Tea has a definite appeal to folks who are techies. It’s true, even though people often think of tea drinkers as genteel, sipping from their teacup and then dabbing their lips delicately with a linen napkin to soak up any stray drops. Quite a few tea folks I’ve become acquainted with in-person and through the wonders of Social Media have techie-ish tendencies, both in their backgrounds and in their approach to tea.
Some of these techie tea drinkers are programmers and online marketing experts and WordPress gurus who can whip a CSS in shape in no time. They also have gotten pretty involved with tea, from simply imbibing on a regular basis to putting up their own online shop. And some make a regular habit of going for the latest offbeat tea gadget around — when they’re not creating them, that is!
The technical appeal of tea
Tea soothes, calms, yet invigorates and refreshes. It can also be approached from spiritual, romantic, practical, and scientific angles. You can experiment with it, trying different water temperatures, steeping times, and teawares, all of which will affect the tea’s taste and giving further variety to a beverage that has great variety already. Tea is also studied for it’s various properties and effects, both good and bad, on us tea drinkers. Adding various flavorings is another draw — playing with the mix of fruits, flowers, spices, and other ingredients with the tea.
Former Information Technology (IT) folks turn tea techies
My theory here is that there were a lot of folks who took the approach of being a programmer, network specialist, etc., as a solid career path when they really wanted to pursue a career in tea. This seems borne out by several folks who left those positions in IT either as a personal choice or due to outside influences such as an economic downturn and who then started a tea business. (Seems a very natural progression to me!)
The good thing here is that these techie types have been able to apply their skills to getting their site set up or customizing their blog’s look and feel. They also seem to take quite a techie approach to their tea, doing their research when sourcing the teas they carry and documenting their flavor profiles along with suggestions for optimum steeping procedures. Pure techie.
I certainly have my own techie-ish tendencies, having been a User Interface (UI) Designer and Technical Writer (system documentation and user guides primarily). This background tends to spill over into my writing about, and doing taste tests of, tea. I even got rather labcoat-style experimental on more than one occasion, most notably when testing a special tea filter designed by Ian Bersten, a fairly scientific minded techie tea guy in Australia.
Sam Iglesias, an iPhone Developer and tea drinker, and Mac Tyler, a User Interface (UI) Designer, combined forces to create “Tea,” a special application (“app”) for iPhones that was released on April 7, 2011, and is available from Apple’s iTunes App Store. It does a good job of combining both something useful with something that a growing segment of the U.S. population has a passion about: Tea! As with all applications, it started out with the basics with room to add on. Who knows? Someday it might steep your tea for you and compost the leaves. Well, maybe not.
Tea techie bloggers
Let’s not leave out intrepid reporter on all things offbeat in the world of tea: Bill Lengeman. He has posted a number of articles here about the many gadgets that have come to his attention. I’m sure he will continue to do so, having such a techie penchant.
Let your inner techie run free at tea time!
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