How did you become a lucky one?


Completely off the Topic of Tea

How did you become a lucky one?

Postby hop_goblin » Jun 22nd, '07, 21:25

I say that we are the lucky ones for we discovered what tea is really about. How did you get hooked on the stuff. Share your stories!

I will be the first.

I was working on a political campaign some years back and a friend of mine who was also involved would make a cup of Earl Gray when it was time to brain storm. He offered to make me a cup and I became intrigued in how he would measure the loose leaf in the palm of his hand and then carefully fill his then "fancy" tea ball to make me a cup. He began to tell me the story or legend of the prime minister whose name was given to this tea and I was hooked! I noticed that it lifted my spirits and kept me better company than coffee ever did. I soon began to experment with other teas, and learn as much about their history and as a consequence, inadvertently ran into a piece about pu-erh. I fell in love with its mysteries and processes even before I had my first sip. I gathered enough courage to order my first sheng and shu sample. The first thing that I noticed was its earthy aroma and how pungent it smelled. It was very soothing and made me feel organic. It made me remember my gradfather's Mexican clay pitcher that he would use to drink water out of when we were working in the garden behind their house. Everytime I would take a drink to quench my thirst, the water tasted and smelled like the wonderful earthy clay. (no lead I checked) . It smelled like the way the wet earth smells right before or after a rain storm. Furthermore, being Mexican American, I have always been intrigued with cultural and indigenous medicine so naturally, pu-erh seemed to fit. I have been a much happier person since. :)
Last edited by hop_goblin on Jun 23rd, '07, 00:54, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Salsero » Jun 22nd, '07, 22:35

Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I really enjoyed it, especially the part about your grandmother's clay pitcher.
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Postby hop_goblin » Jun 22nd, '07, 22:42

Salsero wrote:Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I really enjoyed it, especially the part about your grandmother's clay pitcher.


Awhh thanks Sal! Its a cherished memory of mine!
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Postby augie » Jun 22nd, '07, 23:45

I'm pretty low-class so I don't have the romantic/poetic memories that could ever match Hop_Goblin! Wow.

I started drinking iced tea in the summer of '88, the hottest summer I remember with temps over 100 for days on end. I remember going outside to run errands for work, coming in and thinking, "dang the A/C is broken . . . it wasn't broken! Soda didn't quench my thirst so I bought an iced tea for giggles. My family never served tea (unless sick). I got hooked. I tried hot tea in the winter and in college while studying b/c I hated coffee. I poured boiling water over the tea and it was bad. Tried different kinds -- everything tasted bitter. It never occured to me to read the instructions! How hard could it be to boil water and pour it over a bag???

Then, a speaker came to a ladies group i belonged to 6 years ago. The subject was tea and they brought this super premium stuff called "Republic of Tea" and lectured on the different kinds of tea and how the water temp made all the difference. My husband started buying me tea as a gift and that is what got me started looking around for more. I stumbled on a tea store locally that carried some Adagio products and I googled adagio and ordered "A Guide to Tea". I realized I didn't like tea because i was making it wrong and there was more to life than Lipton!

Hop_goblin: do you have the pitcher? I have an uncle who used to have an old hand-pump well with an old tin cup hanging on it. I remember being a kid and taking turns pumping and pumping the well to get cool water to fill the cup. Kids would go right to the pump before we would even say hello or go in the house. Like your pitcher, that well water from the cup tasted so much better than our water at home!
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Postby Space Samurai » Jun 23rd, '07, 00:28

I was born and raised a coffee drinker. When my dad would pick me up from elementary school, there'd always be a little coffee left in his thermos for me. When I was in highschool, I started workng full time from 11pm to 7am, so coffee became a neccesary obsession. Like most people in Texas (I just can't bring myself to say that I am a "Texan,"), tea was something you bought at the grocery store and served over ice. So if someone told me two years ago that I'd all but stop drinking coffee, I would have laughed.

When I moved to Fort Worth, I rented a room for my girlfriend's godmother, who was British. She made me first cup of hot tea, PG Tips, and that started it all.

At first I just dabbled, drank mostly PG tips, experimented here and there. It helped that I worked at a specialty grocery store, as I had access to lots of free tea. It was fun because it was all mine. No one around me knew anything about tea, so I had to learn everything by trial and error and internet research.

Then I discovered Fair Trade teas and Rishi's travelogue on their FTC teas from Yunnan, and that was the turning point. I had purchased my last tea bag. Being able to see the people who picked my tea really drew me in.

Mostly tea for me has been a way to discover and explore other cultures and countries. And it's fun to have a unique hobby and passion. I like knowing that I am the only one on my street, probably the whole area, and possibly the city of Fort Worth, that has a collection of Tokoname pots.

