Over 159 million Americans have a daily dose of tea. The World Tea News Website reports that China produced 2.8 million tons of tea in 2018; mainly green tea. Around 300,000 tons of this tea went into the export market, earning the country over US$1.5 billion. With such numbers, it is hard to dispute the fact that tea is a favored drink in many parts of the world. For close to a decade, TeaAndCookiesBlog.com was a site where tea and food lovers congregated. However, attempting to find the website today shows that it is no longer available. We took some time to find out what happened to the site by tracing its history.
The History of TeaAndCookiesBlog.com
Tea and Cookies was a blog started by North California native, Tara Austen Weaver. In her own words, she describes herself as a “writer, editor, and adventurer.” She has authored several books and contributed to a few others (Source).
The award-winning website which launched in 2008, focused firmly on delicious teas and equally scrumptious recipes. It also included elements of travel and gardening. During its lifetime, the site bagged various accolades. The Times of London and The Independent named it among the top food blogs worldwide (Source).
Tara is not afraid to respond if someone says something that is not her cup of tea. In 2016, when the then presidential candidate, Donald Trump, said his leaked comments about sexual assault were “locker room banter", Tara responded with a compelling essay. In her piece, she gave details of her many painful experiences with people who may have thought abuse is just “locker room banter.”
Important Articles Published on TeaAndCookiesBlog.com
In memory of TeaAndCookiesBlog.com, we took some time to look at some of the most interesting articles the site published. To determine which articles were the most interesting, we looked at the number of inbound links each piece received. We believe that many links to a site are a testimony that a lot of webmasters, editors, and writers found the article engaging enough to direct their readers to it.
Linzer Heart Cookies for Valentine’s Day
In this post, Tara starts by lamenting that she did not enjoy her 2006 Valentine's Day. She announces that the day was hampered by the fact that "every time (she) turn(ed) on the radio the jewelry and chocolate manufacturers' ads made (her) ill” (Source). She laments that humanity has not progressed past the gender stereotypes, which imply that all men are romantically challenged and every woman wants a diamond. All she wants is a Kitchen Aid mixer, she announces.
Making Much of the Teacup
In this article, Tara announces her love for the history of tea. She starts by challenging the reader's knowledge about the history of tea. Tara asks: "Did you know, according to legend, the second emperor of China, Shen Nung, discovered tea around 2737 BC when tea leaves blew into his cup of hot water?" She then takes the reader through the journey traveled by tea from China when the Buddhist priests carried its seeds to Japan. Tara announces that when tea arrived in Japan, it was held in such high esteem that the only people who drank it were members of the aristocracy and high priests. “When I taste a cup of tea, I feel like I taste all this history”: she writes (Source).
How to Start a Cookbook Club
Tara uses this 2011 article to share the fact that she was overjoyed to be “inducted into a cookbook club." She defines a cookbook club as a congregation of people to cook food from the same cookbook and then share it. She then answers some questions about why and how one can go about starting a cookbook club.
Tales from High Mountain
Tara writes about Japan’s devastating earthquake in 2011. She tells the story of how she was initially not worried, when she heard about the earthquake, because “Japan has plenty of earthquakes.” She knew that the Japanese "are more prepared (for) such things there than in any other country on earth” (Source). However, she reports that she changed her mind when she saw the pictures of the devastation. In a bid to make a difference, she wrote a short e-book and donated the proceeds to relief efforts.
Sorrel Tart: Friends with Benefits
The term “friends with benefits” tends to conjure up some suggestive thoughts. However, the only benefit Tara offers her friends is fresh Sorrel Tart: and that only if you are lucky. Sorel is a perennial herb sometimes called the spinach dock. In this article, Tara announces that she loves the Sorrel Tart so much so that she keeps gathering Sorrel leaves from her “friends with benefits."
What then Happened to TeaAndCookiesBlog.com?
The last update on TeaAndCookiesBlog.com was in March 2015. Tara is still active on Instagram and posts on Twitter occasionally. One clue to her team and cookies website’s disappearance may lie in Tara’s Twitter bio. It reads “Writer, editor, adventurer, tea drinker, gardener, and cook. I used to tell pretty stories, now I resist.” This could imply that Tara decided to stop blogging, perhaps to focus on other projects. If you look at her website, you will notice that she released a book in 2015 and another in 2019.
Replacing Tea and Cookies
Since TeaAndCookiesBlog.com is no more, could there be any sites you can visit to learn about tea? We found a few.
Community-based Steepster.com introduces new teas. According to the owners of this website, "Three dudes in New York City built this site as a way of keeping track of the teas they were drinking. Since then, it's turned into one of the liveliest tea communities on the Web." One of the great things you’ll love about this site is the tea journal, which allows you to log the teas you drink and rate them.
TeaChef.com provides users with an opportunity to interact with each other and bond over their love for tea. Users can submit their tea-infused recipes to the website for publication.
WorldTeaNews.com offers readers insight into the tea industry. It features articles that highlight tea trends and provides expert opinions on the industry worldwide.
Do you know the difference between high tea and afternoon tea? The Cup of Life, run by Lu Ann Pannunzio, can give you the answer. The site covers a variety of tea topics.