Calling on all noobs and not so noobs!


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Re: Calling on all noobs and not so noobs!

Postby bliss » Dec 2nd, '13, 12:07

How long have you been drinking tea?
I've been enjoying tea since 2008 when I ran into a sencha-enthusiast from whom I purchased my first kyusu and a pack of fukamushi sencha from Kagoshima. Beautiful stuff and this is where I started to realize that there is probably more to tea than bags and tea-ball-strainers.

Have you guys seen this tea before?
Image

What was your first Tea?
Probably some horribly oversteeped Earl Grey of low quality. In fact I thought I disliked tea for almost thirty years due to only being offered badly infused tea of low quality. I live in Sweden and tea-awareness is extremely low.

My British girlfriend, and now fiancée, one day (in 2008 or 2009) offered me a cup of tea which I up until that point had declined due to previous tea experiences. I was shocked. This cup of black tea tasted beautiful and nothing like any of the cups of tea I had had before! I questioned her about this, to which she replied that it was Earl Grey. I refused to believe this since I "knew" what horrible mess Earl Grey tasted like, so I asked to be shown how she brewed it. There certainly had to be some magic I thought. She put a tea bag in a cup, poured up water, waited a second or two, flicked the bag back and forward, and then took it out. This is when I learnt about the importance of steeping time and I definitely consider this my first tea moment, since up until then I had mentally categorized sencha differently than "normal tea". Thanks Jenni.

What is your favorite Tea currently?
Taste-wise, yancha. I was blown away by a Lao Cong Shui Xian Wuyi Yancha from 2010 the other day, so now I've ordered a bunch of yancha samples.

Qi-wise puerh has given me the most profound experiences so far.

What is your next purchase?
Don't dare to think of my next purchase. I have tea and teaware in transit from EoT, Origin Tea, Hojo and Andrzej Bero :oops:

Where is your favorite spot to brew up?
In the living room. On the floor, brewing up for meditation. In the sofa, brewing up with Jenni or friends.

I've been lurking this place for far too long. I'm happy to finally be an active member and look forward to contribute back to this wonderful community.
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Re: Calling on all noobs and not so noobs!

Postby 茶藝-TeaArt08 » Dec 2nd, '13, 22:32

bliss,

Greetings and welcome! Your fiance seems quite providential to your tea journey, blessed in you in more ways than one!

What is your next purchase?
Don't dare to think of my next purchase. I have tea and teaware in transit from EoT, Origin Tea, Hojo and Andrzej Bero :oops:
:lol: Yes, TAD, very addictive. It will be wonderful to view your pieces when they arrive.

I've been lurking this place for far too long. I'm happy to finally be an active member and look forward to contribute back to this wonderful community.
Yes, wonderful community indeed, quite wonderful!

Blessings!
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Re: Calling on all noobs and not so noobs!

Postby bliss » Dec 3rd, '13, 06:59

Cheers for the warm welcome TeaArt!

茶藝-TeaArt08 wrote:Your fiance seems quite providential to your tea journey, blessed in you in more ways than one!


Very true indeed, thanks for pointing it out! This lovely comment of yours has been the highlight of my morning.

茶藝-TeaArt08 wrote:
What is your next purchase?
Don't dare to think of my next purchase. I have tea and teaware in transit from EoT, Origin Tea, Hojo and Andrzej Bero :oops:
:lol: Yes, TAD, very addictive.

Hehe, TAD = Tea Affective Disorder? :mrgreen:
茶藝-TeaArt08 wrote:It will be wonderful to view your pieces when they arrive.

They will definitely show up in action shots from when I brew up! Received the Andrzej Bero stuff yesterday and I'm amazed by their beauty and attention to detail. The little unglazed kyusu is at home bathing in a pot of water today, while I'm at work pondering on what tea should go into it.
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Re: Calling on all noobs and not so noobs!

Postby Chip » Dec 3rd, '13, 13:54

Welcome (though you have obviously lurked a while), seems you have "lurked well!" :mrgreen:

(TAD = Teaware Acquisition Disorder ... or any facsimile thereof)
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Re: Calling on all noobs and not so noobs!

Postby bliss » Dec 5th, '13, 07:36

Chip wrote:(TAD = Teaware Acquisition Disorder ... or any facsimile thereof)

Oh dear, yes! I seem to have suffered some acute TAD as of late. I have to fight off the ideas that my partner wants a chawan for xmas, especially since she's not THAT into matcha and we already have two chawans :lol:
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Re: Calling on all noobs and not so noobs!

Postby Chip » Dec 5th, '13, 20:25

bliss wrote:
Chip wrote:(TAD = Teaware Acquisition Disorder ... or any facsimile thereof)

Oh dear, yes! I seem to have suffered some acute TAD as of late. I have to fight off the ideas that my partner wants a chawan for xmas, especially since she's not THAT into matcha and we already have two chawans :lol:

Consider it an investment in your TeaFutures which will surely impress your partner! :idea: :!: :arrow:

Not to mention supporting the TeaArts!
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Re: Calling on all noobs and not so noobs!

