The title is almost Kafka-esque, maybe? No? Well, I actually send a tea bag by old snail mail to someone I do not know, in Russia.

Many greetings to Alan for these rare teabag tags for my collection!  Thank you very much!

This all started with a photo I posted to flickr, showing one of the last plain black tea bags I must have bought for my Mom’s visit in maybe 2008

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Alan Levine

To me, it is just one of those markers I like to remember visually. But I got a flickr mail message:

I saw your photo with the teabag and wonder if it is possible to receive the teatag (tea label) from this serie to my collection by post. I have over 14 thousands of the tea labels but i’m sure i don’t have the label from this brand in my collection yet and i’ve never seen it in Russia before.

Thanks in advance!

Wish U all the best!


And sure enough, Marina does have a web site with thousands of tags from tea bags (note, the site only seems to work in Firefox, I did let her know I could not view it in Chrome)


I sent the last 2 tea bags I had; I hope Marina samples the tea, although I always thought Safeway plain black tea was nothing to knock your socks off with. I also included a notecard with one of my photos (it’s the snow covered daffodil you can see in her photo above).

Why does this matter? Maybe the act is small, but it’s the connection, generated by open sharing, helping someone in a way not possible before the open web, whom I would have never crossed paths with– this is the stuff we need to be caring about. The unexpected. The serendipity. Lose that, and the web, the world gets a whole lot less interesting.

It’s almost… well I should do my own dog food consumption task and make a video for True Stories of Open Sharing.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. I was googling information about mailing tea bags and one of the first few links was this one, titled ‘I mailed a Tea Bag to Russia’

    When I saw the link I thought to myself “Hey, I’m mailing tea bags to Russia too! I’ll click this”

    Turns out it is the same exact girl that you mailed to that I am mailing to. What a coincidence! (I have Google chrome and cannot look at her site either)

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