“If you are cold, tea will warm you;
if you are too heated, it will cool you; If you are depressed, it will cheer you; If you are excited, it will calm you.”
-William Ewart Gladstone
“Anyone who has used that comforting phrase ‘a nice cup of tea’ invariably means Indian tea.” – George Orwell
I am definitely a Darjeeling kind of guy with a preference for Indian and high grown Ceylon teas.
Darjeeling, the apotheosis of tea!
Darjeeling tea is at the very top of my favorite tea list. It’s the tea that first inspired me to delve deeper into the wide, wonderful world of tea – My first love, so to speak. Darjeeling will forever reign supreme in my tea pantry! I love all Darjeeling flushes for their unique characteristics but lean more towards second and autumn flush teas. Gopaldhara Red Thunder Gold autumn flush is the most enjoyable Darjeeling I’ve had so far – An amazingly delicious tea! Margaret’s Hope second flush Darjeeling, my first Darjeeling, has a special place in my heart.
Other teas that I especially enjoy:
Black Tea -
High Grown Ceylon Tea
Middle Grown Ceylon Tea
Nilgiri Winter Flush Tea
Assam Second Flush Tea
Sikkim Black Tea
Keemun Imperial Mao Feng
Keemun Panda #1
Oolong Tea -
Si Ji Chun “Four Seasons” Oolong
Bao Zhong Oolong
Dong Ding Oolong
Green Tea -
Jasmine Green Tea
Mao Feng Green Tea
Yunnan Green Tea
Sencha Green Tea
Flavored teas that I particularly enjoy -
Almond – I love almond!
Spice – Cinnamon, Clove
Bergamot – Love Earl Grey.
I adore all floral flavors – Rose, Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Lavender and Violet.
I generally enjoy smoky teas too – Russian Caravan and mild Lapsangs.
As far as herbals go, I especially love chamomile. Chamomile is my favorite tisane by far. Honeybush and rooibos are quite enjoyable. Anise and peppermint tisanes are extremely good too. I actually enjoy a fairly wide variety of herbal teas, especially in the evening.
Ardent Anglophile that I am, I am a great fan of British tea culture. British Legacy Teas are my favorites.
I generally prefer Western style brewing.
I never add sugar, although I quite enjoy honey in my tea! Thistle honey and orange blossom honey are my favorites. I pretty much always add a jot of whole milk or almond milk to my breakfast cup.
I choose organic tea whenever possible.
Favorite Vendors – Top 40:
Upton Tea Imports
Harney & Sons
Steven Smith Teamaker
Mark T. Wendell Tea Company
Grace Tea Company
Golden Moon Tea Company
Simpson & Vail
The Whistling Kettle
Bellocq Tea Atelier
Queen’s Pantry Teas
Fortnum & Mason
The English Tea Store
Silk Road Teas
Todd & Holland Tea Merchants
Happy Earth Tea Company
A Quarter to Tea
The Tao of Tea
Single Origin Teas
Palais des Thés
New Mexico Tea Company
The Tea Table
Tin Roof Teas
The Tea Spot
Elmwood Inn Fine Teas
Stash Tea Company
I only review and rate teas that I especially enjoy. Life is too short and time is too dear to dwell on subpar tea!
In my opinion, anything below 70 is not something that I would tend to keep in my tea pantry. That said -
100 = Perfection – Teas that I cannot live without and will always be in my tea pantry forever and ever!
90-99 = Excellent tea! I will definitely keep this one around to enjoy regularly. A pantry staple.
80-89 = Very good! Tasty tea. Would gladly drink again but not necessarily on a regular basis. Could still, perhaps, be found in my tea pantry.
70-79 = Good, but nothing that sparkles. I would not worry about restocking this.
Tea is my passion. It has become so much more than a hobby. For me, tea is a way of life. I do tinker around a bit with blending teas. My first blend, Virginia Breakfast, a blend of Imperial Keemun and a second flush Darjeeling, is sold at a wonderful French tea shop – salon de thé :) – here in Richmond. My own small claim to tea fame.
I work in the medical field – Charge nurse of an advanced dementia and hospice care unit. I am also a dementia care training instructor, so I stay pretty busy. I have a multitude of interests. Strong advocate of LGBT rights and animal welfare! I’m a big time lover of cats! I love jazz, blues, classic rock, opera and Russian symphonic music, classic cinema, cooking, gardening, gemology, vulcanology, history – Especially English history. Passionate Anglophile! Love to travel (When I can afford to). Love Merry Old England, France (Paris is heaven!), Canada, New England, Northern California and the American South. Love day trips to D.C., and the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley of my beautiful Virginia. Aviation is another major interest – Love my flight simulator. Enjoy baseball and bowling. Ardent bibliophile as well – Vast and eclectic library!
“While there’s tea there’s hope.” — Sir Arthur Wing Pinero
Richmond, Virginia, USA