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Bedtime drink late on tonight. We went out for my flatmate Sam’s birthday party and joint leaving party tonight, so I’m up pretty late and drinking tea (: taking heels off is the best feeling in the world.

This is a nice, soothing cup, but I have to say I’m not enjoying it as much as I usually do. For some reason it’s reminding me of liquorice – the black gummy kind, which I am not a fan of. Maybe I just got an odd proportion of bits in my spoonful? Added a touch of skimmed milk and the liquorice has toned down a lot, with the nice caramel note more pronounced on the finish.

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Hi. 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 over a year.

I mainly drink black teas, and they 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 trying to include natural 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, chilli, raspberry, coconut, and really fruity teas

Tea-dislikes: vanilla, ginger, coriander/cilantro and cardamom

I am a 19 year old student, studying English Literature and hoping to go into publishing one day! I stopped drinking alcohol only a few months after becoming old enough to drink it, and don’t miss it one bit. 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 partner 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 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.

• This means most teas I don’t enjoy will be in the 30 – 50 range.

• 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 rare 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.

I am always happy to trade and share my teas with others, so feel free to look through my cupboard (which should be up to date) and message me if you’re interested in doing a swap!

I tend to ramble. Sorry.

Location

South Shields/Huddersfield, UK

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