in mind you'd like to hear discussed on Talking Tea? Leave us a comment on Facebook or on our Libsyn episode page, or email us.

Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @Kensvoiceken. 

 

This podcast features music from "Japanese Flowers" (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii/japanese-flowers) by mpgiiiBEATS (https://soundcloud.com/mpgiii) available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Adapted from original.

 

Photo of a tea farm in Taiwan's Pinglin District, courtesy of Shiho Kanamaru.

Direct download: TTSourcing.mp3
Category:Society & Culture -- posted at: 8:26pm EDT
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