Every person evolves throughout their life. Their preferences in food, beverages, and tea change. If we break down the tea evolution into stages, we can identify 8 significant flavor transformations.

The first stage - Tea Bags

We all started with tea bags. The main advantage of tea bags is the simplicity of preparation: pour hot water, wait, and it's ready. All you need for this is a cup, a simple kettle with boiling water, and the tea bag itself. Manufacturers, in response to consumer demand, are ready to offer a variety of packaged teas:

Black tea;

Green tea;

Teas with added flavorings, and more.

After steeping the tea, it is customary to squeeze the tea bag well to achieve the fullest aroma and bitterness of the drink. Some people also like to add a slice of lemon to give the tea a light tang, along with a spoonful of sugar.

Thanks to tea bags, you can always find tea in any store in any city.

But the other side of using tea bags is that you should be careful in choosing what to drink. 

 The Hidden Dangers of Tea Bags: Slowly Sipping Away Your Health


The second stage is flavored tea.

You can't avoid the stage of consuming flavored tea in your tea evolution. This kind of tea is actively promoted on restaurant menus and on social media. It often involves a beautiful glass teapot filled halfway with brightly colored tea containing fruit pieces, accompanied by a cup with a double bottom and a gently burning candle for added romance.

Usually, the quality of the tea leaves in such tea blends leaves much to be desired. Milk oolong, strawberry with cream, piña colada, Arabian Nights – these are just a few of the most popular tea names that can be purchased in regular stores. However, it's important to remember that good tea leaves cost no less than $50 to $100 per 1 LB, so the quality of mass-market blends can be questionable. Additionally, high-quality tea is delicious on its own, so it is rarely further flavored.

If you want flavored tea, opt for a high-quality one. For instance, consider Taiwanese oolong with osmanthus flowers.

To enjoy flavored tea, it's important to limit the steeping time of the tea leaves in the brewing teapot. 5-7 minutes is usually sufficient to extract the flavor without making the tea too bitter. The resulting infusion is poured into cups immediately, and the remaining tea leaves can be steeped again. If someone prefers flavored tea, it's their valid choice and deserves respect. The key is to opt for genuinely high-quality products with subtle aromas, indicating minimal use of chemicals during production. A great option for enthusiasts of flavored beverages is to buy jasmine tea, which is quite popular in China. There's a high likelihood that this type of tea uses a natural flavoring agent - jasmine flowers.

Even better: create flavored tea yourself. All you need are two high-quality components - the tea itself and a natural flavoring agent, such as rose petals, mint, thyme, or chrysanthemum. This allows you to craft unique tea blends that will deliver incredible aromas and aftertaste.

Third Stage — Loose Leaf Tea

Loose-leaf tea represents a significant departure from packaged and flavored teas. It's often characterized by robust Assam, large-leaf Ceylon, or delicate green tea.

At this point, you're about to embark on a journey into the world of authentic Chinese loose-leaf teas! We recommend starting with our INTRODUCTION TO CHINESE TEA

The primary advantage of loose-leaf tea is the absence of any additives. You can steep it beautifully in a glass or porcelain teapot. To ensure that loose-leaf tea is flavorful, it's highly recommended not to let it steep overnight. Steep it for no more than half an hour; this allows the tea to fully develop without becoming bitter.

Strong Shu Pu-erh or Green tea can help you wake up in the morning, feel invigorated, and get a boost of energy for the day's activities

Fourth Stage — Tea Accessories

Becoming a true tea connoisseur is easier when you embrace the traditions of tea ceremonies. Therefore, the journey into the world of this exquisite beverage truly begins when you introduce tea accessories into your home. Bamboo coasters for cups and teapots, and a cutting board that can serve as a tea preparation area — these are the items that will enrich your tea experience.

Here is our article about the Chinese Tea Ceremony Kit

At this stage, a clay vessel replaces the glass or porcelain teapot, adding character to the ritual. This transformation is accompanied by an impressive teacup and new varieties of aromatic tea, such as Pu-erh, semi-fermented Tie Guan Yin oolong, and the robust Da Hong Pao cliff tea.

The key to success with the tea varieties mentioned above is achieving a good brew in a clay teapot. If you opt for Pu-erh, it should be robust. In the absence of a teapot, you can use a gaiwan, which will help you achieve this strength quickly and effortlessly.

