I live in the mountains of southeast Tennessee and have been drinking tea for most of my life. My first tea was sweetened ice tea which is an almost universally consumed beverage in the south.
when i went to college, i changed to unsweetened ice tea and have continued drinking that for most of my adult life. Last year, on doctor's orders, i had to give up my daily shots of espresso, so i started drinking various types of hot tea brewed from teabags. Then i discovered looseleaf tea bags at a local coffee house. That piqued my curiosity and i began researching tea on the internet.
I also discovered a Teavana store nearby and experienced some of their better teas. By this time, i was becoming intrigued by the diversity of flavors and the interesting teaware.
Fast forward to today: i drink primarily sheng pu-erh and various oolongs - neither of which had i heard of prior to last year. I prepare these gongfu style in either my gaiwan or Yixing teapot. I am delighted to have discovered several excellent online specialty tea providers.
Teachat has been very instrumental in my continuing discovery of the nuances and pleasures of tea drinking. Thanks for the venue!