Saturday, November 3, 2012

Tea podcasts: review

source:freestockphotos.bizSince 2008 I have dabbled in the tea podcast offerings out there and I decided to take a closer look on them just a month or two ago. I'll review here four shows, sticking only to those that have audio-only streams because when I listen to my iPod, my gaze is on other business. I'm not dissing on video shows, I just don't have the patience to watch for long. Oddly enough, all four shows that I review here have not been updated in a long while.

This one mainly reviews teas live. The listeners get the double benefit of checking their own experiences against the tea reviews and getting very honest, on the spot descriptions. The hosts typically, or at least on the shows that I have listened to, taste the tea of the day at differing steeping points and give their impressions. On the downside, the unscripted nature of the show makes it drag a bit. The older shows also have not so good audio quality, but you can hear what they have to say most of the time. There is also a flagship video version.

The Tea Lover's Room with the Tea Lover Chic

My first love. This one focuses more on tea rooms and tea parties. Settled in Sacramento, the host is adorable and feels like as if she were your favorite aunt. The show has different sections and starts with the basics, explaining everything, but avoiding undue detail. As the episodes progress, the show evolves to include other aspects. The piano music theme never fails to get me jolly. As with the rest, it has not been updated for many years. I hope she's all right, and will be back soon to offer us more of her love for tea.

Lainie sips

In this one Lainie gives us quick and precise reviews of different teas. She also deals with certain aspects of the tea drinking experience, such as using more than one pot and the virtue, or sin of flavored teas. Listener calls are also common which gives us the opportunity to hear what other people are enjoying. Finally, Lainie has an active blog at


Of all four, this is the one that caters to the highest point of expertise. What I mean is that this one is less for beginners and more for pros, or those that have years of experience on their backs. It may not be intended to be that, but the result is beyond what occasional drinkers may be interested in. It has interviews, general topics, the business of tea and more. Unfortunately, this one also has the lowest audio quality and often it is difficult to discern the words from the female host. Notwithstanding, you may want to check out one or two episodes, especially the one that deals with the science of tea.

To wrap it up, if you're a beginner in tea, start with The Tea Lover's Room and then move up to Lainie sips. Also, compare your experiences with the reviews at Leave Teacast for last.

Update May-13

Since I wrote the previous words there have common into my radar screen a couple more tea podcasts. Best part of both is that they have been recently active.

Tea Rage

To me, the host feels like the AVGN of tea. The most snobbish of the bunch, he expresses his rage at the incongruities of the tea world. Fun,  likeable, not over the top, and recommended.

Verdant Tea

Unlike the rest. This one goes back to the source of tea. Of particular interest are the second and third episodes. Last word I heard is that the host is on the field and that more episodes are on the way.

Finally, i just wanted to mention that the Tea Lover's Room episodes are still available at or at the wayback machine

Update Jul-15:

Tea Rage & Verdant have also gone into dormant state; however here are some new ones that have popped-up over the last year:

Year of Tea

The likable host is trying to review a different tea each day for the whole year and throws everything but the sink for flash examination: black, green, flavored, chamomile, mate and the odd mix. You're bound to find something available to you here.


A very specialized show focusing on the Japanese Tea Ceremony and the most structured of them all. I like the anecdotes section and Marius' soothing voice.

World Tea Podcast

As far I've listened into, it goes mostly for the production and general business side of things. Has about half a dozen episodes on the Tea expo. What kind of brings it down are the subpar audio (though not as bad as teacast) & the volume levels between the hosts and guests.

Talking Tea

Interviews with different experts around the tea arena.

So far my two recommendations still stand: Try to find the episodes of the Tea Lover's Room Podcast for their charm and for their introduction to the tea world and Tea Rage for the entertainment and the purist view.


Stephen Nelson said...

AVGN of tea? I'll take it! Thanks for the kind words.

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