I was d-r-a-g-g-i-n-g today after my restless night. An afternoon tea with some power was required. The crisp weather had me craving one of my milk and sugar favorites, Mountain Malt! So hefty, malty, and flavorful. I taste a slight…lemony character to it, too. I don’t think I noticed that before. Truly delicious, and truly fortifying. I was able to do all of my homework after my cup!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
ScottTeaMan

What is your rating, or maybe you don’t want to put a number on it…..and that’s…OK.

JacquelineM

He hee – are you making a joke about my loooooong tasting note about how I don’t numerically rate teas? :) :) :)

ScottTeaMan

Hahahaha….it is ok if you dont ….I thought maybe you forgot. :))

JacquelineM

Delicious and in-vig-or-a-ting! Wheeee! I think it is called Mountain Malt because it is so strong that when you are finished your cup, you truly believe you have enough energy to climb a mountain ;) I love the bready malty flavor with the underlying earthiness. I really, really love the strength on days like today when I will be going, going, going til 9pm!

You may have noticed that I took the rating off of this tea. I have recently read a book about wine called Liquid Memory by Jonathan Nossiter. It has really made me think about a bunch of things, not just wine. One of them is numerical rating systems.

Warning! This is going to be long! :)

This is what he has to say:
Of course one has to distinguish between classifying wines – expressing hierarchies of preference – and scoring them. There is a profound difference between the admirably restrained critic Michael Broadbent’s purposefully malleable five star rating and a pseudo precise one hundred point scoring system. …These stars are explicitly variable and general and he insists that the expression of preference is dependent on the precise circumstances that the wine was tasted in …

… The numerical point system inherently implies a mathematical certainty, whether out of twenty or one hundred points. However absurd, this ersatz scientificity is perfectly suited to a culture uneasy with the notion of informed critical judgement coexisting with ambiguity and complexity. This culture prefers specious absolutes, an infantile and incomprehensible language for which no real engagement is required and a falsely pedaled sense of democracy, the fatuous reassurance of pseudo facts and factoids. This has been true from the dominant political discourse since Reagan, across the globe’s television screens, right into the computers of the self appointed custodians of our wine culture.

… Consumers all over the world have now become accustomed to seek out “Parker 95 wines” or “Wine Spectator 90s” no longer sure of, or necessarily interested in, the wine’s origins, makers, or contexts. Parker, the Wine Spectator, and other “serial scorers” reassure people who are insecure about wine but who want to be “winners.” … Hence, there is a gradual inflation of 90 point wines, as the Christie’s director said about the contemporary art world, to increase the supply of winners and keep everybody in the game renumerated. Imagine: Matisse! 95 points! Chagall 99 points! Jeff Koons 100 points! … But poor old dirty, messy, edgy George Rouault wouldn’t get above a 75. To assign numbers to a wine, given that a wine is fully living and infinitely mutable, is almost as repugnant to me as assigning numerical worth to humans. (pgs 148-9)

You get the idea. Long story short – I’ve always been uneasy about my numerical ratings, and after reading this book I want to get rid of them! I am going to stop giving numerical ratings to teas, and as I drink teas that I have logged before, I am going to delete my numerical ratings.

I was debating putting this up in discussions, but I was afraid it may cause a ruckus – which is not my intent. I simply want to explain why I personally am not doing numerical ratings anymore. I’m going to link to this tea log in my profile so my explanation will be “public.”

I highly recommend this book, and Nossiter’s film Mondovino if you are interested in not only wine, but globalization, taste, culture, art…

gmathis

That’s so scientific! I quit putting numerical ratings on my simply because I’m wishy washy and inconsistent :)

ashmanra

JacquelineM’s post inspired me to quit numerical ratings, but largely because I just didn’t like Indian tea much and felt it was unfair for me to put a low score based on my preferences when it may be in fact an excellent tea for those who like that particular kind. Now I just try to communicate what I tasted and readers can form their opinion of how they think they would like it!

ssajami

JacquelineM, that is a very interesting thought. I must admit that I am thoroughly convinced and might just quit the numerical ratings myself. I have always felt somewhat uncomfortable with the numerical ratings as taste and preference are so subjective and context dependent. I have long since stopped paying attention to the numerical ratings of others, I just read their thoughts, and even then I often decide that I need to taste for myself.

At any rate, thank you for the long fascinating comment

ScottTeaMan

I always knew ratings are subjective and not absolute. I often find it hard to rate a tea specifically b/c the tea may vary even from cup to cup. To date I have rated every reviewed tea, but may not do so for all my teas. To me, my ratings remind me of how much I like a tea. I dont log every cup or change my reviews often. I try to give a descriptive rating, because the characteristics of the tea and the experience are, to me, what’s most important. I will read both rated and unrated teas.

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ScottTeaMan

What is your rating, or maybe you don’t want to put a number on it…..and that’s…OK.

