Hi everyone! My name is Aldrea, and I currently live in Texas with my fiancee, his dog-thing, and a crazy Bombay cat. I've been drinking tea all my life, though in recent years I've graduated from the sugar-and-milk-smothered Lipton bags of my grandmother to loose, fresh teas of all varieties. I spent a few months last year working at Teavana, and am now a founding administrator of my local tea enthusiast group on Meetup. I like nothing more than to let people in on how to get the most out of a Teavana pilgrimage, and how NOT to let the salespeople intimidate you into buying more than you came for. (While I enjoyed my time there and still purchase teas & sugar from Teavana, I don't agree with the overly aggressive selling tactics they teach their employees, and how the emphasis is on making money, much more than providing great products, service, and education.)
I went through a phase where I just bought and tried everything; I'm finally settling into a short list of favorites. My favorite black chai is from Spice Traders & Teas; I am also fond of a Xanadu chai my mom sends from Colorado. Stash Teas are some of my favorite, including their plain black Assam, Super Irish Breakfast, and Mojito Mint Green. Working at Teavana got me addicted to the Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls & Rooibos Tropica combo, as well as lightly sweetened Youthberry. I also love Adagio's plain rooibos and the spearmint. (I will admit, I still enjoy a good cuppa Irish Breakfast with way too much sugar and cream now and then!)
I am currently eagerly awaiting the return of the UtiliTEA, to go with my new PUR water filter pitcher so I can brew my tea anywhere I go. I make my living traveling to conventions to sell duct tape art & accessories, and it seems far more practical to pack than a hot plate & kettle. I look forward to dishing with the communi-tea!