Thursday, 17 June 2010

the tea-indoctrinated in her own words

I’ve prepared you, my loyal readers, for this, and now it’s here. My tea indoctrination has come fully to fruition. At twitter, someone asked me for advice about how to get into tea, and I offered a few thoughts. She didn’t like what I suggested, and I decided to send her a care package. Without further ado, let me introduce Barbara. She has been fully tea-indoctrinated. Here are her notes as they happened:

After a lifetime of not drinking tea and having not liked it on the few occasions I dipped my toe in, as it were, I tried Lemon Sky on day one. Surprisingly, I quite enjoyed it and, as a result, was prepared to go further.

On the second day, I tried Happy Herbs (giggle) and thought I detected a slight cinnamon flavour. Yes, that’s right. It’s cinnamon.

Having heard conflicting reports of green tea (that it was bitter and not easy to drink), I decided to give it a try the next day (day three if you’re counting). What a nice surprise-not bitter at all. Quite soothing and very delicate, actually.

My fourth day of the experiment proved even better than the ones that preceded it. On that day, I tried Sweet Chai, which was quite spicy and rather invigorating. On the same day, came a not so pleasant experience. My first try at the dreaded ‘blacks’. Darjeeling. I didn't manage to finish it - too bitter but I will come back to it some time when I'm feeling stronger.

On day five came a lovely surprise. Rooibus. I loved this one. It has a smooth caramel taste, and I don't care that it isn't a 'real' tea. I will certainly be adding this to my collection when I start one.

And on the sixth day, I was brave and tackled Oolong Formosa. This tea has a nice delicate flavour. It’s dark leaves made me think it was another black tea, but lahikmajoe informed me that Oolongs aren’t black. And not green either. Oolong is something in between. Regardless, Formosa Oolong helped prepare me to give black tea another chance.

The next day (day seven) was a stressful day and suddenly I instinctively knew I needed green tea. I wasn’t yet aware green tea had a reputation for having a calming effect. Later on day seven, I tried Happy Herbs again and found it even better the second time. I was even beginning to appreciate that the smell of the tea was almost important as the way it tasted.

Lemon Sky was planned on day eight for the second time. Still enjoyable-no complaints. On this same date, I tried Assam Khongea, a total disaster but this was entirely my fault as I steeped it too long making it undrinkable.

Sweet Chai with a smidgen of milk on the ninth day. Quite a different experience with milk. This time it had a lovely, sharp gingery taste.

On the tenth and final day, Assam Khongea again with shorter steeping. Much nicer this time. Later that day I tried white tea for the first time. This was a soothing tea with a delicate flavour and an almost grassy odour.

I am now looking into how I will get further supplies. The local shop has a limited choice so I think I will have to turn to the internet, one site I found, http://Tea looks fairly promising.

laqhikmajoe: so, that was Barbara, my guest blogger for the day. What d'you think? Pretty cool story, huh? I feel like I've done something good for tea here. She didn't mention it in her notes, but Barbara has told me that she feels somehow healthier and holds all this tea drinkin' directly responsible. I can't in all honestly argue with her.


  1. I do like a happy ending. And I've changed my mind about indoctrination - it can obviously be a good thing.

  2. Barbara is a very welcome member of the tea drinkin' brotherhood/sisterhood. She's even started ordering her own tea online.

    The cheers for our newest member.