Monday, April 11, 2016

10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Drinking Tea

1. Don't be intimidated.

The world of tea is massive and I was definitely intimidated when I first started. It took me a few years to figure out that it's all part of the journey. Everyone has their own path and the experiences along the way are all part of the fun.

2. Have fun with it.

It's easy to get so wrapped up in all of the little scientific details like weighing leaves and measuring milliliters of water. The truth is that tea doesn't need to be so serious, especially when it's not for a review. Standards have their place but the whole point of drinking tea is to enjoy it.

3. There's so much out there!

When I first got into tea I had no idea how endless the number of varieties of tea really are. Would you believe that I've reviewed over 900 teas? Sometimes I wish that I had started digging deeper sooner for that reason.

4. Don't be afraid to try things outside of your comfort zone.

As a lifelong picky eater, I spent a number of years in my comfort zone. Some of the teas that I avoided most are now my favorites. Puerh, where have you been all of my life!

5. Skip the sketchy bargain tea (and teaware).

We've all been there. I wasted a ton of money on terrible tea from Asian grocery stores and cheap eBay teaware. Deals are great when you can find them but sometimes you get what you pay for.

6. Meet other people as nerdy about tea as you are.

I was already a few years into blogging before I met anyone in person who liked tea as much as I did. If it weren't for the internet and social media I would have been one lonely tea drinker.

7. Travel while you can.

Travel would have been a lot easier back when things were less complicated. I wouldn't change my life for anything but in hindsight I definitely should have made it a priority to do some tea traveling.

8. A variable temperature tea kettle makes all the difference.

I once thought that variable temperature kettles were superfluous but they are godsend. After spending years fumbling with thermometers and my mom's old stove top whistler, my Breville One-Touch is now my best friend.

9. Really good tea is > stuff.

Every new hobbyist goes through an accumulation stage. We buy lots of things without any sort of clear purpose. I find that I've actually given away or sold a lot of my first tea acquisitions. All of that money would have been better spent on some really good tea.

10. Don't be afraid to share your passion, no matter what anyone else says.

There was a time when I was a bit embarrassed by my passion for tea. Part of that stemmed from the criticism of people who are no longer in my life. Now I proudly wear my tea geek badge loud and proud. My family and friends are also super supportive of my obsession.

Is there anything that you wish you knew when you started drinking tea? I'd love to hear about it the comments!

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