Postby eyvind » Dec 16th, '13, 13:31

How long have you been drinking tea?
I cannot name a date. Since childhood I have drinking tea mainly made from tea bags of unknown origin. The tea they served at the local Chinese restaurant piqued my interest. At around 14, I would tote my Stanley thermos full of the The Au Jasmine (the stuff in the yellow tin) to school. I would boil up a saucepan's worth of water throw in a few spoons of leaf and strain it. The coffee, already ground and in a can, that my father drank had no appeal. Later I learned about the importance of temperature from a well-traveled teacher (though not that important for the Yellow Tin Tea). Eventually the selection in the health food store bulk herb department expanded my horizons into oolong, 'sencha', kukicha, gunpowder, lapsang souchong, and darjeeling.

What was your first Tea?
My first salient tea event occurred in May 2005. While a university student, I traveled to Japan as part of a Sister-City Delegation and stayed with a Japanese family. Since I had some interest in tea, tea was on the list of adventures to seek out. I went to the local tea shop (Masukichi in Higashiomi, Shiga) to see what was available. The shop keeper served me three teas. Since the shincha was coming in, the first two were sencha. They were far better than any tea I had sipped before that point. Grassy with that pleasant sencha bitterness and mild astringency. The second cup was a darker green. But the third cup, was something different "Gyokuro Gyokusui". It was much paler and clearer, and the aroma fresh like spring growth. I took a taste. It was sweet corn broth, with a slight seaweed taste and fresh cut grass scent. I was hooked.

What is your favorite Tea currently?
As much as I sing the praises of gyokuro, I am mainly a sencha drinker. Now my favorite is a Yutakamidori variety fukamushi sencha. I enjoy the other types of tea well. My friend's mother (originally from Wales) introduced me to the British black with milk tradition. My honey has taken up the British style tea banner and our favorite for this style is an Assam Mokalbari.

What is your next purchase?
Since winter has arrived, I have been sipping the many steeping of pu erh during the colder, longer nights. I am interested in some sheng pu erh samplers.

Where is your favorite spot to brew up?
Usually I brew on the cabinet next to the stove. Then I sit in my "Jungle" along side the house and watch the hummingbirds come to drink.

However I have brewed while sitting in a hot spring using a camping stove on a boulder. It was delightful!


Yes, I will admit to lurking. I have been signed up for sometime checking out the great information everyone has shared. Maybe I can contribute a little.
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Re: Calling on all noobs and not so noobs!

Postby Chip » Dec 16th, '13, 23:33

You have good taste! Welcome!
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Re: Calling on all noobs and not so noobs!

Postby greenteaguide » Jan 18th, '14, 00:45

I'm not sure exactly when I started drinking tea, but my first memorable tea was when I went to Japan almost 20 years ago. My host family served fresh green tea every evening after dinner. I remember thinking how delicious and refreshing it was. After that, I was hooked!

I've been drinking green tea daily for years now. I usually drink sencha or matcha. Matcha is my new favorite!
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Re: Calling on all noobs and not so noobs!

Postby rroberrt » Jan 24th, '14, 06:40

Thank you for the invitation to your forum Tim and Chip. An absorbing topic and a knowledgeable, interesting and considerate following. As for me, I'm an old bloke so my story is kinda long - fair warning!

I drank my first tea in 1939 when I was five years old. I distinctly recall standing by the fire, watching my grandfather's tea boil in a small open pot, while he told me to listen carefully and remember as the Prime Minister announced, from the BBC, that the Country was at war. (I was more interested in getting a sip of that wonderful golden liquid with large brown leaves - Lipton's no doubt - rolling around, coming to a boil and smelling so good.) :)

Today I drink Bewley's Irish Breakfast first thing, followed thru the day by PG Tips until four-o-clock. From then until bed-time I am desolate and caffeine-forbidden. Lately my barbarian taste has moderated to a night-time cup of, "Youthberry and Wild Orange Blossom", from (gulp) Teavana! :shock: I hope that reading this forum will improve my taste. :)

Researching for my next purchase is what brought me here. Currently I boil-up in a nice 'Breville' kettle and brew in either a nondescript mug (tea-bag!) or, if I feel like drinking out of a beautiful little 'Mikasa' cup, I brew in a nondescript ceramic tea-pot (loose-leaf), of which I have five - none of which thrill me.....So I need a new and exotic tea-pot, and perhaps a new cast-iron kettle. In looking around for these I stumbled upon this little treasure, and look forward to learning here the finer things about tea and tea-ware.

