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Another tea noob

I did not want to hijack someone else's post so I am starting my own. With the winter here and freezing my beans off I thought drinking hot tea would be a way to give a bit of warmth back into my body. So I did what I am sure a lot of people do and go to a local convenient store grab a lipton tea bag, put it in a 20oz. cup, pour molten water into the cup and proceed to burn my mouth. This is not delightful at all, bitter and I tried adding sugar, well we will just say not helpful at all.

I had looked online and through the wiki and I might be getting over my head here. I have no clue on how tea is supposed to taste. I drink bottle iced teas like snapple and pure leaf, which taste totally different from each other. I like both one because I have a sweet tooth and the other cause it's not as sweet (I don't always want sweet). I also like the lemon flavoring used.

I first thought I may be able to make hot tea taste like iced teas but the more I read on the internet and here I wonder if I just need to try a true tea? I know there are different types of teas, and they break down to thousands? So where would a noob like myself start? Something a bit simple, cheap at least the hardware end and has a bit of a learning curve before it is ruined. Is there any stores (starbucks, etc) out there that make a decent tea for a quick grab and go?

Not sure if tea will be a thing for me or not. I want to give it a fair shake before making a decision. So far it has not endured me at all.
Can't recommend a store...
For Western style, try Upton Tea Imports. Their samplers are a good place to start, and their season's picks are excellent value for your money.

For Asian style, JAS-eTea is a good place to start. It was founded by a B&B member who was trying to bring good teas to the group. But on checking the website... there may be a delay just now.

I also like to order oolongs seasonally and direct from Taiwan as soon as they're available. IMHO, many of them lose that something special after a few months. You might also find it best to order matcha direct from Japan.

As for equipment, all you need is a vessel to steep in and possibly a cup. You can filter the leaves with a spoon if they're not completely broken. For some teas, you'll want some kind of strainer. If I had to start over on a very limited budget, I'd put my first money into one of those fine "silk" strainers, then a normal kitchen strainer, then a proper tea pot. A proper tea pot is designed to prevent the leaves from coming out when you pour slowly. Some come with strainers inside. A gaiwan is also a good option, but isn't much more functional than a cup and spoon.

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Thanks guys for the suggestions. There is a lot of teas out there. Those sampler packs might be the way to go for now to see what I may or may not like. Would a tea infuser be good to use? I seen some nice looking ones in my internet searches for tea.
You might want to post a photo since there are variations in their design, but I like those infusers that are almost as big as your cup. They are versatile and easy to clean.
You might want to post a photo since there are variations in their design, but I like those infusers that are almost as big as your cup. They are versatile and easy to clean.

I seen ones like that thought they would be too big. One looked almost as wide as the cup and may have had mesh or something in the holes. I will do another search and find it.

These are great for a variety of tea.

View attachment 394293

I like this idea and it looks easy to use and clean. Which is important cause I can get lazy.
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