What was the tea that made you fall in love with tea?
Tea was always around the house when I was growing up, mostly black Ceylon tea that was served sweet — sometimes with rum and honey when you had a sore throat. My mother had a love of “Constant Comment” so I will always associate that aroma with her, but my first real “ah-ha” moment came when I tried a Russian tea which came from Georgia, USSR. It was packaged in a nice tin, and was purchased at a local (Miami, FL) fair when I was about 15. Dark, dense and highly aromatic. This led me to discovering Twinings Lapsang Souchong, and other smoky teas that most others could not even bear to smell!
When I was in college in North Carolina, Sweet Tea was everywhere, but I had the opportunity to try good green teas with exchange students who came from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Japan. We all met for meditation twice a week, and tea. That was more than 20 years ago, and I still find new teas to enjoy. :)
I think it was probably the spring 2006 harvest of a Da Yu Lin high mountain oolong. It gave me that feeling of coming home after a long time away…
Kong Fu Black tea. I loved the malty molasses-like richness of it and just can’t believe something so flavourful is so naturally produced. Unbelievable!
I had heard about tea from an online friend. He told me how he loved to drink early grey tea. I had never heard of earl grey tea before (that’s how uninterested and unaware I was). I told my mom and she didn’t even know about it and where she could get it from. Eventually, she easily found it in the super market and got me a box. I remember first trying it with no sugar and thinking this was horrible (now I drink virtually all my tea with no sugar!). When I added sugar I started to really enjoy it. A month later I went off and lived at college. All my friends were into tea and that got me even more interested (I couldn’t believe the endless varieties). That was roughly four years ago and while my tastes have changed, I still love my earl grey!
Dan Cong Phoenix Mountain Oolong from Teavana was the first loose-leaf tea to push me away from tea bags… but the best tea bag (and they have it loose-leaf also and taste similar yet different) is King Cole tea.
From the time I could sit upright at the mini Beatrix Potter teatable in her alcove, my grandmother always had teaparties for my sister and me, so tea culture has always been sentimental. But it wasn’t until 1994 when my boyfriend and I were in Chinatown, SanFrancisco that I discovered the tea that was “my own” taste. We wandered into an herb shop and started smelling loose leaf teas—it was the Lychee Oolong. I developed a relationship with Oolong after that, then other asian teas. I was raised on English favorites, like English and Irish Breakfast, Lady and Earl Grey, so Oolong and green were unfamiliar. But my awareness of tea as an art came whe I discovered Jasmine Green Pearl.
I was attracted to English culture early on (a Tolkien fan :P) so, naturally, I stumbled upon references to tea. In my country, the word “tea” can be heard quite often, though almost never in reference to tea proper but to various herbal infusions. I decided I’d like to see for myself what the fuss around real tea was all about. I’m also a programmer so the prospect of it containing caffeine always seemed an attractive one.
I bought a tin of loose-leaf Earl Grey and steeped it in an improvised container (I didn’t even have a teapot back then, not to mention a gaiwan). My mind was completely blown away by the wonderful aroma and the relaxing and focusing effect it had on me. Gradually, as I was studying tea in more depth, I discovered that I only scratched the very surface and there were even greater wonders in the world of tea. Not long after that, I acquired a few high quality whole-leaf greens, then oolongs, whites… And I’m hooked ever since.
Toasted Walnut from Davids tea was among the Teas that wn me over!
and this song>>> the T anthem Song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry1fK25Ij00
I never used to be a huge fan of tea (although as a bit of a closet anglophile I liked the idea of it), until I happened upon a Lupicia store in San Francisco- and I fell in love! I had never had loose leaf tea before, except for matcha as a kid, and I thought it was all either bitter or bland. But Lupicia’s Sakurambo changed my mind absolutely, and now I can’t go a day without tea- loose leaf or quality bagged stuff!
My first real tea was Twinings Earl Grey…at the time I loved it mixed with a little milk, but now I prefer my teas without anything added. But Earl Grey was my first love, followed immediately by glorious, glorious green tea. :)