Help me get started with teas

For general/other topics related to tea.


Sep 10th, '15, 12:34
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Help me get started with teas

by toyopl » Sep 10th, '15, 12:34

Hello, I'm new to teas and would like to start somewhere.
I'm not sure what I like, I like green teas at chinese restaurants, like jasmine flavored green teas, I like black tea, there's no tea that I drank that I didn't like.
Of course this is all cheap teas, from grocery store on the corner.

I would like to sample some decent quality teas to see what tastes like what and what I actually prefer to focus on.
I don't know if I ever drank Oolong or Pu-erh but I'd like to try them aswell.

Could someone help me pick a vendor and a tester order for oolong, pu-erh and green teas ?
I'm thinking $100 should be enough for my first order.
Thank you all.

Is this good place to order sample packs ?
http://stores.ebay.com/Dragon-Tea-House ... 34.c0.m322
Last edited by toyopl on Sep 10th, '15, 13:06, edited 1 time in total.

Sep 10th, '15, 12:54
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Re: Help me get started with teas

by Proinsias » Sep 10th, '15, 12:54

Adagio, who host the forum, have a pretty wide selection and samples. Just click the link up at the top right.

edit: you should be fine with Dragon Teahouse, about the biggest problem there is almost too much to choose from :)

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Sep 10th, '15, 18:16
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Re: Help me get started with teas

by djtanng » Sep 10th, '15, 18:16

For green tea, I recommend Dragon Well, also known as Long Jing. It's my favorite green tea and I've tried almost everything. It's less grassy than most green teas and has kind of a roasted chestnuts aroma to it. You can google the wiki page on it too. It's been around for centuries.

For local stores, try Wegmans first if you live near one. Most Wegmans stores have a self service loose leaf tea station where you can smell the tea, weight it, and bag it yourself, then pay for it. It's awesome for a beginner.

For online stores, Teatrekker.com is my favorite and loaded with valuable and accurate information regarding tea. I also like Teaspring.com.

For flavored and blended teas, Adaio Teas on this site is good. Their Irish Breakfast is the bomb.


Sep 11th, '15, 10:47
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Re: Help me get started with teas

by impromptuandy » Sep 11th, '15, 10:47

RIshi has a nice variety of greens, blacks and whites. You could also pick up a gaiwan from them. That's how I got started with tea.

Yunnan Sourcing has a wide selection of puerh and quite a few oolongs, at very affordable prices. They also have a sister site Taiwan Sourcing which focuses on Taiwanese teas.

I recently ordered some things from Cha Wang Shop which I haven't gotten around to trying yet, but the prices were good, and if you were buying samples you'd be able to try a lot of tea. Their selection might be difficult to navigate for a beginner, though.

My favorite vendor is The Essence of Tea. They mainly sell puerh, wuyi yancha (which is a kind of oolong), and liu bao, and their selections are really high quality. If you find that this tea thing is for you, it's definitely worth trying some of their more affordable teas (the 2014 Long Lan Xu puerh, or the Half-Handmade Shui Xian yancha, for example). A big plus here is that you can order by the gram.

(Note to self, don't type while drinking tea, you go too slow, OP's already responded...)

The Dragon Tea House sets seem like a fun way to dive in, though I imagine the main value there would be in finding out the relative differences between the types of tea, rather than in having good tea to drink. It's possibly a better approach to try a limited number of higher quality teas, rather than a large number of lower quality ones. I haven't ordered tea from them however, so I don't know what the quality's like.

In any case I'd ignore the "blooming" teas. Also, I don't think I'd try three ripe puerh samples (maybe stick with one) -- actually raw (sheng) puerh tends to be more interesting.

Sep 11th, '15, 23:20
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Re: Help me get started with teas

by steanze » Sep 11th, '15, 23:20

I got some friends started with this and they loved it: http://www.ebay.com/itm/TEAHOME-Formosa ... 230dd6b215

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Sep 11th, '15, 23:37
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Re: Help me get started with teas

by BioHorn » Sep 11th, '15, 23:37

If going with DTH, your second and third sound like a good selection.
Blooming teas, while showy, are generally not the highest quality. One selection would probably give you an idea. The owner of DTH, Gordon, is very patient and supportive.
Picking off brands for ripe (shu) puerh is also a risky proposition. Dayi/Menghai is a safer first bet.

Yunnan Sourcing and others mentioned (Essence of Tea, White2Tea, TeaUrchin, ChaWang Shop-Honza) are very supportive of puerh tea drinkers. They also carry other great teas. No one vendor does it all

I like buying from owners who are avid tea drinkers themselves!

Since you are starting, may I suggest TeaHong? They are a good solid Hong Kong vendor (which can be a very good place to source tea.)

