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Introducing Friends to New Teas (and Herbal Infusions!)

Japanese green teas (ETS images)
Japanese green teas (ETS images)

There is a certain satisfaction to be gained from introducing people you care about to things that you care about. Tea is no exception, and it is always extremely rewarding to introduce friends of mine to teas. This could mean introducing them to a certain blend of tea, a new type of tea (green, white, etc), to loose teas in general, or even just to the extent of what tea and tea culture can be. Recently, I had two experiences where I introduced friends to new teas, both of which, coincidentally, revolved around green tea.

The first of these occurred quite accidentally. I was meeting a friend in café and, since I got there a little before he did, I ordered myself a green tea (genmaicha, to be exact). A few minutes later he arrived, and was about to order his usual black tea with milk, but instead he became quite interested in what I was drinking. After I explained a little about what genmaicha is and how it tastes, he decided to order a green tea, too. He picked a sencha on the grounds that, if he was going to get to know green teas, he might as well start with the basics – a very wise take on the matter, if you ask me. It is not that he had never had green tea before, or did not know what it was. But he did not drink it very often, and said that he had been thinking about trying to get into the habit of drinking green tea more instead of always defaulting to black teas. Quite unintentionally, I provided the stimulus for this, and was delighted to see him enjoying not just his sencha, but also my genmaicha when he tried a sip. Hopefully this will be the start of a green tea habit!

On another occasion, I took some teas with me when I was invited to a friend’s house for dinner. I know that she is quite a big tea drinker, and enjoys many different kinds of tea, but I thought that I could perhaps contribute some blends that might be new to her. Basing my choices on what I knew of her tea preferences, I took over a rooibos blended with dried fruits (yes, ok, not technically a tea!) and a flavoured green tea (also fruity). Both were a big hit, despite her not being a huge green tea fan. I had known this, but hoped I might find a green tea that would work for her palate. I think I succeeded!

Even if not always intentional, it can be very satisfying to introduce friends to new teas, whatever type of tea drinker they are (and especially if they are not!). I think I’ll make it my new tea habit!

See more of Elise Nuding’s articles here.

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