Wow, that was long. If you read all of it, I'm sorry.
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Postby hop_goblin » Jun 23rd, '07, 01:01

augie wrote:
Hop_goblin: do you have the pitcher? I have an uncle who used to have an old hand-pump well with an old tin cup hanging on it. I remember being a kid and taking turns pumping and pumping the well to get cool water to fill the cup. Kids would go right to the pump before we would even say hello or go in the house. Like your pitcher, that well water from the cup tasted so much better than our water at home!


Augie, I actually don't have the pitcher because he is not done with it! But trust me I have first dibbs. Thanks for your story! I feel that this is going to be the start of a great post.
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Postby Cinnamon » Jun 23rd, '07, 08:59

I started out drinking tea in high school because I disliked coffee, the beverage of choice in our house. Not that my parents would have let me drink it regularly at 14-15 years old.

I started out with an English Breakfast by Twinnings, if I remember correctly, and moved on to Earl Grey.

Although I much preferred tea to coffee, I still hadn't found one that I adored and used far too much sweetener in it. A couple years ago a friend pointed me in the direction of Adagio and I picked up a few samples. I was amazed at the difference the loose leaf made and became instantly hooked. No more spoonsful of sugar added to my tea to cover the bitter taste.

I work with a lot of truck drivers and am slowly weaning them over to my side, too. After sharing some Dragon Well with one of them, he asked me if he could order a canister when I made my next order. :D
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Postby Mary R » Jun 23rd, '07, 12:29

Aw! I like the stories! Even Space's...and I wasn't sorry at all that I read the whole thing.

I don't have a particularly compelling tea story either. When I was very, very young, my mother had somehow acquired a collection of loose Twinnings teas in plug top cannisters and this incredibly beautiful (at least it seemed so to me as a knee-high) Chinese-styled pot and cup set.

Everything about those teas and that pot was special. They were very exotic, particularly by my reckoning, and we had to go through all sorts of rigmarole just to use them--Dad often had to be employed to pry the plug tops out of the tins, which was a real hassle, and we had to very carefully hand wash the pot and cups afterwards because of all the gold detailing. So they were extra, extra special. Mom also kept a steady supply of Lipton bags around, and would sometimes make my little brother and I cups of tea whenever she and Dad were drinking coffee. But then we moved from Jersey to the Midwest and our loose tea supply dried up. I really wasn't overly thrilled with bagged tea in general, and it never really felt quite the same, so I largely stopped drinking it altogether.

Then, after college, I went to visit my best friend in Minnesota and she took me to the Mall of America, where we happened to see the Teavana store there...and I got really excited. Loose tea! That you could buy! In a store! How novel...but ridiculously expensive.

Later, I bought a couple canisters of loose Republic of Tea blends, serendipitously found my tetsubin of awesomeness...and it all just sort of escalated from there...especially once I got the bright idea to google 'tea.' :)
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Keep them comming!!

Postby hop_goblin » Jun 23rd, '07, 13:36

Mary good story! It's remarkable how tea affects our lives!
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Postby Eastree » Jul 8th, '07, 19:23

This seems as good a place as any for a first post in the forum xD

My story with real tea is short. The story to it is longer. But I'll try not to ramble.

I grew up in the south, and my mom's standard for tea is what she had always had growing up: strong brewed iced tea with a lot of honey and lemon. Hot tea meant using only one bag, and making it in a cup. When a couple local tea and coffee houses opened, she tried the tea, but she always poured in sugar and honey. When she met a British couple who mentioned milk and honey, she creamed her tea like coffee. When she bought loose tea from the short-lived tea vendor in the area, she thought she had to use a lot of leaves (about a half inch deep in the bottom of the cup, pour boiling water, wait for it to be as dark as iced tea). Needless to say, her opinion of any other kind of tea was ruined.

Flash forward a few years. I'd left home to join the military. When I wanted tea, I was stuck getting bags from the commissary. Fortunately, there was at least some variety. I experimented. I read labels. When I went to Turkey, I had the opportunity to have their tea and coffee. By this time, I was starting to learn to appreciate things for their own merit, and not compared to other things.

Years later, I'm out of the service, and living in a different state from where I grew up. Still, it's in the south and the only place to find tea is a kiosk in the mall. The employees are clueless and pushy. The tea is prohibitively expensive. I'll pass on that. It left me tealess for quite some time (iced tea is sometimes ok, but I don't like it all the time).

This will sound a bit odd, but what recently revived my interest in tea was being ill. Though i was on medicine, it didn't eradicate all the symptoms, and I wanted some temporary relief until the antibiotics cleared the source. I did some research online, and found a lot of recommendations for hot tea with honey and lemon, as well as some herbal remedies (Yes, i made some of those xD I'll talk if it's wanted). I was hooked. Sure, it was bagged green tea. Whatever. I liked it more than anything else on the shelf. But it made me want better.

