Newbies to Steepster who want to jump right in and make friends!

215 Replies

Hey guys! I’m new to Steepster and relatively new to fancy teas as well. My roommate recently got me interested in loose teas (I’ve only ever had the supermarket-type teabags before) and I’m quickly realizing how much better and more flavorful they are. I’m currently drinking some of Harney & Sons flavored black teas and their Genmaicha and enjoying them all.

In any case, hi! And if anyone has any suggestions for other tea brands and/or flavors, I’m open to suggestions!

ashmanra said

Welcome, I got my start with Harney, too! I highly recommend that you zip on over to the Teavivre site and sign up for their five free samples. You won’t be sorry! Excellent tea, excellent prices, excellent service.

Welcome! A wonderful world of tea flavors awaits you beyond “the bag.” (In a year’s time, I bet you that a cup of tea made with a teabag will seem like dust juice.) There are lots of companies online that have free or low-cost samples — Upton is my favorite. I recommend once you get your feet (teacup?) wet, you start exploring teas by type — try a few Ceylons for a week, Darjeelings another week, Assams another week, etc. Then you’ll be able to start identifying which kind you like best. It’s like wine — the different kinds of tea have their own character, so it behooves you to find out if you’re a “white wine” person or a red wine drinker, or are happier with a glass of sherry.

Donna A said

Some of the companies that I have had good experiences with are Butiki, Harney, Upton, Teajo, Teavivre, Golden Moon and Verdant. Butiki is another one that provides free samples and the owner, Stacy is very helpful giving advice.

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I suppose I count as new to Steepster. I’ve had an account and been using it for about a month, but I’ve been silently using Steepster as a resource for finding new teas for around 3 or so months now.

I’m definitely loving the community here.

Vanitea said

Ah, well belated welcome!

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Vanitea said

Hi! New to Steepster here as well. I’ve always loved tea, but I’ve been a bag tea person and never was terribly adventurous until about a year ago, when my best friend gave me a mug of Amaretto tea from David’s. I gave up a terrible shoe addiction for a new addiction to tea and haven’t looked back! Loving the concept of this place and I’m so enamoured with the idea of tea swaps. I don’t make enough money to go out and buy as much tea as I want to be able to buy, so the idea of trading some off for others is so perfect and lovely.

I’m a big fan of white teas and oolongs so far, though rooibos is beginning to grow on me for the fall season. Anything warm and sweet is likely to make me happy! Glad to be a part of this whole thing and I look forward to interacting with you all in the future!

Dexter said

Welcome to the wonderful world of tea. Taking the leap from tea bags to loose leaf is the first step, joining Steepster is another step. I was happily drinking primarily DavidsTea, enjoying the flavors, and then stumbled into this site. It’s changed everything. LOL I now have 165 ish teas in my cupboard, finding new favorite companies, being introduced to so many new teas. There are a lot of wonderful people on this site.
Everyone experiences their own journey though the wonderful world of tea, joining this site just opened up a ton of forks in your road. Welcome, enjoy your time here.

Selene said

Welcome Vanitea

Sil select said

welcome aboard! tea>shoes for sure haha :)

Welcome!
Seriously, how many pairs of shoes can you wear at one time, right? :)

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Selene said

Hi everyone. I am new here and somewhat to tea. I have always liked tea and grew up drinking iced tea all the time. In the last few months I have started drinking loose tea. My husband joined the navy and brought tea from his port visits. Now I drink to most of the day.
I have been buying from Adagio, mostly green. They did send a free sample box of pu erh with my last order (which I had never even heard of) which I am enjoying. I am looking forward to learning more about tea and branching out a bit.

Bonnie said

Welcome! I used to live in Northern California but moved to Colorado a few years ago. I love puerh! It’s good for your digestion.

Selene said

I am from Wyoming. Only moved for the military. Hope to go back soon. I’m not a big city gal and I miss seasons. I have notced the benefits of the puerh in my short time of drinking it. I will be getting more.

Welcome to Steepster! I am in Wyoming now for school, but not from here originally. :)

San Diego? I grew up in San Diego! Welcome! :D

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Zbread&tea said

Hi! I’m new :) I am from Canada and have drank tea bags all my life but I’ve recently started purchasing from David’s tea and am interested in branching out to other online tea vendors! Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated :)

Sil select said

welcome! a number of us can likely also recommend some more local shops too depending on whether you’re central, east or west coast :)

There are a number of places you can get free or close to free samples to try (there’s a post somewhere here..) So i suggest taking advantage of those while you figure out your preferences. Even though you’re in canada you can still take advantage of some of them (yezi tea has 3 samples for 3$, teavivre has sample packs that are nice and small, upton has tons of samples sizes…) just depends on what you like!

