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Understanding The Basics of Tequila




The world of tequila contains more than a few surprises. Luckily, there are no better guides than Alec and Ana Tesa, founders of award-winning distillery Eleven20 Tequila

 “The first thing to understand is that there are a lot of fakes out there,” says Alec Tesa. Given the Tesas’ passion for traditional distilling techniques and Mexican culture, they’re the perfect people to explain the fundamentals of this amazing beverage, from what constitutes true tequila to identifying superior varieties and finding the best one for you.

Not all tequila is real

For a beverage to count as true tequila, it needs to meet certain criteria. “Most importantly, it must be made from blue agave in certain places, such as Jalisco, Guanajuato, and Michoacan,” Alec says. “That’s why we craft our artisanal tequila in the heart of tequila country.”

“While you might be able to buy spirits distilled from alternative kinds of agave in California or other places, these beverages taste different,” Ana Tesa adds. They also can’t be called tequila, which by definition must come from blue agave in Mexico.

“Terroir is important, just like with wine,” Alec explains. “Champagne only comes from Champagne, which is near Paris, and Bordeaux only comes from Bordeaux in the southwest of France. There’s something unique and magical about these places that lead to a truly special drink. It has to do with the soil, the latitude, the altitude — everything in the environment comes together perfectly to make lovely elixirs that are exclusive to those particular places.”

“The distillation of tequila from true Mexican blue agave is a beautiful and historic cultural tradition that can’t be replicated elsewhere,” Ana continues. “Keep in mind this knowledge has been handed down through generations. Proper tequila is made in Mexico by Mexicans, using methods they have refined for thousands of years.”

Unfortunately, illicit producers of fake tequila continue to try to fool consumers and often to great lengths to hide the provenance of their products, even reusing bottles from legitimate tequila distilleries to masquerade as the real thing. In addition to scamming people with lesser quality beverages, sometimes they also bottle their products with toxic substances that can have dangerous effects on those who drink them.

How to identify real tequila

To spot true tequila, the Tesas recommend reading labels carefully. “It might seem obvious, but the first rule to follow is to look for the word tequila specifically,” Alec remarks. “Not agave liqueur, not agave eau de vie, and not agave distillates — none of those are the real thing. Also, remember that mezcal is different from tequila as well, since it can be made from other agaves, not pure blue agave like tequila.”

“The bottle should be in pristine condition,” Ana says. “If it looks like someone might have taken the lid off and refilled it, then keep in mind that dubious beverage companies actually do that, so that might be what you’re actually looking at.”

“Don’t buy anything that doesn’t have a label,” Alec adds. “You really shouldn’t even accept a drink for free from a bottle like that!”

The Tesas also recommend purchasing tequila only from established, reputable retailers. “Avoid dodgy situations,” Ana continues. “Don’t try to buy it off the street or at a flea market. It might look like a good deal, but you’re really just getting ripped off.”

According to the Tesas, an even better way to verify authenticity is to look the beverage company up on the official list of producers, which the Consejo Regulador del Tequila (CRT) makes available online. “If the company isn’t listed, it’s not what you want,” Alec says.

Even among real tequilas, a range of different qualities is available.

Identifying the best tequila

“The best tequila is made entirely from blue agave,” Alec says, “so look for ‘100 percent’ on the label.”

“You should also look for brands that don’t have any additives,” Ana adds. “The best tequila is pure. Similarly, if a label says ‘Mixto,’ that means it’s tequila mixed with up to 49 percent other things. For some brands, that means nearly half the drink is sugar.”

Ultimately, what makes a great tequila is its great taste. “Fancy packaging might look impressive, but you can’t drink it,” Alec says. “What’s more important is what that spirit tastes like neat.”

Tequila can also be aged in barrels for different periods of time, which changes the drink’s flavor profile. The youngest variety is called blanco, which goes straight to store shelves after bottling. Reposado comes next, having been aged for two months up to a year, while Añejo is the oldest, aged for one to three years.

“While many people favor aged tequilas, you’ll need to taste the different options yourself to see what you prefer,” Ana says. “Blanco tends to be flashier, which lots of people like best. Whiskey drinkers tend to prefer the older versions, which can take on hints of spices or vanilla from the barrels.”

