Thursday, April 17, 2014

History with the Leaf

Hello readers! (err lack thereof)
I decided to start this blog to keep track of the teas I will be trying on my tea journey. At this point in my life, I am very "into" tea and love researching and reading as much as possible about the sweet, sweet leaf. So to kick this blog off with a BANG ill be answering some questions that were circulating around on some of my favorite tea blogs late last year.

1) First, let’s start with how you were introduced & fell in love with the wonderful beverage of tea.
As someone who lives in the "south" in North America, I can comfortably say that I was exposed to tea at a very young age. I would imagine that tea in the south is very different than anything most of you have had slide across your pallet. From what I can remember, my mother would take an amount of Lipton tea bags and place them in a pot (as in a pot you would cook with) on the kitchen stove. She would then bring the water/bag mixture to a boil and turn the heat off, allowing all the "goodness" to then steep for an undisclosed amount of time. The strong dark water was then mixed with regular water and so much sugar that I'm surprised I didn't go into diabetic shock. This was then served cold over ice, "traditionally", in a mason jar.

As for loose leaf tea; I was in college and as one tends to do in college, I experimented with new things. I'm pretty sure my first order was a green tea sampler from Upton Teas. If I remember correctly, it was composed of various gunpowder greens and rolled green teas. I remember trying to like it but wasn't as excited about the warm brew as I had hoped. I had a few tea-less years after that only to return with a vengeance! ALL THE TEA SHALL BE MINE!

2) What was the very first tea blend that you ever tried?
I would assume that it was some sort of "blended" tea. (Lipton, off brand black tea, etc.)

3) When did you start your tea blog & what was your hope for creating it?
Well this is my first post on this blog so today would be my start. My hopes for creating this blog is really for personal use. I want to keep track of what tea I enjoy, or don't enjoy, and who I got it from.

4) List one thing most rewarding about your blog & one thing most discouraging.
Just starting out is rewarding enough for me. I'm not starting this to gain a following or notoriety online/ in the tea community; If you find my semi-competent musings useful, Great! If not, that's OK too! As of right now, nothing is really discouraging me about the blog.

5) What type of tea are you most likely to be caught sipping on?
I'm usually sipping on some sort of oolong. Mostly lightly roasted or green oolong but expect to see what I think about other teas in the spectrum on this blog.

6) Favourite tea latte to indulge in?
As an Ex-Starbucks employee, I cant help but shake my head at this. Tea latte? Seriously? Never would such blasphemy cross my lips.

7) Favourite treat to pair with your tea?
Usually I enjoy tea by itself so I can really appreciate the life it is transferring to me, although i have had a pleasant experience with some seaweed and sea salt popcorn with gyokuro or sencha with lots of umami.

8) If there was one place in the world that you could explore the tea culture at, where would it be & why?
I dream of the day that I will be able to travel around Asia taking in the culture and wandering around aimlessly searching for hidden gems. In all honesty, that is merely a dream but we all have to have an apex to aim for right?

9) Any tea time rituals you have that you’d like to share?
Rituals? Well..I may do a human sacrifice or two before a pot of Jin Xuan but nothing worth noting...
I'm usually sitting at my desk with a Gaiwan catching up on YouTube or a TV show.

10) Time of day you enjoy drinking tea the most: Morning, Noon, Night or Anytime?
I drink tea all day. Through out the day I'm more than likely drinking some form of Milk Oolong grandpa style at work. Due to the lack of hot water available, Its usually cold or room temperature water with 5-10g of leaf being enjoyed for the length of my work day. After I get home, I sit down with the tea choice of the evening and enjoy until it is spent.

11) What’s one thing you wish for tea in the future?
I don't have any wishes for tea other than be what it is. I do not wish for it to become something the populous turns into something fashionable, à la Starbucks.

Well, there you have it! I hope that you have found some sort of enjoyment in reading about how I got into tea.

Until next time,