Rob said

What have you learnt from Steepster?

Might be a nice idea to get other people’s highlights of what they have picked up and learnt from their time on Steepster.

I’ve not been here long, but so far I’ve learnt:

Break off your pu-erh a few days before steeping. I’ve not heard of that before but I noticed that a few members technique included this.

There are some BIG tea buyers in this world!

Don’t believe the age claims made on very old tea trees.

New vendors (white2tea and pure puerh are ones I intend to try)

The high level of respect that Scott and Yunnan sourcing have in the community.

There are lots of people like me out there!

51 Replies
AllanK said

The number one thing to learn about tea in general is there is always more to learn. No one knows everything, even someone who is considered a tea master. Anyone who wishes to become a tea master must be able to devote his life to tea. But me I need to work if I want to buy tea so I can’t devote my life to tea.

Rob said

Very true. The scope of tea is absolutely awesome and certainty broad enough to devote your life to.

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mrmopar said

Don’t forget Crimson Lotus, Chawang , What Cha and the others. Some are in your backyard so to speak.
On puerh a couple of tricks I use. Always rest a tea after it arrives for a week or two in an environment that will allow it to breathe and take on moisture.
After you rinse a puerh give it time to rest afterwards. Many times it will absorb its own weight in water. The more that can get into the leaf will result in a better brew.

Glad to have you joining us.

Rob said

Interesting regarding resting after the rinse. I’ll certainly try that. I’ll checkout the other shops you mention too. Cheers

mrmopar said

I sat back an ‘lurked’ a while before I really got into things. I learned that my first puerh wasn’t really that. I had some kind people put me on the path to go. I have had the good ones and the bad ones so I have learned a bit but still I am learning.

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Rob said

I forgot another thing.. Gold needle and golden bud black tea. These were not on my tea radar at all. They are highly scored on YS range, so I have ordered myself a few different types.

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teacop said

Hi I just joined today so here to learn a lot about tea, I’m new to loose leaf tea so hoping to learn a lot from Steepster :)

mrmopar said

We are enablers. Your tea purchase budget will grow easily here! Welcome in.

teacop said

Thank you!! Well I’m ready to try different teas this year :)

Mookit said

Haha true that mrmopar!

Welcome to Steepster, hope you learn and enjoy with us for a long time!

Rob said

Yes, brace yourself for an inflated tea budget teacop.

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Lynxiebrat said

Learned from being on here in general:

That I need to widdle down the amount of tea before getting more. That is one of the reasons why I’ve restricted myself to just 1 tea buy till I do another culling…(The other is lack of money.)

That while I do still really like tea, the frenzy has more or less taken off…Just as well, really.

That unless I am reviewing and/or in the mood to chat about tea or related topics…I don’t come on here much because then I always see a tea that I would like to try out…heh.

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Dr Jim said

I joined steepster just as I was getting into loose tea, so more than half of all my tea knowledge comes from Steepster, including: Puerh, aged oolong, white tea, gong-fu method, gaiwans, travelling tea boxes, and nearly every vendor that I currently buy from. Most importantly, I learned that I’m just one member of an amazing community of like-minded tea addicts.

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I’ve been a member since yesterday. I came here to troll the 1600 year old pu-erh thread; joking there but it was an interesting read, especially having seen many of Don’s YT videos just a day before landing in that thread.

One thing I learned, is you can’t update your profile if you don’t include http:\\ in the site address you are sharing, and that you’ll not be told why the profile cannot be updated; just that it can’t. Took me a couple of tries to figure that one out.

Actually I’m totally new to tea, unless you count all of the heavily sweetened iced tea I consumed while growing up in the south (US).
We’ve been having a nightly bottle of wine for many years and decided to change it up. My SO has a number of bagged teas she takes to work and the other day I gave one of them a try. Soon after we were shopping for other bagged teas and in less than a week we’ve bought a kettle, a couple of steeping pots and our first loose teas.

The quest to not make too many poor purchase decisions brought me to this forum and it’s already been a huge help.

mrmopar said

Welcome in. Always glad to have new members. I am in the South as well.

Thanks. My hometown in TN is roughly 3 hours from you and grew up on the coast in VA and FL. Good times.

mrmopar said

I am right outside of Blacksburg.

Rasseru said

welcome.

