I just discovered Google Trends. Maybe everyone else already heard about this as a neat new fast way to track the spread of the flu, but it’s new to me. For those who are more out of it than me, Google Trends tracks when and where people are searching for certain words in Google.
Since my self-imposed purpose in this blog is the write about tea, I naturally typed in “tea” and was fascinated to see seven huge spikes over the last several years on certain days in searches for tea. Then I became quickly unfascinated when I realized they all were people looking for “tea party,” and were generally right before elections. Add to the list of all the other problems the Tea Party Movement has caused: They’ve taken over the word “tea” so it’s more associated with right-wing idiots than with camellia senensis.
I put in “sun tea” and found a spike which apparently corresponded with an episode of 30 Rock which included Al Gore and was titled “Sun Tea.”
Finally, I put in “loose tea” and got some semi-interesting results which were actually about tea. Searches for “loose tea” double right before Christmas every year. Not too surprising, since loose tea is still considered by many to be a cool thing for somebody else to have. I imagine the amount of loose tea that ends up sitting in the kitchen cabinet for three years after being given as a Christmas present is sizeable.
But more interesting, kind of, was who is interested in tea. The answer is people in Denver, Colo. — which makes sense to me because that’s one of those places that consistently tops lists of “healthiest cities.” Second was Portland, Ore. (no idea why) and third is my city, Boston, which I humbly suggest has attained that rank in no small part because of my presence here.
So if you’re a tea fanatic who wants to live somewhere where the greatest percentage of people talk about tea, try Denver. Or else just read this blog. A lot.