Thursday, 26 January 2012

Teai Boynoy? Huh?

Teai Boynoy? What's that?
First of all, it's been just a bit hectic here. There was a time when I posted something on the teablog everyday because I read somewhere that if you want to build readership, you should consistently have new content. Although I enjoyed doing it, the result was that I wrote a lot about tea, but I incorporated things going on in my life and how they (often tangentially) related to tea. If at all.

Then there was a time when I posted every second or third day, and that's actually more my goal. The last post about predicting someone's taste in tea based upon their other tastes is going to be a recurring theme. It's something that interesting to a lot of people and that hopefully will create a bit of dialogue.

After writing it, I realised that tea sellers must do this sort of thing all the time. Someone wanders into the shop, says that he's curious about tea, and the tea seller has to decide what might be the best option for this stranger. What does one do in that situation?

So because I write quite a bit about luring people over to the leaf-side here, and because I talk with quite a few non-tea people over on twitter, I get a lot of questions. For example, at the weekend there was an urgent message from a blogger I know called Jim. It read, 'quick! At the store...Name a couple of good commercially available teas for a tea virgin to try.'

I asked him my questions about how he took his coffee and whether he liked spicy food, and he responded with, 'coffee bold/rich cream and a bit of sugar, food spicy'. Now we were getting somewhere. He gave me a list of what was available, and I told him the brand I knew best.

But in the process I mentioned it on twitter, and of course there were people who responded to my query with pleas that Jim not go the way of teabags. That he wouldn't get the full experience and that it'd turn him off of tea entirely.

But there was Jim, standing in the aisle, not knowing where the tea filters were, or if there even were any, and not much more time to bother with hunting for tea. I'd gone to the website of the brand I knew best, and recommended the nicest loose-leaf teas I could imagine from their selection, but ultimately it was just too much. A package of English Breakfast blend was chosen, and I think it was the right choice.

My position on all of this is that the less fussy we are at the outset, the more an individual can develop his own tastes. I've suggested Jim try a sip or two of the tea before he adds any cream or sugar, but I actually think that drinking his English Breakfast blend with a bit of cream and sugar will slowly get him used to the taste of tea.

Why do I think that? Well, that's how I got into tea. I didn't start out by walking into a specialty tea shop and walk straight over to the High Mountain Oolong. Not sure how I would've responded to all that in the early days, anyway.

So the photo up above is something I've written about briefly in you needn't climb a mountain. It's not Teai Boynoy in English...that's actually Greek Mountain Tea. I'm rarely ever ill, but I've had a light cold and held onto this package for just such a situation. Unlike Geoff Norman (@lazy_literatus), who drinks his with proper Greek honey, I've had to settle for good old German honey. With a bit of Vitamin C powder for good measure.

Here's the package turned round to display the script you can likely more easily read:


  1. So. . . this . . "Jim". If he's anything like me, he WILL try it without the cream and/or sugar first, because his mama taught him that you try the cooks food without salt first to be polite, but ALSO because his EXPERIENCE has taught him that you can't know what something actually tastes like or what needs to be added to make it more palatable, if you don't FIRST sample it unaltered.

    1. I think you'll do just fine Jim. This, my friend, is an adventure.

  2. I'm the opposite of Jim. I might be a "wine out of the box" type tea drinker - loyal to one sugary delight. I would go to war for my tea... drive - no wait - climb Mount Everest for my tea!!!

    Nevertheless, I am compelled to stick around and check out more about other teas just in case someday I might need to know... ;)

    1. Well Karen, you've come to the right place. I write about a variety of tea, but often with the tea newcomer in mind.

      Am curious what your sugary delight is. Hopefully you'll tell us more about it and we can see if there's something similar in addition that you might like.

  3. I had the great chance to try some of this (dry, raw leaf smuggled in by a Greek friend from the Greek hills) last year. I liked it!

  4. I grew up on English Breakfast, as my Nana is Welsh. I've inherited much of her tea taste, along with a lovely tea cosy. But I've definitely branched out over the years. For those tea newbies Sateside who aren't strapped for cash, I like to recommend Teavana's tea-of-the-month clubs. It's a great way to try all sorts of interesting loose-leaf/branch/bark (no kidding) teas. The teas that I didn't like I gave to friends who did. The best part about a club like that is that you don't have to choose... they do it for you. And sometimes as a beginner, that's what it takes to get started.