Hi all --
I'm new to this site, and I'm probably at an "intermediate" stage in learning about tea. I discovered tea tasting five years ago, and I've learned a lot in that time from frequenting tea houses and attending tastings. However, in skimming a few threads on this forum, I think many people here are much more knowledgeable than I am about varietals and their own palates, so I'm really looking forward to learning from everyone here.
When I first started tasting, my focus was on sencha (which will always be a love of mine), but I'm currently most interested in oolong tasting, where I'm most into tiequanyin so far. I like Fujianese whites, and I am continuing my five-year quest to acquire a taste for younger (five-year) pu-erh, with only limited success so far. As for my next purchase, I would like to treat myself to a gyokuro for Christmas, but I'll have to see what my budget is looking like in December.
Favorite spots to brew up: Teance in the Bay Area (Berkeley); Teasmith in London when I'm across the pond, usually 1-2 times per year.
I'm hoping to get to know people who share my tastes in green, white, and oolong tea, who can help me in my quest to like pu-erh better , or who can help me to view black teas as more of a tasting item and less of a functional caffeinated beverage. I actually found this forum when I was Googling to learn more about types/grades of Yunnan black tea, currently the only black to which I'm really partial. I'm also interested in connecting with Bay Area tea drinkers and hearing their recommendations on local tea classes and events. Thanks.