VegTea said

Are you a *serious* tea lover?

Or are you just having fun?

Just curious what makes my fellow steepsters tick. Here are some talking points – feel free to take or leave them as you see fit:

Would you say you are obsessed with tea?

Are you serious about other foods or drinks – wine, beer, chocolate? Or just tea?

How much would you pay for one cup’s worth of the finest quality tea leaves? How much do you pay for an “everyday” tea?

Is no tea at all better than tea of inferior quality?

43 Replies
KaTEA said

Ooooooo, what a juicy question, I’m not obsessed, I would say I enjoy a cup of tea. I don’t drink alcohol, never have, never will. I have always liked specific things, a certain makeup, perfume, blanket, brand of whatever down . I am just now sifting through the tea I love and the tea I like. I am always the person that wants a specific or none at all, also with tea (example: jasmine pearls are a must, don’t bother brewing just jasmine).
Everyday vs. finest….My tastes aren’t that refined yet but I would say I like certain teas from certain brands and some of them are found at the grocery.
VegTea- This is a very fun question thanks for asking, I hope you share your answers also

VegTea said

Glad to see another grocery store tea drinker. :) I hope that even if my tastes become more refined at some point I could still enjoy a cup of Bigelow tea now and then.

gmathis said

Refinement is highly overestimated :) Enjoy what you enjoy, and around here, it sounds like there will be at least one sipper who shares your likes or dislikes.

-Jessica- said

Ahhh a fellow Jasmine Pearl lover! :-)

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I’ll play!

Are you a serious tea lover? Or are you just having fun?

Both! I’m having a great time tasting all these different teas, and interacting with everyone on Steepster, but I am also serious about learning. I like to read about tea and I approach my tea drinking with respect for the tea leaves – I try and control water quality, temperature, and time to the best of my ability.

Would you say you are obsessed with tea?

Yeah – I’d say I’m a bit obsessed :) Counting my samples, I have over 100 teas at hand!! I have a dedicated area at home, and at work for my teas. I drink tea usually twice a day, sometimes more. I worship my Breville variable temperature kettle! I would rather have good tea and nice tea accessories more than any jewelery, shoes, and any other what-nots most other people consider their pleasures/luxuries.

(I also feel the same way about art/craft supplies, and books :) Oooooh books! My comparatively minor obsession is stationery and fountain pens!)

Are you serious about other foods or drinks – wine, beer, chocolate? Or just tea?

I’m very serious about food – I’m a gardener and each year, I expand my garden as to grow more and more of my own food. I also try and frequent farmers markets as much as I can. I also try and put up some of the summer bounty to enjoy all year. Additionally, I try and make as much as I can from scratch.

I love good chocolate, wine, and beer, but they are lesser obsessions :) I keep a few good bottles of wine and beer at home, and there is always a variety of good chocolate in the cupboard to bake with, but they are not every day indulgences for me. In fact, I can only drink a glass of spirits at a time – I am such a light weight drinker!!!! Terrible!

I am also quite a coffee lover! I don’t think you have to choose between coffee and tea, and I don’t!

How much would you pay for one cup’s worth of the finest quality tea leaves? How much do you pay for an “everyday” tea?

I don’t know! I did pay $20 for a pot of superior grade Oriental Beauty at Radiance Tea Room and thought it worth every penny! On the whole, I find tea a very good value. Even very expensive teas are usually under a dollar per serving to have at home, and most teas are under .25 a serving. I think that’s a very reasonable amount to pay for so much pleasure!

Is no tea at all better than tea of inferior quality?

I strongly feel that I rather have a cup of dust and fannings (or barely flavorful bagged herbal tea) rather than no tea at all. If I’m exhausted and want to pop an herbal tea bag in at the end of the day, or out somewhere and offered a black tea bag, not only will I take it, but am very grateful :) Even the worst tea is better than no tea at all, and honestly, better than bad coffee for my stomach!!!

VegTea said

Good point, about tea out vs. tea prepared at home. I hadn’t really thought of it, but it does make a big difference. The coffee shop that I frequent has a nice selection of teas for $2/cup, which I think is great (and they actually “properly” steep the tea from loose leaves), and I have paid more at a tea room. There are a couple of tea rooms in town that I still have yet to try out.

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gmathis said

My tea-junkiness stems from two things, I think:

a) I’m fascinated that one humble plant can be rolled, processed, teased into so many creative permutations … all relatively inexpensive and fun to analyze, especially in the company of other tea-o-philes.

b) I am a hyper-tense, easily-stressed, gotta-do person. The little ritual of making tea makes me slow down, breathe, and count some blessings while I’m waiting. (I wrote a little devotional a summer or two ago for a church bulletin related to the fact that a satisfying spiritual life—-like a cup of really good tea—-can’t be rushed.)