Zbread&tea said

Thanks! That was really helpful- Im going to check those sites out! I live in Ontario, if you have any good recommendations for tea shops there :)

Sil select said

i strongly suggest ordering the smallest sizes you can until you figure out what you want. otherwise you may have large quantities of tea you don’t end up liking heh. :)

Dexter said

Welcome Zbread&tea. I second what Sil is suggesting about small sample sizes. You get to try more teas and narrow down what you really like if you try small amounts of lots of teas. The TeaCupany out of BC has nice flavored tea in small sample sizes. If you are looking for straight teas Tealux out of Montreal is also good (I’m not as much of a fan of their flavors). Enjoy your time here, there are lots of wonderful people who will help out with questions, just keep asking. :))

Bonnie said

Welcome! Here’s a site many if not most of us have used for free samples and it’s totally reliable! Ask anyone! Go to www.teavivre.com and look on the right lower corner of the page to where it says ‘Free Tea’ tasting activities, free tea writing reviews. Click on that link and fill out the form. Teavivre will send you tea and you won’t get unwanted ad’s and there’s no strings attached other than you’re asked to review the tea they send you here on Steepster. When you’ve finished reviewing the first round of tea selections, you’ll be offered more. (Over time I’ve received about 40 different tea’s or more).

Zbread&tea said

I’m checking out all those sites now! Thank you to everyone for being so friendly and welcoming :)

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I’m sitting here, watching Cardinals baseball, & finally having time to peruse the discussion boards for the first time in who knows when. I’d like to extend a big Welcome to Steepster to all the newbies! I hope you love this place as much as the rest of us do. This is an awesome community of crazy tea lovers, & I love this place! A few suggestions:
- Follow people! When you read posts by people who like the kinds of teas you like or sound interesting, click on their name, read their bio, & hit that follow button. They will probably follow you back!
- Fill out your bio! I love finding out where people are, what they like, what they do. I still haven’t found anybody in St. Louis yet, but I keep hoping…
- Participate in discussions! We all love to talk about stuff: tea, books, movies, sales, tea, teaware…there are discussions about everything, including a couple of discussions for tea addicts trying to control their spending, LOL (which I need to rejoin…sigh…)
- Join one of the many Traveling Tea Boxes (TTB), initiate trades with people who have teas you’d like to try, comment on people’s posts, tell us about the teas you’ve been drinking, & most of all, have fun!
Welcome all!

Sil select said

I echo everything that Terri has said and add:
-Don’t buy large quantities of teas even if you think you love them until you’ve had a chance to try a few, if you’re just starting your tea journey.
-Also, there will always be another sale….promise

Yup! :)

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Greetings from Southeast Virginia! I’ve just begun developing a new hobbie out of an old love… Tea! Being from the South, I grew up drinking iced tea, mostly Lipton or Luzianne. My aunt got me started drinking hot tea when I was about 10 years old, mostly Bigelow and Twinings tea bags. A few weeks ago, while sitting on the couch sipping Bigelow cinnamon tea, a random idea sparked in my head… There must be more to tea than dusty old tea bags. I was aware that loose tea existed. (I own a bakery, and we use it in one of our cookie recipes, Earl Grey shortbread.) But it never occurred to me that there would be an entire community of people who make discovering, drinking, and collecting loose tea essentially a lifestyle.

My first personal experience with loose tea was about 2 weeks ago at Teavana. I tried some samples in their store, then I went online for a more peaceful shopping experience. (It feels like they want to sell you a new Lexus when you shop in the store.) I bought English Breakfast, Moroccan Mint Green Tea, Youthberry, Maharaja Chai Oolong, JavaVana Mate, & Kamiya Papaya Oolong. I really like the first 5, but the Kamiya Papaya is too florally for my taste. I’m not sure if that’s the oolong, or if it’s something in the blend. I’m sure I’ll figure out the specific flavors of the individual teas (oolong, rooibos, mate, etc.) eventually. But right now I’m having so much fun just trying every flavor/blend I can get my hands on. I think my next adventure is going to be with Davids Tea!

I’m so excited to have found this website! I’ve only been an active member for 2 days, but I’ve already learned so much about where to buy tea and how to store my tea. I found out about re-steeping oolongs 3 or 4 times to develop new flavors. I’ve seen mention of cold-brewing, but I havent tried that yet. Above all, I really appreciate the kindness shown to newbies. I am open to any and all advice. Thank you!

Bonnie said

HI Cassie it’s me again..wrote you a note yesterday. A few tea Vendors have educational material that helped me. Podcasts, videos and history about tea. Check out Teavivre, Verdant and Mandala tea for video’s that demo how to use a gaiwan and different brewing styles. Verdant Tea has a YouTube video channel. There may be others.

Donna A said

Cassie, my story as to how I got into loose tea is similar to yours. I branched out from Teavana a few years ago into other teas that I saw got good ratings on Steepster. Butiki, Teavivre, Harney and Sons, Upton, Teajo, Golden Moon and Verdant are some good companies. BTW, my husband and I had an awesome vacation across Virginia this past summer. We were touring gardens and stayed in several great towns. We loved Charlottesville!

Hi Cassie!
Welcome to steepster!

moraiwe said

Welcome! Hope you enjoy your stay :)

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sarahjae00 said

Hello!! I am new and just branching out into the tea world!

ashmanra said

Welcome to Steepster!

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Nerys said

Lifetime of teabags, some loose leaf tea in the mid 80’s, refound loose leaf tea last month online then I found Steepster forum and joined. Just started collecting loose leaf tea from a few online shops.

Bonnie said

Welcome. There are other Europeans…you’re not alone here! Angrboda in Denmark has been here longest, Roughage is in England, others in Ireland, France etc.

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