My name is Carl, I am from Ireland.
How long have you been drinking tea?
I have been drinking tea for as long as I can remember. My first introduction was when my older brothers had tea for breakfast before running off to work. I remember I used to finish what was left behind and have been drinking it ever since.
What kind of tea do you drink?
Up to now, I have only ever drank supermarket / grocery store tea. Mainly black tea (adding milk and sugar). I've tried green tea as well as other fruit teas but have never been satisfied with what I've found.
How do you prepare your tea?
The wrong way I'm sure - Tea bag and sugar into cup, followed by hot water, bag removed after about 10 sec, milk added, stirred and drank. The generic household way for preparing tea from a teabag.
What tea knowledge are you interested in exploring right now?
I want to learn as much as I can without being overwhelmed right from the off. I am a complete newbie so the whole tea world has opened up to me.
What factors lead you to delve into the world of tea, and what is keeping you there?
I love drinking tea, yet find myself growing tired of the same old story. I'm much more health conscious now and want to eliminate sugar and other unnecessary processed foods from my diet. I found I am unable to drink "tea bag" tea without milk and sugar. I find it is far too bitter and have no desire to return for more. I have always found that with milk and sugar, "tea bag" tea makes me feel heavy and lethargic. I'm not sure why i return... maybe its routine? maybe its the caffeine? I don't really know.
A friend of mine recommended I try Pai Mu Tan (I'm sure I have this incorrect) or Silver Needle white teas to get started in drinking "real tea". I Googled it to find a supplier (as is the way of modern society) and the tea world opened its doors to me. I've never considered that there might be something bigger and better out there. As is with daily routine, I got on with my daily tasks and thought nothing of the tea I repeatedly consumed for years. Now I'm think I'm being over analytic and have been bamboozled by the amount of information out there. I want to take it slow, but there's so much information online.
I want to explore Gong Fu style brewing and I aim to find a selection of teas suitable for my pallet. I can already sense that this may be the beginning of an addiction (or thirst for knowledge - excuse the pun). I am not quite sure where I want to go, but on recommendation I will try Pai Mu Tan or Silver Needle to kick start the adventure. I am looking for teas that are good for health, that are light, refreshing and enjoyable to drink.
What is your location?
I am located in Ireland... here we consume ridiculous amounts of what I will call "tea bag" tea from now on. Here every problem is solved over a cup of tea - every celebration, meal ending and friendly chat is accompanied by a cup of tea.
I hope I haven't gone on too much. Looking forward to learning from you folk in the coming months and years.
Many thanks - I hope I can contribute along the way.