Win a free Steepster Select tea box for September!
I would love an Autumn themed tea set for the coming fall!
“Pu-erh for Sissies/Wimps/Beginners” – Not sure what to call it…. nothing too fishy/earthy, just some good quality “entry level” pu-erhs for beginners. Chicago Tea Garden’s scented pu-erhs (Jasmine, Chrysanthemum, Sticky rice, etc.) come to mind as a good example.
There is no “wrong” way to do these teas. You can’t mess it up! Feature teas that will taste delicious, steeped any style. Forget you were steeping tea? For 40 minutes?! Enjoy your thick, delicious, chilled tea.
Things like white tea, high quality Chinese oolongs, etc. With these teas, you could say: “I dare you to steep that for…___!!!!” and the tea will win the bet every time. This would be a great way to show people that unflavored traditional tea doesn’t have to be bitter at all. They’d also be great things to bring to work.
Feature three different kinds of tea that are made completely of buds. Basically, you take the same leaf material, and process it in different ways. People could learn about what buddy teas taste like, and track what tastes stay the same throughout, and what actually changes in the processes. For example: silver needle white tea, yunnan golden needle, completely budset pu’er or budset green tea.
Teas designed specifically to stand up to savory meals. Folks have mentioned this before, but I definitely second this. This means that people get tea and an experience with their subscription. Bonus points for recommended recipes or cuisines. IE: Assam with Indian, a Jasmine/ginger/mint/pepper with Vietnamese, roasted oolong with Chinese Home-style tofu, Genmaicha with Teriyaki fish recipe…
Along with this idea:
Teas to drink with Pumpkin Pie
Teas to drink with Chocolate
Three non-Chocolate flavored teas to drink with chocolate. One recommended for milk chocolate, one for dark chocolate, and one for SUPER dark…
Teas to drink while reading _______
Shakespeare Comedies.. etc etc etc
Again, this kind of thing would invite a larger experience. Have three teas with a selection of four or five books/authors whose books you should read while sipping these selections.
I’m not really sure what teas to recommend here, since the categories are so large. For example, if you’re reading a collection of Borges short stories, you’ll probably want some Wuyi dark roasted oolong, some mysteriously musty library pu’er, and then one more pu’er just because. If you’re settling in with One Hundred Years of Solitude, you’ll probably want green oolongs like super floral TGY or some crazy apple-y Dancong, a nice linen-y golden buds, and a stony Dragonwell green.
This could also just devolve into a book/tea-of-the-month club…
Intro to Pu’er
Lots of folks go for the tea club to learn more about tea, and probably the most scary for a new-comer is pu’er. It’s such a big, large intimidating world! Choose three pu’ers to help show how much fun pu’er can be. One delicious, non-bitter or drying sheng. One non-fishy, nice and sweet shou, and then whatever the oldest and most interesting thing you can get your hands on and afford. Or the third could be a flavored something or other, I suppose…
Teas with supernatural stories attached to them! Iron Goddess of Mercy and Big Red Robe. or…
International Conspiracy Teas or Teas and War! ie: Keemen gets England hooked on tea, eventually leads to Opium war. Assam tea and the history of English botanist spies smuggling tea.. Lapsang Souchong: accidentally discovered when passing armies burn down the building holding the season’s harvest.. the tea is naturally smoked, the farmer’s decide to sell it off to the dutch, the dutch fall in love! etc etc.
It can be a love it or hate it tea, but if you’re part of a tea club, you’ll have to try it eventually! A sampler of smoked teas and/or teas that are naturally smokey in flavor profile.
I also definitely second the “teas that change over multiple steepings” suggestion. Again, it would be a great learning tool, to encourage those that have never tried to experiment with many shorter steepings. If the box also came with some “How to” materials: triple bonus points! Especially if there were a “how to do multiple short steepings of tea with things you can find around your house.” That way, folks could enjoy the teas fully without having to run out and buy a gaiwan and a tea board and some yixing and… yadda yadda.
Did someone say history?
Looks like you did! (took so long writing my response that I missed quite a few) I like your royalty idea. Imagine the tag-line: Teas once reserved for royalty can now be yours for the low low price of…!!! But seriously: tea has a very long (and continuing) history of being reserved for those in power. A sampling of the great tribute teas of China would definitely be fun. Then you could follow-up the next month with teas for the everyday man: genmaicha, bancha, etc etc.
I guess my focus on history is more concerned with the crazy tall-but-sometimes-true tales that have accumulated around tea. The origin of green tea via a sage ripping off his eyelids so he could meditate for a decade… Iron Goddess of Mercy: Guanyin comes to a farmer in a dream with a gift for all makind.. Wuyi oolong: humble farmer discovers tea that restores the empress to good health and is rewarded with a great big red robe. etc etc.
I love all of those stories, and it would be fun to theme boxes around them!
What great ideas! This is amazing!
I love all the stories too, and I really like your royal vs commoner tea angle.
Your teas to read by and book club is a great idea as well!
Even though I’m not eligible (being “Canadian” and all, eh?), how about selections of teas made for book lovers? Mystery, Romance, Thrillers, Classics. Dracula or Twilight lovers might favour a nice red (rooibos) tea blend while Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” lovers could have any of a number of holiday mixes that are available. Or maybe just teas for the specific genres – a rose/rosehip or lavender blend for Romance novels, a nice chai for mysteries, etc.
We’ll ship international for free boxes :). We just want to get everything setup before we open the flood gates.
This is along the lines of what Spoonvonstup said just a little bit earlier, but I like your simpler, more…I dunno, emotional? approach better. The red tea for vampires is an especially nice touch. =)
@Nik: you caught me! Red-handed comp lit. major. ;) I just can’t help myself.
“September Leaves” as it’s the season when leaves begin changing colors (at least here in Michigan.)
A red tea, a yellow tea, brown tea (maybe with maple flavoring?)
I’d like to see a “Wine & Dine” theme, pairing teas that go well with certain meals in a similar way as wine
“Night Out”, teas that mimic cocktails or that would go well with a shot of alcohol in them (Like DavidsTea’s Buttered Rum)
I like your idea of cardamom flavored tea. Because this note is so subtle and fresh, esp. green cardamom—it’s not easy to blend, and some Indian and British black teas are better than others. I’d like to see what else might be added to this hard to find type of sampler.
Also, something like my photo’s tea packaging as a type of theme, might be possible as a p.s. The tea in my photo is from Yemen, and as you might gather from the photo, I guess it’s good for graduates? It certainly keeps me awake! So a theme of interesting packaging could be very cool.
1) I’d love to see a Rooibos collection, although I know that might get some here upset (as it’s not considered “tea”) – but I do love it, so I’m suggesting.
2) Something else that I’ve been wanting to try myself, a set of 3 of the same type of tea from different vendors – for comparison. Like Bi Lou Chun or types of oolongs.
3) A breakfast blend set
how about getting a Steepster member involved: this month’s theme “TeaEqualsBliss’s Favorites” .. and include her notes.
It’s a stormy morning in Chicago, and right now what sounds good to me would be:
The Wake-Up Box: containing three teas with a respectable caffeine content (maybe a breakfast tea, another strong black tea, and a genmaicha with matcha?).
I know some tea drinkers are also coffee drinkers, but I am not. I rely on tea to get me going in the morning.