If you are a first time tea drinker, try Tazo's Passion tea. Either hot or cold it is a great transition, and inexpensive, tea. You can get oversized tea bags for pitchers of iced tea. They don't sell as we'll as the small hot bags, so they are often on sale at Target and other grocery stores. Starbucks sells this too, premade and bags, but not the iced tea bags. You might want to try a cup at Starbucks before buying to make sure it is for you. Remember to order it unsweetened. Emphasize unsweetened when you order. There is nothing worse than pulling away from the drive thru window and find sweet syrup in your cup..., miles down the road. I add a package of sweet leaf to mine but it doesn't need it.
As your enjoyment of tea increases you will find investing in more expensive tea (usually loose) is the way to go, but as you transition Tazo has many great options.
I used to drink Guayaki Yerba Mate and I enjoyed it. Not sure if it's the "best", but I guess it's the best I've tried.
I did get a bit worried when people started talking about it as a carcinogen, though. Not sure if this claim holds any weight, but I don't drink it anymore.
I will have to check with my supplier. I sampled over 30 varieties until I decided on the 3 that I enjoy the most, but I think that I buy them based on some sort of supplier coding.
Originally Posted by MEversbergII
Sent from my Nexus 4
Well, if it's peppery it's a dianhong, if it tastes like earth or close to it, it's a pu'er
Last edited by Drumroll; 07-20-2013 at 06:16 PM.
Ah, speaking of Breakfast tea, a little bit o' history...
The original breakfast teas were hongs exported out of Qimen (Keemun). These were hongchas developed by a failed civil servant who'd traveled to Fujian, home of the minhong / gongfu hongcha, and learned the trade. His home region is better known for lucha's, but he managed to develop a successful hong none the less. It became the basis for Breakfast teas in England, but not long afterwards blends of various types began to take over.
Here's a great example:
After India became the British Empire's #1 for hongchas, Assam and Ceylon made teas were the basis. These days, there's usually a mix of Assam, Ceylon and Kenyan teas.
The thing about tea, and often plants in general, is that where they're grown has a big impact on the taste of the final product. Terrior is the word, I believe. Even if we use the same species of tea tree, the same cultivar and process it in the same way, our different geological positions will have an impact. Even time of day and weather on picking / withering days has an impact on the product ranging from subtle to profound. Sometimes the difference is just a few hundred feet up or down a hill.