There’s no accounting for taste and everyone likes what they like and that’s that. Or is it? If there are people who say that they don’t like tea, it’s possible that they have simply never had the chance to taste good tea. Which is not surprising given the state of tea in many parts of the world. While it’s not really that hard to get your hands on good tea nowadays, depending on your circumstances, you may have to work for it.
Living in what would likely be considered a second-tier city (Tucson) in these United States, the state of tea is probably on a par for most such places. Mail order aside, there are the usual range of options for anyone who wants to buy tea. There are grocery stores, which can be kind of a crapshoot, but as a general rule do not tend to offer any teas that are truly exceptional.
For the really good stuff we have the option to go to an upscale grocery store (I know of one, but there may be more) which offers a few items that are a cut above the rest. Best of all is a tea house run by a company whose focus is on introducing their customers to some truly exceptional Chinese teas. It’s the kind of place that you might expect to find in a large city, but can consider yourself lucky to have it if you hail from more modest surroundings such as ours.
Of course, if you’re from these parts and you want really good tea from India, Sri Lanka, Japan or anywhere else besides China, you’re probably going to have to turn to a mail-order outlet. Which is pretty much to be expected for serious tea lovers located outside of major urban areas. Such is our lot but having to endure the modest pains of shipping costs and waiting by the mailbox for our tea to arrive is a relatively small price to pay for good tea. For if I may quote the motto of my own tea site, “Life’s Short. Drink Good Tea.”
Make sure to check out William’s site, Tea Guy Speaks!