Experience a Mexican tradition

Finally, the Tesas recommend buying tequila from producers that use traditional Mexican production techniques like Eleven20. “The best experience is an authentic one,” Alec says. “These processes might be slower, but the taste is more than worth the effort.”

For a true Mexican experience, make sure you turn to true Mexican tequila like Eleven20.

Rosario is from New York and has worked with leading companies like Microsoft as a copy-writer in the past. Now he spends his time writing for readers of

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VPNRanks Report Uncovers User Discontent with Majority of VPN Services




A groundbreaking report by VPNRanks reveals significant user dissatisfaction with the majority of VPN services, showing that 89% of VPNs globally fail to meet user satisfaction standards. This revelation comes at a critical time when digital security is paramount, and the demand for reliable VPN services continues to rise.

The Importance of User Satisfaction in the VPN industry

According to industry statistics from Global Market Insights, the global VPN market size was valued at USD 45 billion in 2022 and is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 20% from 2023 to 2032. Driven by the growing instances of cybercrimes and data thefts, coupled with the increasing proliferation of wireless devices and digital infrastructures across industries, user satisfaction remains a critical challenge for many providers. High user satisfaction is essential for customer retention, brand reputation, and long-term success in the competitive VPN market.

“User satisfaction is the cornerstone of success in the VPN industry. In a market flooded with options, it’s the real user experiences that set the leading providers apart. VPNScore helps users navigate this complex landscape by highlighting services that excel in meeting user expectations,” said Muhammad Saleem Ahrar, COO of webAffinity, the team behind VPNRanks.

VPNRanks is a leading VPN review platform that leverages sentiment analysis to provide comprehensive and unbiased reviews of VPN services. Its VPNScore is based on an AI-driven analysis of publicly available user reviews. The platform aims to simplify the process of identifying the best VPN provider tailored to each user’s unique needs.

VPNRanks Untangles Complex Findings on Key Features

VPNRanks evaluated four key features — ease of use, ease of setup, ability to meet user requirements, and quality of support — to identify the VPN companies that excel at customer satisfaction. To determine a final rank for each metric, VPNRanks combined a popularity score, which contributed 20 percent of the total, with a satisfaction score, which contributed 80 percent.

The study sifted through reviews on 93 paid VPN companies to determine the top providers. The VPNRanks report, issued in June 2024, provides rankings for each key feature and overall customer satisfaction. ExpressVPN achieved the top VPNScore — 6.29 out of 10 — for overall satisfaction globally. The next four top companies in that category, listed in descending order, are PureVPN, NordVPN, PrivateVPN, and Surfshark.

By assessing a variety of categories, the VPNRanks study reveals the challenges users face when trying to identify the best option to meet their needs. For example, NordVPN received a nearly perfect popularity score of 9.46 out of 10 but only a 4.7 satisfaction score. PrivateVPN received a satisfaction score of 6.69 out of 10, which rivaled ExpressVPN’s score in that category, but received a popularity score of only 1.23 out of 10.

The global rankings for ease of use illustrate how challenging identifying a quality provider can be. VeePN received a very high satisfaction score of 7.18 out of 10 while receiving a popularity score of less than 1 out of 10. The findings reveal a gap between user experience and market penetration that can effectively keep the best option hidden from the consumer.

The VPNRanks report gives users insight into satisfaction and popularity while providing a balanced assessment via its VPNScore. “Users should choose based on their priorities, whether it’s user satisfaction, market presence, or a balanced option,” the report states.

VPNRanks Shows Providers How to Become More Competitive

In addition to serving as a guide for consumers, VPNRanks also maps out a pathway for VPN providers seeking greater market share. The VPN providers that consistently appear in the top spots on the VPNRanks charts are those that have achieved a balance between popularity and user satisfaction. Those who neglect one or the other cannot keep pace with market leaders.

The report explains that those with high satisfaction scores but low popularity “might be well-loved by their users but need to increase their market visibility to compete more effectively.” Achieving overall success in the VPN market requires balancing user satisfaction with market presence, it advises.


As the need for VPN services continues to grow, businesses can expect to see more providers enter the market, making the task of identifying the best option more difficult. The insights VPNRanks provides stand as a timely beacon, guiding users to providers who can satisfy their needs and support their operations.

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