My favorite brew-up is with water from a cast iron kettle I bought cheap and new ten years ago. Tea tastes different, even in my nondescript teapots, but I worry about lead and so this kettle is seldom used. (I understand lead test strips are available, but have read about false results.) And so a new lead-free-for-sure is on my list as well as a ceramic teapot to match. (Hint - looking for suggestions while I peruse here.)

My most memorable brew-up goes back to when I was an apprentice in an iron foundry in Glasgow, Scotland: One of my jobs was to make tea for 'The Men' three times a day...morning-break, lunchtime and afternoon-break. So I'd fill our 'billy-cans' (great big blackened cans with a wire handle), dump in two or three...or four spoons of tea and stand them in the core-ovens for I-don't-remember-how-long, to brew. I made perfect tea. you could stand on it and the after-taste was a commanding blend of cast iron and core-sand...smell it?

I left Scotland after college, worked as an engineer for Atomic Energy of Canada and then Ford Motor in Detroit, and retired twenty-five years ago. Been married to my high-School gal for fifty-eight years and love to sing.

With kind regards, rroberrt.
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Re: Calling on all noobs and not so noobs!

Postby hopeofdawn » Jan 24th, '14, 11:37

Those are awesome stories--thanks for sharing with us!
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Re: Calling on all noobs and not so noobs!

Postby rroberrt » Jan 24th, '14, 12:48

Thanks, Hopeofdawn.

My hope is to get some idea of whether the iron of a ten-year-old kettle from... looks like Chinese markings...would be likely to contain lead.
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Re: Calling on all noobs and not so noobs!

Postby CWarren » Feb 24th, '14, 17:05

Edited
Last edited by CWarren on Apr 22nd, '14, 20:24, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Calling on all noobs and not so noobs!

Postby TeaOpinions » Feb 27th, '14, 23:42

How long have you been drinking tea? My whole life. Just got into loose leaf a few years ago.
What was your first Tea? Probably Lipton ;) Mom used to give us tea and toast for breakfast. Fond memories.
What is your favorite Tea currently? I found a blended caramel oolong that I'm really diggin'.
What is your next purchase? So many teas to try, but a good matcha is probably next.
Where is your favorite spot to brew up? My kitchen.

I'm Kim. Hubby and I started a new tea review website with videos :o We are totally enjoying it. So I'm here to talk tea any time.
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Re: Calling on all noobs and not so noobs!

Postby Mentalrose » Mar 16th, '14, 13:01

How long have you been drinking tea?
Realistically, about six months. I got hold of some loose tea waaay back in college some twenty years ago, and discovered that black tea and bitter coffee occupy the same space of "Ech" in my stomach. Fast forwarding to some six months ago, I got hold of a cup of tea at a Starbucks, followed by tea from Teavana (I know, I know, please don't land on me!) The tea was delicious, at least to me, but expensive though - more than I could realistically afford, which led to me trying to find other teas that tasted halfway similar and slowly discovering some other flavors. I am not currently a big fan of straight tea, I like other flavors and things happening in my drink. Not that I'm averse to giving things a try though!

What was your first Tea? Haha, this one is tough to answer. Technically, my first tea would be the Lipton iced tea my mother loves so very very much, and which shows up at every family gathering I've ever attended since forever. I can't get into Lipton. I just can't. I don't know if it's bitter or if it's stale, or if it's something else, but we don't like each other, Lipton and I. My first *loose* tea would be an Earl Grey that I bought from some bulk candy and dry good store in the mall near my university. Tea from Mr. Bulky's! Bought it, brought it home, brewed it up (probably incorrectly, I didn't and honestly still don't know the first thing about proper brewing). It was bitter. I drank it out of pure stubbornness and a sense that if I could just finish the stuff and figure out what it was all about, this whole tea business would be pretty cool. It wasn't. I gave up for eighteen years or so.
My first *successful* tea was a cup of some kind of rooibos that involved citrus and spices, and which I can NOT recall the name of to save my life. They told me to put honey in it. It made all the difference.


What is your favorite Tea currently?
My favorite tea at the moment is a white chocolate peppermint rooibos that my parents purchased for me from Teavana. I know folks on here don't seem to like teavana much, but for me, this tea is perfect and homey and comforting, and it probably doesn't hurt that it was a gift, too. I take it to work with me on bad days.

What is your next purchase? I don't know what I will get next, honestly, but I can tell you that my most recent purchase, which I haven't recieved yet, is my attempt at blending something up that I hope I will enjoy iced, involving peach oolong and a strawberry herbal. It's coming from Adagio and should arive in a few days. I can't wait to see if my idea is good or bad. I'm sort of considering looking into a straight-up oolong tea, as I'm told those have some caffeine in them still but aren't nearly as strong as a black tea.

Where is your favorite spot to brew up? The kitchen. We don't have a huge house or anything, so water get heated in an old stainless steel teakettle, tea gets brewed in my favorite ceramic teacup and I am almost always drinking it in my workroom, over the latest drawing or game with friends.
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