In the few years that have past, I have grown to be very fond of drinking tea. To be honest I cannot recall my sudden interest in tea, but it is something I have been drinking all my life. As children if we were not feeling well we were given either Mint tea (yerbabuena) or Chamomile tea (manzanilla). Other than that the only tea I drank was either iced tea (nestle’s nestea, lipton’s Brisk, or the instant iced tea) or Green tea whenever we went to a chinese restaurant. Aside from these I had no interest in teas what so ever.
Then one day about four years ago, I decided to walk into a teavana and was hooked. The smell of the teas, pure and clean, fruity and sweet, light and smoky, was sensory overload. They had beautiful tea pots, and several other things I wish I could own, soothing music, and just about any accompaniment you may need for a great tea drinking experience (embarrassing fact: at that moment right then I learned that not all tea was sold in individual bags). After talking with an employee for several minutes, I decided to try a white peach tea, a raspberry tea, and a white tea. The thing that appealed to me, at the time, was that you could buy just the minimal amount of tea if you wanted to, a surprise to me, because most of the teas were sold by the pound, and that was definitely way too much. I left paying no more than $24.00 and felt like I walked away with a bargain.
The teas, I tried that day, were very enjoyable, and led me to want to further diversify my novice tea drinking palette. About three weeks later, I returned and tried a few more.
At that point I knew there was no turning back, I was in love with tea. But not only drinking tea, but making it, serving it and enjoying it with others as well. There is something very soothing and satisfying about it. It relaxes you and brings you to peace (even if it is just for a few minutes). However since then, I have come across other great loose leaf tea stores.
One being located in New York Porto Rico Importing co. they have a few locations throughout NY and are actually primarily known for there coffee, but have great teas as mentioned.
My current favorite Todd and Holland Tea Merchants is actually located in Illinois. They cary a wide variety of teas as well as tea pots, sets and anything else one might need for tea. Whenever I go back home I make sure to make a trip here and stock up. They do ship everywhere, so it definitely is an option for everyone.
As I take the next steps in learning more about teas, I look forward to sharing them with you.