Get with trying samples straightaway, and get your temps right – those two things will enable you to experience a massive leap in flavour & experience without much money being spent

Inkling said

Welcome! This site is definitely a fabulous resource for getting started with loose leaf tea. If you already have a kettle and a teapot, I’d recommend not investing in a bunch more paraphernalia right off the bat (except maybe a thermometer if your kettle isn’t temperature-controlled). You also shouldn’t need to spend a bunch of money to try new teas and find out what you like. There are a number of companies that offer free samples and/or significant discount codes for new customers. (Do a search for “tea samples” or “free tea” in the forums and you should come up with a good list.) And this site also hosts a lot of tea swaps/tea boxes where you can try samples from fellow tea lovers. Enjoy the adventure!

Thanks all!
We were intent on using a thermometer but just last night picked up an Epica 6 electric kettle. That’s it for tea ware for now, along with the two steeping teapots and good infusers, already mentioned.
The journey will no doubt bring exploration of other approaches but at this point I’d like to find a handful of “good everyday teas” for our base.
Thanks again for the tips and insight.

So I’m looking to pick up 8-10 samples to explore for now and it seems like I’ve found one source at the quality and price point I’d like to hit in this point.
I’ve seen mention of many great sources in the last two days and I’m looking for suggestions for alternative sources of similar quality and price, if only for a quicker delivery timeline.
The folks I’m considering is teavivre. It looks like they have a wide selection of teas consistently rated above 85 on this site and samples for about 3 bucks, though I haven’t gotten a shipping quote yet but they would be throwing in another 2 samples for me (of the over 120 they offer).
Who else should I consider? Thanks!!

mrmopar said

A few vendors with samples come to mind. White2tea, Crimson Lotus, Yunnan Sourcing US and Berylleb King Tea on eBay.

Rasseru said

What-cha are another (free international shipping over about $40 too) and they have a wide variety of interesting tea.

Dr Jim said

Your choice of Teavivre is a good one: great teas at good prices though limited to China. It would give you a good idea of what’s available. Harney and Upton offer wider variety at a range of prices as well as sample sizes of many of their teas. Adagio does the same at a lower price point. Many folks start with Adagio and then move up but they offer good value.

Thanks Dr Jim, Rasseru and mrmopar. I’d better get to ordering some samples.

Everune said

You should try the 5 for 5 deal on Verdant teas. While it wasn’t my introduction to loose leaf in general, it was one of my first experiences with very high quality tea. http://verdanttea.com/teas/5-for-5-tea-samples/

No 5 for 5 for me at this point because I already have around 20 samples coming from Harney & Sons and TeVivre.

Rasseru said

Look forward to your reviews!

What sort of things did you go for

Here’s the rundown for now:

TeVivre:
Jasmine Silver Needle White
Nonpareil Te Gong Huang Shan Mao Feng Green
Superfine Jasmine Downy Dragon Pearls Green
Premium Dragon Well Long Jing Green
Taiwan Monkey Picked (Ma Liu Mie) Tie Guan Yin Oolong
Tie Guan Yin “Iron Goddess” Oolong
Anxi Monkey King (Ma Liu Mie) Tie Guan Yin Oolong
Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe) Wuyi Rock Oolong
Yun Nan Dian Hong Black – Golden Tip
Bailin Gongfu Black
Golden Monkey Black
Fengqing Dragon Pearl Black
Premium Keemun Hao Ya Black

Harney & Sons:
Big Red Sun blend
Irish Breakfast blend
Organic Rooibos
Lapsang Souchong Black
Hao Ya ‘A’ Black

Adagio Teas:
Green Rooibos Citron

Arbor Teas:
Organic Darjeeling Makalbari Estate 2nd Flush
Organic Peppermint

All in transit. Last 3 I bought at roughly 3oz but haven’t had before, all samples purchased even though I could likely bring a good deal of focus to the sources; didn’t attempt getting free samples from any source.

Rasseru said

Oh nice. I’ve had some good Makaibari darjeeling before.

And interested in how the various teavivre compare

Thanks. That’s nice to hear.

My intent is to end up buying one or two of the black teas, the green I like best, an Oolong or two and one of the blends.

Most of my weekdays are free and during those I’ll start running two of the black teas against each other each day. Then the same with the Oolongs. I’ll try the greens on a weekend.

