Hey everyone - I've been browsing the forums for a few days, but figured I'd create an account tonight and jump right into the community.
My journey with tea started earlier this summer and since then has picked up at an ever increasing pace. My local grocery store, the main Wegman's megastore in Pittsford,NY, opened up a full service loose-leaf tea bar/shop right in the middle of their store. Intrigued, I tried a cup of green tea and absolutely loved it. Soon after that, I went back to college for the new semester and I quickly forgot about tea with everything going on in school. However, as the semester went on, I just happened to see a video of a tea tasting at Samovar Teas in SF, and I was really fascinated with what was said, so I kept digging for more videos and information online.
So as Christmas rolled around this year I got the adagio starters kit with green and white samplers, and became instantly enthralled with making tea. Our hot water heater was at 170 degrees so I figured I'd just make green/white tea until I got a kettle for college.
This one gift has taken it's toll on my poor wallet already, but I'm loving every second. I've gone back to the tea bar tons of times to try a new flight of tea and experience the new flavors and aromas of the different types of teas. Sadly, I jumped the gun and bought a teapot, which as I'm finding out was a pretty bad teapot for a variety of reasons. Oh well - it just is an excuse for me to buy more specialized teaware once I have more of a clue what I need (I'm already addicted to amassing a collection of anything involving tea). I bought the utiliTEA kettle, as well as oolong and black samplers, which finally came today, so now I can finally really delve into the world of tea on my own.
I've really enjoyed learning about the nuances between teas; in terms of flavor, region where they originated, how they were grown, different steeping styles, etc. even through I've only began to scratch the surface of that.
My tea intake has been far too high, if there is such a limit. Just today I've had a cup of silver needle in the morning. Then later in the morning this was followed by a tea flight of Uji Gyokuro, Ti Guan Yin, and Darjeeing Estate (all amazing, especially the gyokuro). Then after dinner I tried the adagio samplers of Oolong#40 and the Golden Monkey (which despite multiple new brews of varying amounts seemed to be too subtle in flavor), and then multiple steepings of the Ti Guan Yin I bought after tasting it earlier at Wegmans.
Looking forward to interacting with everyone, learning even more about tea, and helping others on their tea "journey" as I learn more.