And I’ll just ditto JacquelineM’s sentiments on the “bad tea is better than no tea!”

VegTea said

I can definitely relate about tea being a small way to slow down and appreciate life. When I was taking classes in school, I would often use tea as a study break. Between boiling the water and steeping the tea, you have at least 5-10 minutes to think about something else, which is the perfect amount of time to feel refreshed but not get distracted.

KaTEA said

OOOHHHH to calm…..I am so glad there are more like me out there.. I have an aunt that is WONDERFUL but if she is planning or doing she will make you a nervous wreck just talking about whatever she is planning or doing, her daughter is getting married and I went to the rehersal dinner restaurant site with her, by the end of the afternoon my skin was crawling and I was almost in tears I was such a nervous wreck, One cup of “Calm” I think by tazo, and all my problems were over. I felt better just breathing in the steam coming off the cup. That’s what tea does for me!! ;*)

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Are you a serious tea lover? Or are you just having fun?

I am a serious tea lover, but because I seriously enjoy my tea, I have fun too.

Would you say you are obsessed with tea?

Yes. I am. The proof? It is the only drink (other than water) that I drink all day, every single day. If I haven’t had a cup of tea by mid day, I feel like something is missing. My kitchen is FILLED with tea. I think this qualifies me as “obsessed.”

Are you serious about other foods or drinks – wine, beer, chocolate? Or just tea?

I don’t like beer, never have. I drink wine on very rare occasions, although I feel like if I knew more about it perhaps I might be able to enjoy it more. Because I don’t know much about it, I don’t always select wine that engages me enough with its flavor to make me want to drink a large quantity of it. And when I say “rare” occasions – I mean it. I drink maybe 1 – 2 bottles of wine a year.

I don’t do a lot of hot chocolate drinking (or sipping chocolate drinking)… but I do love chocolate. I don’t think I am obsessed with chocolate the same way as I am with tea, as I don’t have it filling my kitchen the way tea does (nor do I spend crazy amounts of money on chocolate the way I do tea), but I do have a great appreciation for an exquisite piece of chocolate.

How much would you pay for one cup’s worth of the finest quality tea leaves? How much do you pay for an “everyday” tea?

I haven’t ever really given this much thought. I buy what I like (or what I’d like to try), and then I drink it (or hoard it…LOL) Although if cost is extraordinarily high (and I don’t really have a dollar amount where I draw the line, it’s just like this, when I find out how much it is, if it makes me go “OMG” and my eyes bulge out of my head, then it’s too much), I don’t generally purchase it without having tried it.

However, I do consider myself a “taster” rather than someone who commits themselves to certain teas. That is to say, I enjoy trying new teas, having several cups of a tea… but once I’ve finished the package, I don’t usually buy it again. So for a tea to earn a “permanent” spot on my tea shelf – that tea has really managed to impress me.

Is no tea at all better than tea of inferior quality?

It depends upon how inferior? If I’m out at a restaurant, I will sometimes be adventurous and try some of that restaurant’s tea offerings as long as they have something that sounds somewhat interesting. I won’t drink the “plain” Lipton’s because let’s just say that I’ve had more than enough of that tea growing up. So… in the case of “plain” lipton’s – no tea is better.

Generally, I won’t purchase tea bags unless I cannot find what I want in loose leaf. I won’t purchase tea from grocery stores (except Whole Foods and Trader Joes). There is just too much good-to-excellent quality tea out there to settle for some bagged tea that has been sitting on a grocery store shelf for who knows how long – and who knows how long it had been sitting in a warehouse before that? So… if this is what you mean by “inferior” – yes, no tea is better than this tea.

VegTea said

Interesting about being a “tea taster”! I feel like that sometimes – I really enjoy trying new teas, and am always on the lookout for something new. Although, I do try to keep a few familiar teas on hand, too, for those times when I just want some tea and don’t feel too adventurous.

Cofftea said

I’m a tea taster too. Something I always say is “Oooh that was WONDERFUL! What’s next?” Although I do have a few staples- like my Mayan Chocolate Chai. And even though I have matcha daily, I’ve never bought the same matcha twice

I too am a “tea taster” I love trying new teas. I also have mood swings, sometimes quite sudden ones, and so what I feel like having can switch completely around from day to day, with a change in the weather, or just how lazy/tired/moody/industrious/etc I’m feeling at the time.

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Cofftea said

Are you a serious tea lover? Or are you just having fun?

I am a serious tea lover- but am more serious about some tea than others

Would you say you are obsessed with tea?

Yes. I am. But I wasn’t til I found steepster!:) I should say that while I am serious about all tea, I’m just obsessed about certain teas- matcha and chai for example. I am also obsessed about steeping parameters and certain teaware/gadgets/accessories. It is the only drink (other than milk w/ I always have in my chai so that counts as tea, especially since I have enough leaf in my chai to compensate for the cup of milk, not just for the water) that I drink all day, every single day. I also cook w/ tea, make smoothTEAS, steep tea in coffee, and make tea cocktails.

