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Thoughts on American Tea Culture

Or any culture for that matter. I was reading a translation by  of a Chinese blog post about snobbery in the tea world and it kind of went along with my thinking of late about tea culture here in America, where it seems like there are so many different groups with differing opinions and ideas that made up our “culture” here.  I guess its a social “thing” that happens in a lot of niche industries. Let’s remove tea from the equation and talk about products in general — the masses (the majority) tend to cling to a product of lesser quality, and people break out into smaller factions surrounding the same product but a higher quality variant of it. Lets call the former group A and the latter group B. Group B begins to look at group A with disdain. From a quality perspective, group A’s version is usually lesser than B’s and usually group A paid less than group B for it. Going a bit deeper, when we look at the supply chain to group A and B, group A’s product is usually supplied by large companies and corporations, and group B’s product is usually supplied by smaller companies or sometimes group B will circumvent the middle man and go directly to the source for their product. Group A may just enjoy the product, while group B is obsessed by the product and tend to incorporate the product deeper into their lives, learning all they can about it and always seeking better quality product. Because the product means so much to group B, they are put off my people that don’t take it as seriously as them, or even those who broke out into another faction, for example those that like the product only for health reasons. When I say “put off” I mean not only that their opinions about the product differ, but also that they may not even tend to get along with the type of people in group A or another faction of group B aside from anything dealing with the product. Sorry I got to ranting here, but I always wonder how to bridge the gap, maybe it’s impossible. Maybe things like this will always happen.