I noticed that, in your TeaMuse article (A Different Aesthetic, or, Four Weeks With Tea) you mentioned that you were having trouble grasping the concept of all of the teas being from the same plant. I know how you feel, and I think that a lot of other tea drinkers feel that way.
What I find interesting is:
Of all the people I know that had no problem accepting that all real teas are from the same plant the first time they heard it, all of them dislike real tea. I have asked them about it, and they say things like "they all taste like dirt" and "they all taste the same" and such.
So it seems like maybe there is some underlying flavor in all real teas, that some people really don't like (could be that they just have different tastes, and there is a certain percentage of the world that can taste the "tea" taste). Maybe?
For me, tea is definitely special. But each tea is special in its own little way (at least, each tea I like), for it's own little flavor characteristics. And herbal teas are just as special as real teas.
I know that all real teas come from the same plant.
But, like you, it just seems so strange. I mean, the difference even between two black teas is so significant, and then you start adding in the other tea types... it truly is a world of flavor. What do you mean it all comes from one plant?!