Are you serious about other foods or drinks – wine, beer, chocolate? Or just tea?

I don’t like beer, never have. But I REALLY enjoy 52teas’ Beer Tea. I’m serious about wine and chocolate as well- especially tea infused chocolate. Or hello! Matcha and chai sipping chocolates… yummy!

How much would you pay for one cup’s worth of the finest quality tea leaves? How much do you pay for an “everyday” tea?

I haven’t ever really given this much thought. I normally judge the price by total price + shipping if there is one/number of total grams. Since different tea requires different gram amounts the price may vary as well. For example… my FAVORITE chai is ~10 cents/g, but for a 16oz cup (that’s the amount I always make) I use 10-12g of tea so I’m paying $1-1.20 just for the tea. Then there’s about an extra 57cent cost for a coup of milk. (Smart Balance milk is SO good, but SO expensive- yet SO worth it.)

Is no tea at all better than tea of inferior quality?

As far as true tea goes- absolutely not! I think the only tea I will ever pass up is restaurant sweetened iced tea. I’ll even take bagged black fannings over regular water. Now as far as herbal teas, it depends. I’d rather pay for a glass of wine than herbal tea even though herbal tea is cheaper. Kinda like soda most places- WAY over priced. I even made a New Year’s resolution to only drink plain water in situations like this where unsweetened true tea is impossible.

VegTea said

Tea steeped in coffee? That sounds intense! How do you do it? Do you just put your tea into freshly brewed coffee? It is definitely fitting with your username! :) I haven’t seen a lot of tea-infused chocolates – what brands do you like?

Cofftea said

Normally I just fill a paper filter w/ tea and steep it in my poured coffee. Teas that are good for this: anything mint, chocolate (both!), chai, and maple. Lapsang Souchong may be interesting. Or you could just use steeped and chilled tea in your coffee pot instead of plain water. I admit I’ve only had one brand of tea chocolates so far- Theo.

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I’m just having fun (a lot of fun!) but easily mistaken for serious because having lots of different teas to choose from and brewing them attentively (I own a scale and thermometer, several types of infuser) is fun for me!

I don’t think I’m obsessed, but my friends might disagree ;) I like trying different teas and brewing them different ways, but bad/boring tea is certainly better than none. I am similarly interested in food in general, wine and beer and particular (I enjoy eating and drinking mindfully, for pleasure), but tea makes for a much less expensive hobby! 25¢/cup is about my limit for an everyday tea (brewed at home); I’m willing to pay more when drinking out, but can’t imagine paying more than $10 or $20 for a single cup, even of the finest leaves.

Cofftea said

You could always say “only as much as you’re obsessed with water” (or soda, etc- whatever their drink of choice is) lol!

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VegTea said

Oo, interesting responses! Can’t wait to see more.

As for me…

Are you a serious tea lover? Or are you just having fun?

I’m definitely on the just having fun side more than I am on the serious side. I like many inexpensive teas, both bagged and loose. I would say most of my teas are 20-30 cents per cup, and I do really enjoy them.

Would you say you are obsessed with tea?

Not really, I just really really like it! I do feel a little off if I don’t have tea in the morning, but sometimes the morning cup is all I have. I guess I have a bit of a tea collection, but it doesn’t compared to my fabric collection for my other obsession – sewing.

Are you serious about other foods or drinks – wine, beer, chocolate? Or just tea?

Not really – as far as food goes, I enjoy cooking and am always looking for new recipes, but I’d say it’s on par with my enjoyment of tea. I like simple and inexpensive foods that are good. Not much of a beer or wine aficionada, and I like chocolate, but I’m not serious about it.

How much would you pay for one cup’s worth of the finest quality tea leaves? How much do you pay for an “everyday” tea?

Hmm. I don’t think I can answer my own question! If a special cup of tea were a once in a lifetime experience, I’m not sure I could put a price on it. But, in general, I would have trouble paying more than $1 for a cup’s worth of tea leaves. I think all the teas I have now would be under 50 cents a cup. Prepared tea at a tea room or restaurant would be different – then I would be paying for the tea, the service, the ambiance, etc, so I would be willing to pay more.

Is no tea at all better than tea of inferior quality?

I would prefer “bad” tea over no tea at all. I will welcome a cup of Lipton’s or pretty much any tea if I am traveling. I don’t often order tea while eating out, though. Some of the restaurants where I live have really weird cheap teas (even cheaper than what I normally buy!) if you order hot tea, so its seems overpriced. I usually drink tea on its own or with dessert or a small snack, so tea with a meal is not a must for me.

