My secretary once warned a colleague who offerred to make me a cup of tea, "withdraw the offer immediately and avoid injury." She was overstating the case, of course, but I am known to be rather particular about my tea. I prefer properly brewed tea made with quality leaves and not the floor sweepings normally found in grocery store tea bags. I stand revealed as an unapologetic tea snob! Hence, the ferocity: a veritable Tea-Reg!
Until it closed up shop, I purchased my tea from http://www.specialteas.com/. When they sold their client list to Teavana, I did try the new vendor site but found it to be rather limited in scope. So I cast about the Internet for a new source as I was rapidly running out of my favorite black teas although I have a healthy supply of green and white teas. Indeed, this morning, I brewed a pot of a lovely delicate white tea flavored with peach pieces. The deep coral color comes from the dried pieces of peach [with skin]. As you pour the tea, it seems quite a pale gold but deepens to coral as the cup fills. The aroma is redolent of peach. A perfect tea for a summer Sunday.
I found http://www.culinaryteas.com/ and placed an order for 1lb of Assam, 1lb of Irish Breakfast blend and 1/2lb of Nilgiri as well as a sampler of the berry flavored teas favored by my husband. The new order should arrive on Wednesday and we shall see if I have found a reliable new source or need to keep looking. I wanted to check out some everyday teas before I invested in some Keemun or Pu-erh. If the quality of the basic stuff is good, I'll order some of the more expensive and exotic favorites. While I was in an ordering mood and because I was curious, I ordered a tea sampler from the oldest tea plantation here in the States: Plantation Teas in South Carolina. So the coming week should be interesting as the new-to-me teas arrive to be tasted.