I enjoy hearing about people's tea journeys, and Phillip's began with a passion for Japanese teas. Below is his first teapot, well-loved and used.
We tasted a number of teas together, making our way from a light Lishan oolong to a deeply oxidized Bai Hao. Note the lovely multi-colored leaves below, one hint of a good Bai Hao (Oriental Beauty).
All very good teas! I was particularly drawn to the Floral Mountain Tie Guan Yin. I found this to be a liminal tea. It had the light, top notes of the modern, competition styles (Anxi, greener) but with a depth of roasty groundedness (more like my preference, Muzha style). Another point of interest for this tea - it hails from Ali Shan.
Now let's talk incense. I used to avoid it. It made me sneeze or gave me a headache. Then I discovered the amazingly delicate pleasures of Japanese incense. I was hooked, and my love of incense has grown. Finding the type of incense I appreciate isn't an easy thing from the US, and I'm delighted to recommend Phillip's line. He's got some really nice incense here, folks.
I appreciate the well-curated line of teas and incense from Totem Teas. Buying teas via the internet is always a risk - you don't get the benefit of sampling. What I can say is that you're in good hands with Phillip's choices.