It was while traveling several years ago that I came to the revelation that no tea is better than bad tea… we were staying in a hotel that was quite nice in every respect EXCEPT that the tea they offered was quite terrible – it was worse than sipping on plain, hot water. After tasting that tea, I insisted that we go out to find a decent place to purchase some tea pyramids so that I could have an acceptable cup of tea. LOL!

That, I must say, was one of the first times I had tea other than my own blends for several years, so I had become quite spoiled. But it was also a turning point for me, because I purchased some Tea Forte pyramids and tasted those for the first time, and I realized – “hey, this isn’t too bad.” It opened the gate for me to be more accepting of other teas out there.

Also, now when I travel, I always travel prepared and pack some tea so that I don’t have to drink whatever the hotels offer! LOL

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Adham said

How interesting to see everyone’s responses!

Are you a serious tea lover?

Or are you just having fun? It’s fun for me to play at being a serious tea lover. Sometimes, once in a while, I come across a tea which is truly sublime and it’s then that I’m a serious tea lover. To quote Marcel Proust:

“I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory – this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. I had ceased now to feel mediocre, contingent, mortal. Whence could it have come to me, this all-powerful joy? I sensed that it was connected with the taste of the tea and the cake, but that it infinitely transcended those savours, could, no, indeed, be of the same nature. Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it?”

That’s what I’m talking about.

Would you say you are obsessed with tea? No – rather a long-term love interest. Always new facets to discover, but not in any hurry. There’s time.

Are you serious about other foods or drinks – wine, beer, chocolate? Or just tea?
I love good food, both the very simple and the haute-est of cuisines. However I get the chance much more often (and much more economically!) to experiment with tea.

How much would you pay for one cup’s worth of the finest quality tea leaves? How much do you pay for an “everyday” tea? I’m happy with the wide of range of moderately priced teas that we usually discuss here, but am not averse to spending more on something special. Confession: Last year I shelled out about $35 for 50 grams of a 1982 pu-erh. I enjoyed every last gram of that tea, but don’t feel the need to have it again.

Is no tea at all better than tea of inferior quality? Depends on how inferior we’re talking! I won’t drink really bad tea, but routinely get a modicum of enjoyment out of past-their-prime lipton bags if that’s all that’s on offer.

KaTEA said

What a lovely explanation of yourself, quite poetic as a matter of fact, I enjoyed every word.

Adham said

Thanks Kate!

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Would you say you are obsessed with tea? Yes. I like all things tea. Tea is one my true love. It all started out innocent enough. I did not like coffee, but wanted to drink something with breakfast. One thing has led to another…I have an area dedicated to tea. I have several vessels to brew tea. I am constantly looking for that perfect tea for “me” and that perfect cup in which to drink tea.

How much do you pay for an “everyday” tea? My favorite daily loose tea costs $13.00 for 3 ounces. My all time favorite tea is Bigelow Vanilla Chai…a humble store brand tea:)

Is no tea at all better than tea of inferior quality? Yes, I would have to agree with the others on this point. I would rather have fawnings and hot water than no tea at all.

I want to add one question:
What is the most expensive teapot that you own? What is the teapot’s best feature?
I have just purchased a Houhin teapot set for $50.00. This is the most I have spent on one single item. It is my gift to myself for being named Teacher of the Year.!
The feature I like best about this little clay Houhin is the built in filter. It is perfect for brewing just one cup of tea at a time.

Cofftea said

“It all started out innocently enough”… famous last words! hehe;)

VegTea said

Ahh, Bigelow Vanilla Chai! :) You give me hope that I won’t become spoiled in my tea tastes even if I try some more sophisticated varieties.

Your gift to yourself sounds totally appropriate. Congratulations on making Teacher of the Year! :D

Congrats!!!!!! That is wonderful :)

well i have a 300$ dragon teapot, and the 270ish breville electric kettle

Also I have the Breville variable temp kettle ($150ish) but my most expensive tea pot was 50ish – I am a BUTTERFINGERS and it would be silly for a person like me to pay any more for something I could break so easily. I get alot of mugs and stuff from the thrift shop and IKEA because all I have to do is look at something the wrong way and it breaks.

Thank you everyone for the kind words on my award. Today we had an awards assembly for the students and they honored me in front of the student body. The kids were so cute and excited for me:)
Veg Tea, you have nothing to fear about tea…just drink what you enjoy!
Cofftea…I know right???LOL

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PeteG said

Drowning in tea…obsession is harsh but I admit that I have obsessed over some puerh and an oolong or two over the years…my tea cupboard is almost full…have almost elevated the storage area as a small alter for my teas…when it is the liquour of the gods what else can one do but offer it as a sacrifice…as a classically trained chef I belief that food is important and if I wish to wake for another day to drink in the lavishly hot liquor then I make it a point to grow my own herbs and some food…my flowers have taken over my yard but am trying to grow more…but am thankful for farmer’s markets…local food is better…

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