JacquelineM

He hee – are you making a joke about my loooooong tasting note about how I don’t numerically rate teas? :) :) :)

ScottTeaMan

Hahahaha….it is ok if you dont ….I thought maybe you forgot. :))

JacquelineM

Delicious and in-vig-or-a-ting! Wheeee! I think it is called Mountain Malt because it is so strong that when you are finished your cup, you truly believe you have enough energy to climb a mountain ;) I love the bready malty flavor with the underlying earthiness. I really, really love the strength on days like today when I will be going, going, going til 9pm!

You may have noticed that I took the rating off of this tea. I have recently read a book about wine called Liquid Memory by Jonathan Nossiter. It has really made me think about a bunch of things, not just wine. One of them is numerical rating systems.

Warning! This is going to be long! :)

This is what he has to say:
Of course one has to distinguish between classifying wines – expressing hierarchies of preference – and scoring them. There is a profound difference between the admirably restrained critic Michael Broadbent’s purposefully malleable five star rating and a pseudo precise one hundred point scoring system. …These stars are explicitly variable and general and he insists that the expression of preference is dependent on the precise circumstances that the wine was tasted in …

… The numerical point system inherently implies a mathematical certainty, whether out of twenty or one hundred points. However absurd, this ersatz scientificity is perfectly suited to a culture uneasy with the notion of informed critical judgement coexisting with ambiguity and complexity. This culture prefers specious absolutes, an infantile and incomprehensible language for which no real engagement is required and a falsely pedaled sense of democracy, the fatuous reassurance of pseudo facts and factoids. This has been true from the dominant political discourse since Reagan, across the globe’s television screens, right into the computers of the self appointed custodians of our wine culture.

… Consumers all over the world have now become accustomed to seek out “Parker 95 wines” or “Wine Spectator 90s” no longer sure of, or necessarily interested in, the wine’s origins, makers, or contexts. Parker, the Wine Spectator, and other “serial scorers” reassure people who are insecure about wine but who want to be “winners.” … Hence, there is a gradual inflation of 90 point wines, as the Christie’s director said about the contemporary art world, to increase the supply of winners and keep everybody in the game renumerated. Imagine: Matisse! 95 points! Chagall 99 points! Jeff Koons 100 points! … But poor old dirty, messy, edgy George Rouault wouldn’t get above a 75. To assign numbers to a wine, given that a wine is fully living and infinitely mutable, is almost as repugnant to me as assigning numerical worth to humans. (pgs 148-9)

You get the idea. Long story short – I’ve always been uneasy about my numerical ratings, and after reading this book I want to get rid of them! I am going to stop giving numerical ratings to teas, and as I drink teas that I have logged before, I am going to delete my numerical ratings.

I was debating putting this up in discussions, but I was afraid it may cause a ruckus – which is not my intent. I simply want to explain why I personally am not doing numerical ratings anymore. I’m going to link to this tea log in my profile so my explanation will be “public.”

I highly recommend this book, and Nossiter’s film Mondovino if you are interested in not only wine, but globalization, taste, culture, art…

gmathis

That’s so scientific! I quit putting numerical ratings on my simply because I’m wishy washy and inconsistent :)

ashmanra

JacquelineM’s post inspired me to quit numerical ratings, but largely because I just didn’t like Indian tea much and felt it was unfair for me to put a low score based on my preferences when it may be in fact an excellent tea for those who like that particular kind. Now I just try to communicate what I tasted and readers can form their opinion of how they think they would like it!

ssajami

JacquelineM, that is a very interesting thought. I must admit that I am thoroughly convinced and might just quit the numerical ratings myself. I have always felt somewhat uncomfortable with the numerical ratings as taste and preference are so subjective and context dependent. I have long since stopped paying attention to the numerical ratings of others, I just read their thoughts, and even then I often decide that I need to taste for myself.

At any rate, thank you for the long fascinating comment

ScottTeaMan

I always knew ratings are subjective and not absolute. I often find it hard to rate a tea specifically b/c the tea may vary even from cup to cup. To date I have rated every reviewed tea, but may not do so for all my teas. To me, my ratings remind me of how much I like a tea. I dont log every cup or change my reviews often. I try to give a descriptive rating, because the characteristics of the tea and the experience are, to me, what’s most important. I will read both rated and unrated teas.

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Bio

I love to cook, bake, read, paint, knit, do needlework, and garden. I need my coffee, but I LOVE my tea. I work at an Art School, and attend a large public university doing post-bac work (my BA is in English). I’m interested in the liminal spaces between art and craft, the academic and the practical, the individual and community, and the old and the new. I’m currently exploring these ideas through the disciplines of education, literature, history, and psychology.

I enjoy writing tasting notes, but have decided not to numerically rate teas as of 9/14/10. For an explanation, see my looooong tasting note about Mountain Malt from the Simple Leaf.

My favorites:
Chinese black teas
A good “milk and sugar” English style black
Earl Grey (classic, and in all variations!)
Vanilla teas (classic, and in all variations!)
Jasmine, Rose, Violet and other froofy, flowery teas!
An Occasional Oolong
Flavored Rooibos
Herbal Tisanes

Location

Collingswood, NJ

Website

http://jackiemania.wordpress....

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