What every new tea drinker should know

Over the past week, we’ve gone over everything you need to know to get started on your “tea journey,” but before I let you loose to buy infusers and brew tea, I want to give you my patented Chai Tea Chick advice.

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Part of my growing collection of mugs

1. Be adventurous. Try new teas, tools, and ways of brewing. Don’t pin yourself in by choosing one type of tea and sticking to it. I thought I was only a black tea fan until I drank green tea, and I thought I was only a black and green tea fan until I drank oolong tea. Sure, you won’t like every tea you drink. I’ve learned I don’t like fruity-flavored ones, but you expand your knowledge every time you try a new tea. There is more than Earl Grey and Spiced Chai. Don’t be scared by teas with five-word titles that are hard to pronounce. They need love, too.

2. Have fun. I want you to go wild with tea. Champion it. Savor it. Make an original iced tea recipe. Treat yourself with a latte at the local cafe. Put on your gloves and go to a fancy tea party with your friends. Tea can be so much more than a drink; it can be an experience.

3. Find a tea community. This may be my most important advice. Tea is a good drink, but when you enjoy it with others, it creates a community. For me, that community started with my sister, who I previously mentioned was the first tea freak in my family. We love going to teashops together, excitedly flipping through the menu, and deciding what we’re going to get. Over time, we converted my dad into a tea enthusiast, and our little community expanded.

This blog, along with other online resources, is a great way to connect with tea drinkers from around the world. I also strongly suggest you to find a local community. Do research into your area and look for teashops or restaurants. You may be surprised what you find. I live in Gainesville, for example, and found Volta Coffee, Tea & Chocolate, which has become my go-to place to try interesting teas. There are even tea clubs and organizations.

4. Keep an open mind. This advice is for a more general audience. In America, tea is still growing, but coffee is king. Many people have never even really considered becoming tea drinkers. I don’t want everyone to become extreme tea enthusiasts (because there would be less tea for me). I just want people to realize that tea can fit into their lives. Even the biggest coffee drinker can make time for it. All you have to do is buy a cup of tea at Starbucks, and see where it takes you.

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