This will keep me busy for a while and will be fun. Once I have these baselines, well, you know how it goes. I’ll keep adding to the collection…but I’ll probably never have more than about 25 teas at one time. That’s the plan anyway. :)

Rasseru said

Haha good luck. Even if I thought of 25 favorite teas to have at one time I would get stuck.

I never thought I would end up with hundreds of different teas but I did

For me oolong is just too vast a subject, with too many differences, really a whole world in that type alone

Mackie said

^^ I was drinking faster than I was buying up till about 6 months ago and now I have .. 5? no … 6 different tea storage areas in my place, enough tea to last me years and I can’t seem to stop buying more. I really don’t know how I have any money tbh

Mackie said

I also totally agree with Rasseru, for me oolong is as varied as all of the rest of tea combined, I’d definitely recommend trying some fenghuang Dancong and a few different taiwanese oolongs

Rasseru said

yes fenghuang is amazing (my favourite drink, certainly hot drink i have ever tasted) but needs gaiwan usage to enjoy it to it full effect imho – as also the expense of it is easier to swallow being spread over a day or two/weekend.

Also i think its very much ‘get what you paid for’ – Farmers know they can get money for good dancong

Thanks. I’ll add Feng Huang Dan Cong to my sought for sample list.

Rasseru said

feng huang have over a hundred different aroma-types (or something like that I read)

Try ‘Ba Xian’ or ’Mi Lan Xiang ’ first. :)

Thanks. :) My setup is a simple and modest one: What teas I have (hunting and gathering for now to reach the modest baseline), and a list of what I may want to look into once I’m ready for something new. Years and years of exploration ahead.

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Inkling said

When I joined Steepster, I was a total tea newbie, having just discovered that loose leaf tea was actually a thing. I have learned SO MUCH from this site and the members here over the last couple of years! A few highlights:

1. There are lots of different ways of brewing tea and none of them are really “right” or “wrong”, but can give you totally different experiences with the exact same leaf.

2. Unflavored tea is far more interesting and delicious than I ever would have expected. While I still drink plenty of flavored blends, I reach for a good Ceylon, green oolong, or Chinese green tea virtually every day and absolutely love them…something I would have had no interest in when I first joined Steepster.

3. Tea people are the best! I received the warmest welcome here out of any online community I’ve ever belonged to. And over the past 2 1/2 years, I’ve found the majority of Steepster members to be courteous, friendly, and so willing to share their knowledge, expertise, and tea!

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I have learned such a tremendous amount… can’t even write it within a paragraph, but here’s the main thing: Tea and the community around tea has significantly raised my quality of life. Whether it be the wonderful taste of such great drinks or a place to sleep for free in another state just because the person is too a tea addict, there’s very little negative things to say.

This gets a little personal, but coming from a Christian background in which is part of my past, it’s been such a relief to have a community to belong to that allows me to spread my generosity. I’ve always been one to give, but many people have taught me the lesson of being able to receive something and show thanks.

At first I thought it was odd to tell people that this is my ‘tea friend’, however I’ve come to realize that these people are really friends and don’t need the label ‘tea’ before that.

I’ve learned that people want to engage with other people. I’ve learned that people want unique experiences. I’ve learned that people do share. I’ve learned that tea has no boundaries. I’ve learned that tea can be as much as you put into it, a full time lifestyle or a casual drink.

+ a bunch more

Recently, someone reminded me, I learned that I have brought quite a few people together over tea whether it is at tea parties, connecting Reddit to Instagram to Steepster, my group buys, or sending messages for people to get in touch with one another. This is something I just do and never really look back on it, but it’s quite amazing because the online tea community is growing and those who have been around longer tend to become a bit more passive and let the newer people jump in full force and discuss stuff. It’s all quite enjoyable.

I just got off of work and I have no idea if any of that was coherent.

Rob said

What a lovely post. Tea certainly brings people together.

mrmopar said

It can encompass any barrier we have if we allow it to.

Arby said

This is really nice to read. I agree, tea brings people together in a great way. I love the generosity of everyone within the community.

Everune said

That is so very sweet. I’m glad to here that this community has helped you so much.

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I have learn the market of cosumer, people all likes tea here talk about the tea.
We are a tea supplier in china, so now, I know what the market like tea, it’s good guide for us to prepare the good tea for customer and consumer.

www.organicteaschina.com

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