Welcome to the forum. Best of luck. Please let us know your impressions of what you drink. :D
EDITED: To add ChaWangShop.

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Sep 12th, '15, 03:36
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Re: Help me get started with teas

by Jaymo » Sep 12th, '15, 03:36

I know I'm reiterating what was said above, but stay away from the blooming tea. It is gimmicky at best.

Sep 12th, '15, 09:32
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Re: Help me get started with teas

by toyopl » Sep 12th, '15, 09:32

Thank you all for good tips, placed my order yesterday.
I know blooming tea is more for looks, but I got it for my wife, I'll score some points when I show her blooming in the pot :)
I also added Raw Pu-erh to the order since it was recommended.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/230913871031?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT

Sep 12th, '15, 12:41
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Re: Help me get started with teas

by Proinsias » Sep 12th, '15, 12:41

Try anything you fancy. In my first few years of online tea shopping I picked up loads of blooming teas, stuff mixed with rock sugar & herbs, mushroom shaped tea, mino tuo's, tea stuffed in dried citrus rind or in bamboo. Overpriced flavoured crap and teas that would make my toes curl.

Taste it all, spit out that which you don't like, swallow that which nourishes.

The smaller blooming teas look rather fetching in a wine glass, just sip and top up occasionally.

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Sep 15th, '15, 04:04
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Re: Help me get started with teas

by lilly007chang » Sep 15th, '15, 04:04

When I started to drink tea several years ago,I tried ebay vendors and a few online tea shops such as Teaspring,none could satisfy me cause I hoped the tea could be coming from high altitude,organic environment and handmade since I could read them from the tea itself,unfortunately,I rare met what I expected...Maybe my expectation was too high?!
Since I found Myrealtea(www.myrealtea.com),I was sure that my requests were actually not high since decent high quality tea should have these factors as the owner of Myrealtea confirmed it to me,they are avid and picky tea drinkers.
I have bought tea from this tea shop for 3 years,and it's my only favorite and trusted tea shop so far 8)

Sep 15th, '15, 06:45
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Re: Help me get started with teas

by toyopl » Sep 15th, '15, 06:45

Thanks for the link, however the pricing is crazy on that website :)
I don't think I would order from that website for a very long time, maybe as a treat sometime in the future once I know in and outs of teas and flavors.
Quick look at the pricing and the Long Jing for example at $70 for 50g is giving me slight shock :)

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Sep 15th, '15, 07:00
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Re: Help me get started with teas

by Frisbeehead » Sep 15th, '15, 07:00

lilly007chang wrote:When I started to drink tea several years ago,I tried ebay vendors and a few online tea shops such as Teaspring,none could satisfy me cause I hoped the tea could be coming from high altitude,organic environment and handmade since I could read them from the tea itself,unfortunately,I rare met what I expected...Maybe my expectation was too high?!
Since I found Myrealtea(http://www.myrealtea.com),I was sure that my requests were actually not high since decent high quality tea should have these factors as the owner of Myrealtea confirmed it to me,they are avid and picky tea drinkers.
I have bought tea from this tea shop for 3 years,and it's my only favorite and trusted tea shop so far 8)
That's great that you found a shop that you love and trust.

But you shouldn't limit yourself to just one vendor's tea. There are so many awesome vendors out there with great teas. I like to try tea from all different kinds of vendors, because that ensures you'll always be experiencing something new and exciting.

To OP, what is your favorite kind of tea? If you don't have one, then what are you most interested to try? Of course, you could just buy a bunch of different teas and try them all :wink: .

Check out Floating Leaves (Taiwan oolong), Tea Hong, (oolong), Crimson Lotus Lotus (pu-erh), Yunnan Sourcing, JKTea, White2Tea.

There are plenty more good vendors but that will get you started. Many of those vendors I just listed sell sample packs as well, so you can try a few different samples of teas and explore what flavor profiles you enjoy most.

Sep 15th, '15, 15:48
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Re: Help me get started with teas

by ClarG » Sep 15th, '15, 15:48

Try out different types of teas from different sellers/vendors.

See if there are local places near you that sell loose tea and buy some black Indian, or Sri Lankan teas as well.

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Sep 23rd, '15, 23:40
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Re: Help me get started with teas

by ablecha » Sep 23rd, '15, 23:40

I am from China tea home town, suggest trying difference teas from difference vendor in the beginning, then when you find a good one.
For Oolong tea, suggest begin from Ti Kuan Yin or Dong Ding from Taiwan, then Wuyi rock , since the first one is more easy to be accepted by new drinker
For Black tea, suggest India or Srilanka balck tea, which are with cheap price while good quality. when need more flavor to taste, try chinese Dian Hong, then Keemum, and Lapsang souchong, all are with difference flavor..

Wish you enjoy your tea!

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