The Tea Cupid- when and how did your love for tea start?
It would be really neat to hear about when and why each of us started drinking tea!!!
In my case, I loved bagged tea since I was a little girl. I would always have a cup of vanilla black with dessert when I got home from school! When I went to University, my roomate and best friend introduced me to loose leaf tea…. And BOOM I was hit by the tea Cupid and this amazing love/obsession for tea began and now has been going on for a total of about 7 years!!! :)
I’ve always been the lone dissenter in my Mum’s family – they’re all coffee drinkers and I’ve always preferred a cup of tea. My father has tea all day every day, steeped to high heavens and loaded with milk and sugar. I recall snitching sips since I was in the single digits, and eventually this evolved to me having tea as my warm beverage when I was a teenager. Then the local Davids opened a few years back and I went NUTS for loose tea, sharing it with anyone who will sip and listen. When I go home to visit, my brothers indulge me and drink some blends while my Mother brews up yet another pot of strong black coffee. My father has no interest in changing his tea habits, but maybe someday he’ll try a cuppa loose. : )
My family harps on me because I have “more tea than any one person can drink.”
But, my husband and daughter drink it too. Which is also something my mother doesn’t like. My daughter is nine and a cup of green tea, or white tea, or even black everyday certainly isn’t the worst thing for her.
My mother has also had a cupboard full of Earl Greys and Orange Pekoe, all bagged grocery store tea. In high school I encouraged her to purchase different herbal teas for me to have for my walk to school. Nothing more than Celestial Seasonings. Then when I got my first apartment 6 years ago there was a little tea house on the walk between my place and my moms. So I would stop along the way for some Cherry Rose Green Tea or some Maple Black.
It wasn’t until I started a job a year ago in our mall here that I got hooked. I was managing a new bath product store and we were starting our opening at the same time that DT opened in our mall. I was working 18 hour days putting together a massive store. I barely had time to eat and all the coffee was upsetting my stomach. So, I switched to Tea. Everyone there was so friendly and helpful that I started going everyday, 2-3 times per day for a cup to go. Then when I made the decision to leave the demon bath product corporation and the mall I started to research tea and came across steepster. At the point I have 5 different teas. 5 months later I have 51 and 18 in the mail. . . lol
I drank tea every now and then when I was younger but not very much. Then I bought a groupon for a local tea shop in 2011, used it to do a tea flight, and it’s gone crazy from there.
I grew up in a southern household, so we drank sweet tea all the time. Tall, ice filled glasses of super sweet tea was the norm. Every now and then there would be a box of Lemon Zinger from CS in the cupboard,but that was the extent of the hot tea drunk in my house. It wasn’t until I met my husband, a life long tea drinker (Tetley tea) that I tried hot tea. From there it was only a matter of time before I started branching out, trying new teas, and falling in love.
Another steepsterer and I were just talking about this. I told her that: when my Great Aunt Laura came back from a visit to Nova Scotia, she showed me the tea she got there. She said it was the real stuff and she made a cup for me; I was a kid at this point. It was like rainbows came out, like a double rainbow across the sky, and the sun came out from behind a cloud. I had grown up drinking tetley, Red Rose, whatever. This was, I don’t know, some blend like Barry’s or Lyon’s: stronger, richer, more actual flavor rather than just being a base for milk and sugar. That was my tea awakening moment. Cupid’s arrow! That would be such a wonderfully evocative name for a tea…introduced at Valentine’s Day!
I love that the “real tea” came from my home province. Yay NS!!! I wonder where it came from…
Yay, Nova Scotia! that’s where my mother’s family is all from, and before that…Scotland, England… I wonder where the tea came from, too, and I do remember the tea bags, yes, this was not loose tea, that would come later for me, were square, and had a kind of cheesecloth appearance and texture.
I had always liked tea and coffee but leaned more toward coffee for a while I think it was more because the tea I had was always bagged or the bland stuff that some restaurants serve. But then one of the baristas at my coffee shop had me try a cherry green tea latte and that was it. Then it became an obsession (and still is) I started searching on the internet for tea and now my tea stash is overflowing. :-)
Tea and I go way back – cold sweet tea for dinner as an elementary school age child (I didn’t know until I was a teenager that kids really did drink milk with dinner – the idea of pairing that with something like meatloaf….shudder), and in middle school, hot green tea with honey for dessert.
I discovered loose leaf tea about 2 years ago (thanks to Steepster!) and have been hooked ever since. Yeah, I might buy more than I can realistically drink, but really, it is one of the more economical beverages out there – I spend a whole lot less on this than if I were to drink soda regularly, you know?
