Been lurking around here for awhile and finally decided to join.
I've been drinking tea for about as long as I can remember. I was more of a coffee drinker, but started trying loose leaf teas that the small roasters also carried, eventually finding tea specialists that were highly recommended.
When I started looking into doing matcha I came across an interview with a tea shop owner who used a matcha from Hibiki-an next to the matcha he uses for "matcha smoothies" to demonstrate the differences in grades of quality (colour, etc).
I Googled Hibiki-an and placed my first order. The free shipping minimum drove me to try a Gyokuro (since I'd never heard of it) and Sencha (since I was familiar with it) as well.
Those teas were basically in a league of their own in every aspect compared to anything I'd ever bought locally.
Re-evaluating everything I knew about buying and preparing tea, I came across gong-fu brewing and aged teas. After placing an order for some aged whites and an Oolong (forget where I bought from) I realized there was a lot more to tea than I'd been led to believe, and it's become a pretty central part of my day since.