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a crush on tea

January 1, 2010

My sister, Erica, introduced me to her biggest passion, tea. I had pretty low expectations. I had only ever experienced tea in bag form, over-steeped and of low quality.

She first brewed a loose black tea, which I assumed I would hate, and was blown away by the nuances and complexities in the flavor profile. Then rooibos, which, I learned, is not technically tea at all, since it comes from a plant other than Camellia sinensis. It had a slightly sweet flavor, with a bright, warm taste, and a great finish. Then chai tea, which I admit had only previously experienced through Starbucks (in latte form). It was delightful. Green tea with roasted rice and matcha? Who knew such a thing existed? Pu’erh was a revelation, if not an acquired taste.

I had no idea about this world of tea, and how many varieties there were. I can’t believe I was so oblivious to such a dynamic, delicious beverage. It kind of hit me hard. I have a crush on tea. I may be falling in love. In the same way I fell in love with food, then wine, then beer, now it’s tea. I want to learn all about the varieties, the craft, the history, the flavors. I will share my learning experiences here.

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