I am so pleased to find TeaChat. I've been a tea lover since childhood. I used to be content with whatever loose tea I could find locally, but now I've started ordering online and branching out with my tastes.
I had the privilege of spending a month in Dongying, Shandong Province, China in 2005. I enjoyed going to the office with my hosts, who kept tea going all day long.
Their brewing techniques were simple. Use a tightly rolled leaf tea, place in an insulated mugs with a snap-on strainer on the top, pour hot water from the water dispenser on it, drink. Refill with more water all day long, using the same leaves, which unfold more with each brewing. At the end of the day, everyone takes their cup down to the restroom, where a trash can has been set up with a large strainer over the top, just for tea leaves to be deposited.
I had one comical tea adventure - I loved a particular tea with a licorice aftertaste that worked well for all-day brewing. I tried to get the name of it down, but finally had to have it written, as the people in the grocery store could not understand what I said. They told me it was Ren Shen Wulong (ginseng oolong), but it didn't have quite the right licorice taste, so apparently I had the wrong name after all. Recently I found a tea at HEB called Blue Spring Oolong, which was exactly what I remembered. Now that I have the correct name I have found it in larger quantities.
But, if only I had found TeaChat earlier, no doubt someone would have set me on the right path with much less effort.
Anyway, I am glad to find it now and look forward to increasing my tea sophistication.