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Talking Tea

Conversations about tea and tea culture

Mar 8, 2017

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 Lew Perin's Twitter feed is @babelcarp.


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


This podcast features music from "Japanese Flowers" ( by mpgiiiBEATS ( available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license ( Adapted from original.