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JC said

Developing taste/love for tea

Hi Steepster!

I recently found myself enjoying some different teas (one of those back to back days) when a friend visited. She is a newcomer to the tea world and is mostly interested in greens/whites and some flavored teas.

I was having a Sheng and she mentioned how aromatic it was… I sensed it wasn’t exactly with positive connotation. She said that even though smelling it from the aroma cup it was really sweet, the tea itself had a more ’bitter’and ‘perfumy’ tone that wasn’t pleasant for her…

Two day days ago I found myself drinking Sheng again and I couldn’t help but notice that I was enjoying the ‘sweet’ of the tea even it DOES offer some bitterness and floral notes. I was really amazed, when I first started drinking similar Sheng I would have complained about the bitter and perfume of the tea while making a ‘Whiskey’ face. Its amazing how exposing yourself to new things can make you understand, tolerate and even love some things.

Have any of you found yourself enjoying things that a while ago you would have otherwise hated or would just avoid.

13 Replies

I have been trying blacks and oolongs recently for the very reasons that I did not know how much exposure to oolongs I have had in past, and that I have loathed most blacks, plain, flavored etc. Still really hesitant about fruity teas, but considering trying those again too.
I keep hoping my tastes will expand into desert and flavored teas as well, but not holding my breath.

I feel very limited by my experince,(though I have over 15 years in loose leaf tea and since joining steepster, learned that most people start with desert teas and blacks, and then move into oolongs, greens, whites (which I much prefer- discovering more in oolongs lately)

that I should be open to finding my likes in those families of tea also

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tperez said

My reaction the first time I tried a sheng pu’erh was more or less along the line of “blech!” But now with more tea experience and trying new types of tea I find myself craving some sheng every once in a while, that sweetness is nice!

I also didn’t think I liked black teas at first, but lately I’ve been drinking quite a bit of dian hong! Yunnan and Fuijan black teas have both become staples for me.

Its interesting how our preferences change over time. :)

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JC said

Great! Not the only one. I feel like I’ve come a long way since I’ve first started with tea. There’s always a few teas that just won’t ‘click’ with you. To me is usually the teas that have a flavor that I love by itself and I get tricked in to thinking it should amazing combined with tea.. not always the case :P

yes, I am finding that not all my fave. flavors translate into tea… in fact most don’t for me.

JC said

hahaha, I know what you mean. It hurts a bit when your tea doesn’t meet your expectations. It happens, if you look around you might find at least one that will. A hard mission though.

I can relate; every pastry flavored tea I’ve had so far I found horrid. And I thought cookie flavored tea wouldn’t be bad. :S

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Cody said

Great topic, JC! I kind of have the opposite trend. I used to really enjoy flavored teas, especially those with fruit in them. Then I was introduced to higher quality leaves and the wonders of natural tea flavors and went wild trying to taste everything. As I started with gong fu and began practicing picking out the tiniest flavor differences between steeps, my new idea of a “fruity” tea was a Li Shan oolong with natural undertones of peach. When I tasted a flavored tea where the ratio of flavorings to actual tea leaves was 1:1 or even 1:2, I was like, “What is this madness?!” It was so much more potent than what I had become used to when previously it would have hit the spot.

yes, I have loved the subtleties in teas, and that is a lot of what disappoints in blacks, fruits and dessert teas (the latter I have only been aware of since joining steepster)

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JC said

Well developing taste for tea depends on each person’s experience. I feel the same with the difference that I didn’t really felt crazy for flavored ones. I do enjoy Masala Blends and I make my own herbal blends at home.

I had a similar experience with some teas that I was OK with or were my ‘at work’ tea. When I retried them recently I was upset at the taste of ‘oil extracts’ and artificial flavors. I think exposing yourself to tea makes you more aware of the tastes and specifically how tastes change in your mouth as they ‘travel’ through it. All teas do this, but Oolongs and Puerhs are the most obvious.

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I have gotten over family prejudices about black teas (my family used to insist they were carcinogenic) and have found black tea to be the most welcome to my tastebuds! I have also developed an adoration for straight rooibos and as my taste buds become more refined, the less sugar and artificial flavors my palate seems to tolerate.

Our tastes always grow up though, I’ve been watching my bf go through the horror of realizing he likes mustard now that he’s an adult recently. Its just a matter of time. :)

Denny said

Haha funny. Black tea still has antioxidants right?

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Lynxiebrat said

Well while I hope that my palate will develop where I can enjoy more traditional teas, I also hope that my taste for flavored teas doesn’t go away. Plus not to mention that I need to consider my poor budget. Got alittle bit strained in the last few months, (Along with the tea cabinet!) But been steadily drinking my stash down. (To buy more tea that is!)
When I started on my loose leaf journey I started out with herbals and black teas because they are what I knew from bagged teas. But am starting to like greens and whites (ALOT!) Especially whites, there is something about the light sweet flavor that has been getting to me (In a good way:))
Oolongs, I am planning on trying to find more that I like…for the most part have not been really successful. And would like to try more Puerh, the only one that I tried…(From TeaVivre, the Ripened Aged.) I’m sorry to say I didn’t care much for by the time I got to the end of the cup.

LadyofSpaydes, lol…I only like honey mustard or a spicy brown with a ham sandwich. Regular mustard?! I don’t know people can stand the taste of it! Shudders

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ashmanra said

I was afraid, really AFRAID, to try Lapsang and puerh teas, but once I did I found that I liked them immediately. I didn’t have to “develop” the taste.

White tea and some green used to taste like hot water to me, but now I can pick up on and enjoy all the nuance these lovely teas bear.

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