Lifetime student. Lover of books and paper and ink. Kitchen dweller. Aspiring tea fanatic.
I should start by saying that I’m still quite new to this great, big world of tea. Until a couple of years ago, my experience was limited to Twinings Earl Grey and tea lattes at Starbucks. One weekend, my husband and I happened upon a Teavana at our local mall and there discovered loose leaf teas. He jumped in with both feet, but it admittedly took me a while longer before I fully embraced tea the way that he had. Now that I’ve found Steepster, I’m amazed at the vast variety of teas. It’s an exciting place to be and I cannot wait to learn from each of you the ins and outs of this limitless brew.
I enjoy all different types of tea though I admit I haven’t tried a great deal. I love flavored black teas most of all, often with cream and always with honey. I prefer to sweeten my tea as it seems to bring out the flavor, much the way salt enhances certain foods. I enjoy floral and fruity teas, as well as flavored or scented ones. I’m not overly fond of mint or white teas, but I’ve found a few that I enjoy. I would like to branch out and try straight teas at some point as well.
Regarding tasting notes – I’m not always able to complete my reviews the moment I drink a tea (if I’m at work, for example) so I keep a written log in a little Moleskin notebook to be added to Steepster later. This way, I’m able to write a review while the tea is still fresh in my mind and still make note of the exact time I had my cup. If you notice that I’ve logged a tea without writing a note, I will likely add it later.
After seeing others on Steepster with a rating scale, I thought it would be best to create my own so that others can see how I feel about my personal ratings. It may change at some point, but this is how I’ve been rating my teas as of late.
1-20: By far, one of the worst teas I’ve tasted. I most certainly will not finish my cup and will likely “gift” the rest to my sweet husband who almost always enjoys the teas I dislike (and vice versa).
21-40: This tea is not good but if I mix it with another tea or find another steeping method I might be able to finish it.
41-60: This one is just okay. I might drink it again if someone were to give it to me, but I probably won’t be buying more for myself.
61-75: This is a consistently good tea. It’s reliable but not necessarily special.
76-90: This one is a notch above the rest and I would gladly enjoy a cup of it any day of the week. I’ll likely be keeping this in my cupboard, but it isn’t one of my all-time favorites.
91-95: One small change and this tea would be perfect. I’ll definitely have a stash of this in my kitchen if you come over for tea.
96-100: No words can describe this tea. It’s an experience, an aha moment. Closed eyes, wide smile, encompassing warmth. Absolutely incredible. Perfect.
by Diana Gabaldon
Updated July 2016.