I first got into loose leaf teas when a friend of mine showed me Cara’s Sherlock fandom blends on Adagio a couple of years back, but they weren’t on sale in the UK so I started trying other kinds instead and have been hooked for almost two years.
Black teas make up the majority of my collection, but I am expanding my horizons and trying to include a variety of other teas, too. Flavoured blacks are my favourites, but I’m growing increasingly fond of unflavoured teas too. I will update my likes and dislikes as I discover more about my palate, but for now:
Tea-likes: a lot of different things, but my absolute favourites are caramel, chestnut, raspberry, coconut, blueberry and pumpkin
Tea-dislikes: vanilla (on its own), ginger, coriander/cilantro, cardamom, and liquorice
I am a 20 year old student, studying English Literature and hoping to go into publishing one day. Other than drinking, hoarding and reviewing tea, my hobbies include reading, doing quizzes and puzzles, TV quiz shows (about the only things I watch regularly, unless Sherlock or Doctor Who is on), basketball (NBA, both the video game and actual sport – Chicago Bulls fan, and playing with my university girls’ team. I also watch my flatmate play, as he’s on the men’s team) and football/soccer (just watching – a lifelong supporter of Sunderland AFC).
I should probably also mention my tea-rating system, which seems to be much harsher than others I’ve seen on here. It’s not always concrete, but I’ll try to define it:
• 50 is the base-line which all teas start at. A normal, nothing-special industrial-type black teabag of regular old fannings would be a 50.
• 0 – 49 is bad, and varying degrees of bad. This is probably the least concrete as I hardly ever find something I don’t like.
• I have never given below a 20, and will not unless that tea is SO bad that I have to wash my mouth out after one sip. Any teas rated as such are unquestionably awful.
• This means most teas I don’t enjoy will be in the 30 – 50 range. This might just mean the tea is not to my own personal taste.
• 51+ are teas I enjoy. A good cup of tea will be in the 50 – 70 range.
• If I rate a tea at 70+, it means I really, really like it. Here’s where the system gets a little more concrete, and I can probably define this part, as it’s rarer for a tea to get there.
• 71- 80: I really enjoyed this tea, enough to tell somebody about, and will probably hang onto it for a little longer than I perhaps should because I don’t want to lose it.
• 81 – 90: I will power through this tea before I even know it’s gone, and will re-order the next time the mood takes me.
• 91 – 100: This is one of the best teas I’ve ever tasted, and I will re-order while I still have a good few cups left, so that I never have to run out. This is the crème de la crème, the Ivy League of teas.
I never rate a tea down, and my ratings are always based on my best experience of a tea if I drink it multiple times. I feel that this is fairest as many factors could affect the experience of one particular cup.
I am always happy to trade and share my teas with others, so feel free to look through my cupboard and message me if you’re interested in doing a swap. I keep it up-to-date, although this doesn’t mean I will definitely have enough to swap, as I also include my small samples.
I also tend to ramble on a bit.