what’s a good gateway tea into the world of white, green, oolong, black, and even pu-erh tea? i think this will help those who are new to tea or veteran tea drinkers or who want to change it up a bit, but want to prime their pallet before rolling in the deep.
for me, i’d like to know what’s a good green tea to start out with. some sales associate was telling me that dragon well is good, but i wasn’t sure if she just wanted me to buy some dragon well or she was really giving me advice.
Gateway teas… where to begin? I suppose it depends on your personal preference. I generally start new tea drinkers on something fun and flavored, maybe a chocolately mate tea as it tastes similar to that of coffee, a more familiar taste for most people (see mocha nut mate by Adagio). For veterans with more complex tastebuds (and perhaps more expensive tastes), you may need to dig a little deeper. In the green category, I’d recommend Shizuoka Shincha.
Shinchas would be a really nice place to start with greens, but do be careful, they can be very finicky and have to be brewed at the proper temp and time or they get bitter/astringent :)
There is a LOT of variety out there, even just within the world of green tea. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to start out, but I would advise tasting as many samples as you can to get an idea what you like best. Den’s does an awesome $3 green tea sampler that includes a $3 off coupon for your next purchase! I would definitely recommend trying it! http://www.denstea.com/bnew-to-dens-teab-3-green-tea-sampler-for-novices-c-377_386.html
if you’re coming to tea from coffee and sometimes wish you had a tea that’s similar to good roasty coffee, andrews and dunham double knit blend really hits the spot. it’s thick…rich and roasty and a tad smoky, holds up well to some milk and/or sugar the way coffee does, and those times after a rich meal when you miss coffee to close things out, it’s perfect. similar profile for first thing in the morning if you’ve been a diehard at-least-a-cup-every-day-before-coherence type. i know that might not be helpful in that you’re trying to understand TEA, but for those times you miss your past loves it’s so nice. it does have classic/old skool black tea flavor too, but it’s like if that mated with smooth but robust coffee.