It all started one crisp October morning in 2003, when I discovered that a cup of coffee was not what pleased me anymore. So, it was off to a friend’s coffee and tea store where I purchased my first four ounces of Assam loose leaf. Of course, I had to add a tea ball infuser. From thence forward I added an array of open-faced tubular infusers of different varieties. That first tea was more towards institutional “CTC” types. As time passed, I moved to Yunnan and other black teas, staying away from those I considered wimpy and weak-kneed: the Chinese and Japanese greens and whites. My introduction to British style Yorkshires – complete with lots of milk and sugar – further reveals how much I had to learn.

From here starts Paul’s real journey into the art of real tea appreciation. Watch this space for tales of the growing tea experience and education of a novice. While you are enjoying your own tea journey, won’t you please comment here about your first time with real tea?