Hey bro, school me on some tea. I have an infuser and just went to Teavana for the first time. Do you get loose tea? If so, what kinds would you recommend?
Lots of discussion in the soft drink thread. I have my own blend of 3 loose leaf teas when I'm super serious.
Try oolongs if you like good chinese restaurant tea. Ti Kwan Yin varies between China and Taiwan, but is very good. As for greens, I don't know as much, but drink Dragonwell and Gunpowder.
I had something longer written, but I'll give you 3 black loose leaf teas to look for:
1) Teaism has some very good loose leaf teas. I recommend their Ceylon tea, which is from a great estate (New Vithanakanda). It is well balanced, brews like a dark black, sweet but with some citrus flavor. You can find this tea elsewhere, but unless you specify New Vithanakanda, you might get a quite different tea from Sri Lanka.
2) Yunnan black tea - often called yunnan gold or tippy yunnan due to the golden color of parts of the leaves (the tips). This one is sweet, with a maple taste and maybe a pine aroma. Very dark, does not get bitter.
3) Any first flush Darjeeling - the "flushes" are the harvests. The first flush is the winter / spring growth, which is slowest and coolest. It is a very light, black tea that smells flowery, with a slight caffeine taste. this one you have to be the most careful brewing. It does not stand up to milk.
As for good local tea shops, Teaism I mentioned. Also, down on the waterfront in Alexandria, there is Old Town Coffee, Tea, and Spice. A great place for coffee as well as tea. Wonderful selection.