With all the health promotions out there, most peoples step away from black/ red tea would be a green tea, which is a lot more "time sensitive" than most black/red teas.
I've also noticed this, and I'd agree about the greater time-sensitivity of green tea, in that green tea is not as likely as black tea to stay fresh over long periods of time.
Also: green tea can be pickier about brewing:
I want to add to this observation that, with the exception of a few quirky teas (like Darjeeling oolong), I've found that green teas can be among the most sensitive to brewing temperature, and, in general, the most picky about brewing. I find a typical green tea takes more skill to brew well than a typical black, oolong, white, or Pu-erh tea.
Also: green tea purchased in tea bags can be worse than the worst black tea bags:
I recently published a post Why Can Green Tea Bags Be Worse Than Black Tea Bags? in which I explain how, in my experience, green tea bags can potentially be worse than the worst black tea bags.
Typical green teas in tea bags are more likely to lead to a bad tea drinking experience than black teas:
All these points, Adam's point about storage, and the points about brewing and the broader range of low-quality green tea bags, lead to the same conclusion: green teas are more likely to lead to a bad tea drinking experience for casual tea drinkers than other types of tea.
A lot of people try out tea first in the context of experimenting with green tea as a health product or weight loss method:
People who try out green tea as a health product are unlikely to experience green tea at its best, in the form of high-quality, loose-leaf green tea, properly prepared. What is more likely is that they will encounter low-quality tea in a tea bag, possibly of dubious freshness, and try brewing it with boiling water.
It's a sad fact that in America, many people's first experiences with tea are with low-quality green tea, in tea bags, consumed with intentions of weight loss or acquiring supposed "health benefits". These misguided ventures into green tea can be part of an overall healthy pattern of eating healthier foods, like when a person gives up soda for tea, but they can also be a part of harmful fad diets which have negative impacts on health. I'm active on Yahoo! Answers, where I sometimes answer tea-related questions, and an overwhelming majority of tea-related questions, once filtering through the ones about tea party politics, are ones relating to green tea and weight loss, with a few relating to green tea and promises of vague "health benefits".
Many of them are questions from people remarking that they want to start drinking green tea but that they find it tastes terrible.
How can we combat these things?
It's hard to combat a dominant cultural idea, like the ubiquitious association between green tea and weight loss in the public consciousness in America. I find that the best way to combat these sorts of ideas is, rather than negating or outright challenging them in an antagonistic way, to present a new, more truthful statement, and then, to repeat this statement frequently. I recommend:
- When talking to someone who seems motivated to drink tea for health or weight loss purposes, acknowledge and appeal to their concern for health. Emphasize that taste is a good indicator of freshness and quality, and that higher-quality teas and fresher teas are often lower in contaminants and are likely to be higher in beneficial chemicals (such as Vitamin C in green tea, which breaks down over time). Emphasize that whole-leaf tea stays fresh better than broken-leaf tea. Appeal to the things the person has already communicated that they care about (health). Emphasize that the process of enjoying your tea can be relaxing and can promote mindfulness, which is well-known to reduce stress and promote overall health.
- Avoid negating the person's motivations, and especially avoid telling the person what they "should" do, how they "should" think, or what they "should" want, and avoid approaching the person in any sort of way that puts them down. It can be tempting to say something like: "You shouldn't drink tea for its health benefits, you should drink tea because you like the way it tastes." This sort of statement is more likely to alienate a person and elicit a defensive reaction than a similar statement, worded like: "I recommend thinking less about health and focusing on drinking the teas that you enjoy most." or better yet, appeal to their desire for a healthy drink: "I think the healthiest approach is to focus on drinking the teas that taste best to you and that make you feel best."
It's a lot easier to work with people than against them!