Friday, 28 May 2010

tea indocrination

I know this young woman on twitter who announced a month or so ago that she doesn’t drink tea. She knows I’m a tea-obsessive, and she half jokingly says she expects me to want nothing more to do with her. Far from it. She’s my demographic.

Aside from being a woman, and I like the womens, she’s also a non tea drinker. That’s exactly who I’m trying to reach with this blog. People who one day say to themselves, ‘Why are so many social media types into tea?’

Next, this hypothetical person (who was just asking about people with tea problems) stumbles onto a site like leafboxtea or indonique or ratetea (or even lahikmajoedrinkstea) and starts to understand. The worst thing I could do here, other than be boring, is to somehow be elitist about tea. I attempt to be informative for the person new to tea. The more curious he/she is, the better.

Back to my story:

She jokes with me about it, and I assure her that no. I don’t want nothing to do with her. I want everything to do with her. Next, I threaten to indoctrinate her to the leaf-side. Pull her into the tea-drinking crown. I predict that soon enough she’ll be drinking the bitter, tannic liquor that most of us refer to as tea.

Fast-forward a few weeks later. We banter back and forth about her impending indoctrination. Eventually, she caves and one day she unexpectedly says something like, ‘Ok, I’m not promising anything, but if I were to try some tea, what would I start with?’

My window of opportunity.

You may not agree with what I do next, but she didn’t ask you. I ask her what kind of wine she drinks (she doesn’t drink alcohol) and how she takes her coffee (to see if she liked sweet things and/or dairy). Does she like spicy food? Not sure what that might tell me, but by now I’m just trying to appear professorial. It’s completely useless. I simply look like a knob.

What I do first is tell her to try Earl Grey. Not because I like Earl Grey. Bergamot oil makes me nauseous, and I haven’t drunk Earl Grey in years. At least not willingly.

Here’s my question for you my gentle, lovely readers: what would you suggest to her in this situation?

I don’t want to go green so early on (think I’ll ease into that), so I suggest Oolong when she says Earl Grey isn’t to her taste. What do you think? It’s an intriguing question isn’t it? I really think so. Here you have someone who really wants to make the plunge into tea drinking.

Where does one start? Please weigh in, and I’ll pass the ideas onto her. Can’t wait to hear what you have to say. Cannot wait.


  1. First, I ask if they like lighter or darker drinks.
    If they say dark, I go for Golden Needles black tea.
    If they say light, I make Baozhong.
    The rest is up to their tastes!
    That is my method anyways!

  2. Tie Guan Yin Oolong is always a great place to start. To anyone who is just getting into tea, I'd highly suggest that for sure. The apricot flavour it has it to die for. :D

  3. Thanks to both of you. Who makes Golden Needles? Would like to try it myself. Come to think of it, I wouldn'T mind trying the Baozhong and Tie Guan Yin Oolong, as well.

    Will let you know what I actually did in the next few days. Want to see if there were any other ideas.