I am from the Northest US (CT) and got into tea about 2 years ago. I gained tons of weight and was looking for ways to cut out juice/soda from my diet. I decided I needed to train myself to drink unsweetened drinks. Tea was a natural starting point for this. I started off with the little Keurig cup of green tea at work. It always tasted bitter and mediciny. I happen to like bitter mediciny stuff so I kept up with it and just accepted that this is what tea was.
Someone on some long forgotten blog I happen to be reading compared the depth and variety of tea to that of wine and I my first reaction was: Bologna! I had long been into wines and didn't think this bitter mediciny stuff I drink at work can compare to wine. Many people agreed with this sentiment so I decided there had to be SOMETHING to the claim and began exploring tea. So here I am!
My favorite teas are Wuyi rock teas. My second favorite are Taiwanese high mountain oolongs. These two kinds of teas a really popular so it seems anything and everything is labelled Da Hong Pao or AliShan or Da Yu Ling etc. In fact most teas I've had labelled as Wuyi of Taiwanese Gao Shan(high mountain) tend to be very mediocre. However the best samples are everything that I want in a tea. It's fun always being on the lookout looking for good samples of these teas.
I am currently exploring black teas. Redblossom's Wild Formosa Assam is currently in my cup. I find it be one of my all time favorites but given the price I am on a quest to find a suitable substitue. A friend from Taiwan brought me some TTES #6, #16 and #18. TTES #18 tends to be called Ruby Red. I had something called LaoShan that made an okay hot tea but made the best cold brewed tea I've ever tasted. Blacks are definitely growing on me.
I had a brief foray into pu'er and even have a sheng cake I plan to age. However my taste buds still do not accept the taste of young sheng and I've never had real aged sheng. I think I'm not quite ready for pu'er