Recently, I saw the ingenuiTEA on another site, and I had to try it. When I had placed the order, i realized I didn't have a source for loose tea. But the tag in the box said Adagio. I have a sampler pack in my cabinet now xD

So ... I'm currently immersed in a world of flavor previously unknown to me. I've been reading the forum for a few days, off and on, trying to decide what to try next and what other teaware I should look into.

So besides being my story on the start of a long, happy tea road, it's a thanks to everyone here for being enthusiastic about tea. I'll probably never be as thoroughly educated about tea as many of you, but at least I know better than bags now.
Last edited by Eastree on Jul 9th, '07, 01:57, edited 2 times in total.
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EASTREE

Postby hop_goblin » Jul 9th, '07, 01:47

What a great story! Thanks for sharing OH and WELCOME!!
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Postby Michael_C » Jul 9th, '07, 13:03

Drinking tea made me realize how lucky I am in other respects as well: to have a wonderful circle of friends, a strong support system with my Yuki and my family, relatively good health and a good portion of every day laughing loud. It's in the tea, for sure. I didn't notice these things until I started counting time on hourglasses and sharing matcha. Strange as it might sound.
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Postby hop_goblin » Jul 9th, '07, 13:56

Michael_C wrote:Drinking tea made me realize how lucky I am in other respects as well: to have a wonderful circle of friends, a strong support system with my Yuki and my family, relatively good health and a good portion of every day laughing loud. It's in the tea, for sure. I didn't notice these things until I started counting time on hourglasses and sharing matcha. Strange as it might sound.


Hello Michael, I didn't really think of that aspect of tea. I agree, tea and family and friends do go hand and hand. Thank you for you post! Cheers!!
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Postby xine » Jul 10th, '07, 11:25

hop_goblin wrote:
Michael_C wrote:Drinking tea made me realize how lucky I am in other respects as well: to have a wonderful circle of friends, a strong support system with my Yuki and my family, relatively good health and a good portion of every day laughing loud. It's in the tea, for sure. I didn't notice these things until I started counting time on hourglasses and sharing matcha. Strange as it might sound.


Hello Michael, I didn't really think of that aspect of tea. I agree, tea and family and friends do go hand and hand. Thank you for you post! Cheers!!


Yay for family, friends, and tea! Ever since I landed at Adagio and learning more about tea, I've gotten my mom and my dad hooked on rooibos and decaf teas, as they use to be coffee drinkers. Also , since learning all about real tea and what nots, my mom has gone on a binge teacup buying spree, building up her collection of mostly British china. She's a bit out of hand, but she did buy me several awesome mugs and a teapot. Along with my parents, I've gotten other members in my family hooked, as well as my friends, a lot of which were coffee slaves, and now feel better because they have their cups of tea in the morning instead of poop-enabling coffee (hehe, sorry for vocab).

Before Adagio, I can credit my discovery of tea to working long hours in a bookstore cafe. I used to open 7am-4pm shifts at least 3 times a week, and would have a Venti coffee in the morning, do lots of work, burn out, have another one at lunch, repeat, and then one befor eI left because I had a class at 7pm to 9pm. I would poop like crazy and feel tired throughout the day.

My first delve into tea was via Republic of Tea, which we sold and later Harney and Sons. I would take English Breakfast and their fruity teas (I still have a softspot for RoT's raspberry quince tea) with cream and some honey and it gave me the boost I needed but didn't make me crazy. I would bring my little travel mug from my apartment to class (prepared with the college student's essential appliance: the hot pot. i also made my ramen with it, heh). I knew there were different types of tea, but didn't really know too much about it- that all came when I got my spot here at Adagio- and I'm learning every day!

I still take coffee once in while, especially via iced sugary latte-esque drinks, but I prefer my tea throughout the day, no cream or sugar, just as it is. I'm now delving into the murky water s of yerba mate- I just got some samples from Rishi and Nativa Original Yerba Mate and I'm hoping to learn more about cooking with tea, mixing special blends, and everything else.
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Postby hop_goblin » Jul 11th, '07, 14:21

Good Story Xine! It is funny, once you figure out what tea is all about you seem to want all of your loved ones to join you! I have my mother drinking young sheng pu-erhs instead of her once cure all Kombucha tea- And feels better than she ever has.

I as well still drink coffee, but again, just like you I seem only to gravitate only to the iced coffee drinks now. I am happy you have broaden your tea drinking experiences, however, I hope you delve into the mysterious realm of pu-erh!! -of course assuming that you haven't! ;)

Thanks for sharing! :D
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