LOL. Like many of us here, I grew up with bagged tea. Specifically Bigelow’s Earl Grey and Constant Comment. Once in my 20’s I branched out to other flavors: Perfect Peach and Mint Medley. I tried a few Celestial Seasonings, but only really liked the Strawberry and Kiwi flavor, there may have been another or 2 that I liked, but can’t remember. We always had Lipton’s regular tea around too, but I rarely drank it, unless it was when I was sick, and would have it with honey. In the last 5 years or so, (When I’ve done my share of the grocery shopping.) I’ve gotten to like Lipton’s Wild Berry. I also got alittle bit acquainted with Republic of Tea’s Blackberry Sage, when at my local Borders Book store. So much so I bought a canister, (though thought it was ridiculously priced.) I was really disapointed when Borders closed, for a couple of years I didn’t think to check if I could find it somewhere else…and could not remember the companies name. But in this past year I found out the name, and a couple of places I could buy the tea. I have not gotten Blackberry Sage again yet. I do have 2 complaints about ROT, 1.) the price. Yes the tea is good, but overall I don’t think it’s good enough to warrent charging $9-12 for a canister! 2.) I wish the canisters were shorter. I am not sure I’ll be able to drink it all before it goes bad. When I had that canister of Blackberry Sage? I had it for a couple of years, and did not realize that tea can go stale…lol. I had a cup a few times and ended up having to thro it out. So like $5 maybe 6 dollars for 25-30 packets of tea. That would be more reasonable.
Cupid’s Arrow: (Apt!) Even though I always liked tea, it was usually something good and sweet and hot to warm me on cold winter evenings. a convenience if you will. Then on a warm but windy April day,(Though it may have been late March.) My Mom and I were spending the day in Ann Arbor, (a college town that has alot cute little shops, restaurants, coffee houses.etc.) and there was a store that I love, a new age store that has a tea cafe in the attic, so after wandering the sections of books, me bugging the sales associate about various authors, we went upstairs to sit and relax and have some tea. We both had what is called Winter Tonic. it’s an herbal (ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, orange peel,
linden flower, damiana.) which I loved so much,I went back a few months later and bought a bag of it, which I think was roughly 2-3 ounces, hard to say because it’s alittle fluffy.)
Then I decided to look up and see if there were any other places that sold looseleaf tea, preferably closer then Ann Arbor, which is when I found Teavana’s, and a few other places. Not to mention a few really cute stores that sells tea accessories in my home town!
For me, I first started drinking tea back around when I was in junior high. Before that, sweetened Nestea (blarg) was about all I had. In junior high and high school, it was just bagged tea. My favorite was Bigelow green tea. They actually stopped selling it at my supermarket at some point and I was really upset! I also liked berry blends and chamomile. I first encountered loose tea in this pretty potent blend my aunt gave my mom for Christmas. She didn’t like it as it was too vanilla, so she said I could have it. I had a few cups of it (berry and vanilla, pretty perfumy lol) and still have the tin somewhere to this day haha. Oh, I also used to hate bagged chai teas as I let one oversteep for wayyy too long and it was really gross!
The cupid shot me twice kind of – first time, my boyfriend and I went into a tea store in the local mall last year in the early fall, called Tea Fusion I believe. It was our first time in an actual tea store, and we ended up both buying travel mugs (my Timolino!) and some green jasmine dragon pearls. This tea was amazing! I had never had anything so delicious! We ended up buying quite a bit of it and began taking tea to class every day. Unfortunately my caffeine intolerance flared up shortly after, and I had to cut all caffeine, including my beloved tea. But I faithfully drank bagged herbals all last year, almost every morning in my Timolino, mostly Tetley blends.
The second arrow – the one that brought me here – was shot this past summer. I went to DAVIDsTEA on a whim with the boy again, and we bought some Jasmine White Silver Needle. My caffeine intolerance was subsiding! I still love that tea to this day. We got a big 100 g bag, and thought that’d be it, haha, no, I started looking at their selection online, and we eventually kept returning and I bought a bunch of herbal blends. Fast forward to September – I made my first online order, and found Steepster somewhere around then too, I don’t even know how I found this site! I also discovered that Chai made with milk and sugar is actually really good, and now I don’t think all Chais are evil haha! Then I am here, waiting on multiple tea orders, teacupts to arrive and my first Matcha order. Oh, and got matcha for my aunt for Christmas, the same aunt that first introduced me to loose tea! Now I am fully addicted, and I love my tea, whether it’s actual tea or a tisane, I like to have at least 1 or 2 cups a day :)
My tea love has evolved in stages. Another southern here that grew up with iced tea, brewed and instant. My love for hot tea started when I was about ten and my mother took me to visit her stepsister, my Aunt Madie, in her highrise apartment. She served us hot Earl Grey with thin slices of lemon in lovely china cups. I was sold!
In the 1980’s I lived in New Orleans and went to tea at the Intercontinental Hotel with some friends. That broadened my obsession considerably. The combination of the internet and my kids being older and less needy (usually) has allowed me to indulge in this hobby even more.