The fourth stage should mark your introduction to a wide variety of teas. Essential for tasting are the following types:

Aged white tea

Sheng and Shu Pu-erh

Dark and light oolong

Yellow tea

The full range of green tea and 5 MOST UNUSUAL VARIETIES

This will allow you to truly explore the world of tea. It's also beneficial to read books and watch videos that can open up an entirely new, uncharted universe of tea.

Fifth Stage - Chaban ( Tea Tray )

You'll never return to tea bags once you've tasted real tea. Therefore, an inevitable stage in your tea journey is acquiring Chaban. Don't believe that bamboo dries out and loses its original qualities. With proper care, Chaban can serve you faithfully for many years.

At this stage, you'll also realize that you can't do without a high-quality teapot for a proper tea ceremony. It's best to choose items made from Yixing clay or porcelain.

Remember! A teapot, if you can call it that, has a memory effect. So, it should only be used for brewing one single type of tea - your favorite.

Purchasing these attributes for a tea ceremony marks the point of no return. After acquiring Chaban and your first teapot, you'll immerse yourself in the incredible culture of traditions that will accompany you for the rest of your life.

Here is some interesting information about CHABAN (TEA TRAY), HUCHENG, CHACHUAN, AND OTHER VARIANTS OF TEA TRAYS

Sixth Stage - Full Tea Set

At this stage, a tea connoisseur possesses all the necessary attributes for conducting a tea ceremony: several porcelain and Yixing clay teapots, gaiwan, cha hai, utensils for brewing, figurines, as well as an enormous variety of tea, including oolong, pu-erh, green tea, and more. A true tea enthusiast's set includes several types of teacups:

Clay tea cups

Thin-walled teacups

Thick-walled teacups

Zhu yao teacups, and so on.

Of course, large cloths or boards suitable for dry brewing are used in tea ceremonies. Scales, tools for measuring tea, and brushes for caring for the utensils are indispensable at this stage. At this point, a person is well-versed in tea, knowledgeable about all key varieties, and knows how to use the utensils correctly.

Try new things, experiment, and you'll discover your own unique style.

The only advice one can give to tea enthusiasts at this stage is to expand their horizons. You should continue to complement your tea collection with new, unique teas that offer a multifaceted experience, such as Dan Tsung, Sheng Pu'er, and Hei Cha, which are often underestimated in the domestic market.

The seventh stage is tea zen

The seventh stage is characterized by complete immersion in the world of tea.

In addition to the enormous variety of tea for every mood, the individual has an entire shelf of tea utensils for conducting tea ceremonies with guests. But that's not all. When reaching the tea zen, the "tea enthusiast" begins to use their small chaban, the only teapot that, after many years of use, has started to give the tea an incredible resonance. At this stage, you can't do without your favorite teacups.

Just three accessories will be enough to experience incredible pleasure from drinking tea. Depending on the mood, the right teapot is selected, along with the appropriate type of tea. Everything becomes automated: the teapot is chosen from the entire assortment, and the suitable tea variety is selected.

The highest stage of tea Zen: Sichuan tea ceremony.

When you reach the tea Zen stage, there's no need to rush or strive for accumulation. You can simply sit, observe nature, savor the incredible taste of tea, listen to your own heart, and enjoy every sip of this invigorating beverage. Because tea is beyond the hustle and bustle.

The eighth stage - passing on the experience

This stage is characterized by full acceptance. At this stage, a person not only possesses knowledge of tea culture but also wants to share it with others. The main feature of the final stage of evolution is the acceptance of different people's tastes.

Here, there is not a hint of judgment towards those who prefer to drink packaged tea bags. There is complete acceptance that some people cannot imagine their lives without a cup of flavored tea. After all, a true connoisseur understands that this is another step towards finding one's own tea Zen. And someday, a lover of tea bags will give them up and move on to a new stage of developing their own worldview about what you eat and what you drink. At this stage of evolution, there is challenging work ahead, aimed at acquiring the skills necessary to derive enjoyment from just one sip of tea. But this game is truly worth the candle because it opens up a completely new, uncharted world of taste, aroma, emotions, and feelings that are yet to be explored, and constantly evolving.


The best tea is the one poured into your cup. This Chinese wisdom can be applied to everyone who has embarked on the path of cultivating their tea Zen. The key is not to deviate from the path and to see it through to the end.

Enjoy good tea and stay a good person!

Remember that you can take your first step into the world of Chinese tea with us by passing the QUIZ and receiving a gift!

Reading next

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.