I am delighted to have discovered the world of tea bloggers. I have been a tea-drinker since childhood. I have always been something of a tea cup collecter as well. But I have gotten serious about tea in the last decade. First, it was a matter of graduating from Lipton's tea bags to Barry's. Then, it was a matter of discovering Twinings loose teas. From there it was a major step forward to ordering loose teas from an on-line vendor, SpecialTeas. The world of black, green, white and oolong teas just exploded around me. I bought and tasted a wide variety of teas, inspired by the on-line descriptions and limited only by what I was willing or able to spend. Phrases like "first flush", "broken leaf", "whole leaf" and "single estate" entered my vernacular. I discovered teas that were tightly wrapped to unfold into lotus blossums and other shapes when exposed to hot water. I began to think myself quite knowledgeable, even became a bit of a tea snob. I started buying lovely little Japanese and Chinese tea pots. And I began planning my vacations around tea rooms, in addition to needlework shops. Well, not quite: but I always googled the availability of tea shops and needlework shops in the areas I would be visiting. I have started collecting quite a library of books about the history of tea, the preparation of tea, tea ware and cookbooks focusing on tea-time.
I have heard it said many times that true wisdom comes when you finally realize how much you have yet to learn. Well, I have only been reading tea blogs about a month and have discovered that I am a rank amateur, a mere novice, an acolyte. Oh well, think of all the delights still to come. Thanks in advance to all you tea bloggers out there who will contribute to my education.