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Welcome to ... First Steep!

Hey Iím a tea dork ... I started this e-zine called 'First Steep.' Iíve not seen any tea zines online so I figure 'Why not start one?' Nothing to loose except the fact that maybe no one will see this site. Iíve also started a printed version of this zine. For those who love paper, this will be a collector's item some time in the near future, when trees will be extinct and toilet paper will be a hot commodity. Anyway, I digress. So this e-zine will be almost the same as the printed version; except I will have plenty of links to other tea websites.

We live in a rush rush society and coffee is king and tea is queen, and I wanted to incorporate the idea of the high speed Internet with the slow drinking concept of tea. Anyway, I want this zine to be fun for those tea drinkers who are just starting to explore the wonderful world of tea, or as James Labe of teahouse Kuan Yin in Seattle, WA, says to most customers 'the tea experience.' I just want to let those tea drinkers and tea junkies know that what I say is not gold and what other people say about other teas is not what you should follow ... they are only suggestions.

I wanted to start a magazine to compete with the other tea magazines out there ...'Tea' and Southern Ladies 'Tea Time.' Well, youíve got to have money ... which I donít. Those pretty, glossy magazines have a nice price tag to keep them going and a zine is the cheapest route. An e-zine is the real cheap way. So here you go ... an e-zine that is going to be fun.

I want to tell about the types of black teas, and the difference between Chinese and Japanese green teas, or even what Oolong teas are ... and what's this craze about white tea? Of course if you need more information you will be able to link from this site to other tea sites. Some of these sites will have tea accessories; others will have more in depth information about teas. I want to include information about tea houses or tea rooms along the West Coast of North America, from Canada to Southern California (I live in the Pacific Northwest). I highly encourage anyone who has visited a tea house to let me know what you thought of it ... to rate it. That way people who are visiting various places along the West Coast can go there and experience it for themselves. Interactive is the word Iím looking for. Just e-mail me.

Iím also looking at recipes with tea. Iím so fascinated with the idea of using tea in a meal. Desserts with tea are cool, but food actually cooked with tea is really interesting, which brings me to why I wanted to use tea in a recipe. A woman who used to own a teahouse made a meal at Thanksgiving which was flavored with Lapsang Shouchong. If any of you know about Lapsang tea, you, like me, likely find it to be a smoky tea. It was really cool to find someone who cooked with this tea.

I personally donít have the space to do much cooking, with or without tea, so Iím looking for people who enjoy cooking to try the recipes that I put online and give me your reaction to them. And anyone who would like to share a tea recipe with me is welcome to. That way others will know that cooking with tea can be fun. So FUN this e-zine shall be. Like I said, please let me know what you think.

Enjoy your stay, and please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

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