Digg This URL Grey: Tea Is the New Coffee

April 16, 2009

Teageek1

The drink of choice for Web 2.0 zillionaires isn’t a quad espresso anymore. It’s a soothingly steeped tea harvested from a shaded mountainside half a world away.

Captains of the internet like Digg’s Kevin Rose and business guru Tim Ferriss (pictured above) are gravitating to the ancient drink, and enterprising retailers are stepping up to fill their every need. 

“We’ve had the Red Bulls, coffee and everything else,” Rose says of Digg, which spends about $1,000 a month just on specialty tea for employees. Rose himself favors a cup of Pu-erh imported from China’s Yunnan province after a tough day at the office.

“It’s one of those things where you want to turn to something really natural and from the Earth — and from something that isn’t going to give you a big crash,” Rose told Wired.com. “Once you start consuming tea it makes sense: This is the best of all worlds.”

In Silicon Valley, specialty tea is quickly becoming a phenomenon. Specialty shops, stores and tearooms devoted to the leaf are sprouting up all over the Bay Area. In San Francisco, tea businesses have gone beyond Chinatown and Japantown, spreading to Hayes Valley, the Castro and SOMA.

Tea is the new coffee — the tipple of choice for the Twitteratti. The culture that brought us pizza as a food group and $20,000 coffeemakers has now discovered tea. And its internet-savvy boosters like Rose and Ferriss are leading a movement in the United States to promote the leafy beverage as a trendy drink for new-age geeks who are as obsessed with having energetic bodies as they are with fast computers.

“It’s the new social lubricant,” said Jesse Jacobs, owner of Samovar Tea Lounge, a popular mini-chain of high-end tea rooms in San Francisco. “You’re never hung over and you can never drink too much.” []

http://blog.wired.com/business/2009/04/tech-millionair.html

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