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“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

Most definitely a Darjeeling kind of guy here who adores Indian and Ceylon tea. Really love Assam and high grown Ceylons. However, I must admit to really enjoying Keemun tea very much. Keemun is my favorite Chinese tea and a must have along with my Indians and Ceylons. I am beginning to enjoy and appreciate other Chinese teas too. Really liking Yunnan and Fujian blacks – The unsmoked Lapsang Souchong Wild Black Tea from Teavivre is especially delicious!

“Anyone who has used that comforting phrase ‘a nice cup of tea’ invariably means Indian tea.” – George Orwell

Darjeeling is 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. Margaret’s Hope second flush Darjeeling, my first Darjeeling, has a special place in my heart. Darjeeling will forever reign supreme in my tea pantry! I love all Darjeeling flushes for their unique characteristics but tend to prefer second and autumn flush teas over first flush. Gopaldhara Red Thunder Gold autumn flush that I purchased from What-Cha is the most enjoyable Darjeeling I’ve had so far – An amazing tea!
I will always love Darjeeling above all other teas – Of that I am sure!
Favorite Darjeeling tea gardens -
Top 10:
Margaret’s Hope
Gopaldhara
Arya
Sungma
Puttabong
Jungpana
Makaibari
Glenburn
Happy Valley
Giddapahar

Teas that I especially enjoy:

Black Tea -

Darjeeling Tea – All Flushes!
Assam Second Flush Tea
Keemun Imperial Mao Feng
Keemun Panda #1
Hao Ya Keemun
Ceylon High Grown Tea
Yunnan Dian Hong
Nilgiri Winter Flush Tea
Ceylon Low Grown Tea
Fujian Blacks

Oolong teas are my next favorite teas after my beloved black teas. Although I drink it infrequently I do love oolong tea!

Favorite Oolong teas -

Darjeeling Oolong
Si Ji Chun “Four Seasons” Oolong
Formosa Oolong
Bao Zhong Oolong
Wuyi Oolong
Tieguanyin Oolong
Dong Ding Oolong
Ruby Oolong
Milk Oolong

My experience with white tea has all been very positive.
I especially love Kenya ‘Rhino’ Premium White Tea from What-Cha, one of my favorite teas.
White Peony is another white tea that I quite enjoy.

I am not that knowledgeable about pu-erh tea. Like white tea, my experiences with pu-erh have all been extremely positive – I have had some especially scrumptious flavored pu-erh! I am very much looking forward to learning more and broadening my pu-erh tea horizons!

With the exception of Hōjicha and Kukicha which I do enjoy very much, I not like green tea and very seldom drink it, but there are rare exceptions. Yunnan Orchid Green from Rishi is quite nice. I also love jasmine green tea as I totally adore anything floral!

Flavored teas that I particularly enjoy -

Almond – I love almond!
Vanilla
Caramel
Chocolate
Hazelnut
Lychee
Coconut
Banana
Maple
Apricot
Black Currant
Blueberry
Strawberry
Cherry
Citrus – Orange, Lemon, Lime.
Spice – Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, Cardamom, Ginger, etc..
Bergamot – I love Earl Grey!
I adore all floral flavors – Rose, Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Lavender and Violet – Yes!
I quite enjoy smoky teas too – Smoky Earl Greys, Russian Caravan and milder Lapsangs.

I really love my herbal teas! Chamomile, rooibos and honeybush tisanes are my favorites. Anise, linden and peppermint tisanes are extremely good too, I think. I actually enjoy a fairly wide variety of herbal teas, especially in the evening.

I am a devotee of French tea culture. French tea culture is my favorite tea tradition and is the closest to my personal tea preferences. I adore French style teas and absolutely love Mariage Frères! Mariage Frères French Breakfast is positivity exquisite and the best tea blend I have ever had! I am fortunate to have some very pleasant memories of tea in Paris too!
As an ardent Anglophile I have a great appreciation for British tea culture as well. British Legacy Teas are among my favorites.
Also, I must say that I find Russian tea culture fascinating. I’d love to own a genuine antique Russian samovar!
I brew Western style almost exclusively but I have, however, been known to use my little gaiwan every now and then for fine Chinese tea.

I quite enjoy honey (raw, unfiltered honey only) in my tea. Summer thistle honey, orange blossom, mānuka and wild rose honey are my favorites, along with good old Nature Nate’s.
Occasionally, I will add a bit of strawberry, cherry, raspberry or blackberry jam to sweeten my tea Russian style – Yummy!

I choose organic tea whenever possible.

Favorite Vendors – Top 40:

What-Cha
Mariage Frères
Harney & Sons
Teavivre
Upton Tea Imports
Steven Smith Teamaker
Mark T. Wendell Tea Company
Grace Tea Company
Golden Moon Tea Company
The English Tea Store
Mandala Tea
Tea Trekker
Kusmi Tea
Rishi Tea
Vahdam Tea
Arbor Teas
The Whistling Kettle
Verdant Tea
Simpson & Vail
Bellocq Tea Atelier
Carytown Teas
Culinary Teas
Whispering Pines Tea
The Cultured Cup
A Quarter to Tea
Silk Road Teas
Todd & Holland Tea Merchants
The Tao of Tea
Single Origin Teas
The London Tea Merchant
New Mexico Tea Company
The Tea Table
Tin Roof Teas
The Tea Spot
TeaGschwendner
Elmwood Inn Fine Teas
Capital Teas
Stash Tea Company
Lupicia
Celestial Seasonings

Rating Guide:

I only review and rate teas that I enjoy. Life is too short and time is too dear to dwell on subpar tea!
Anything below 70 is not something that I would tend to keep in my tea pantry or even drink again.

100 = Perfection! Teas that I cannot do without and will always be stocked in my tea pantry forever! An absolute must have tea!
90-99 = Excellent tea! I will definitely keep this tea around to enjoy regularly. Will most certainly be a staple in my tea pantry!
80-89 = Very good. Tasty tea. Would gladly drink again but not necessarily on a regular basis. Not an absolute must have tea but could, perhaps, still be found in my tea pantry…..maybe.
70-79 = Good, but nothing that sparkles. I would probably not worry about restocking this one, though it might be a serviceable tea for work.

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 LGBTQ rights and animal welfare! I am a huge lover of cats – Crazy About Kitties! Very involved with helping feral cats. I love jazz, blues, classic rock, opera and Russian symphonic music, classic cinema, vegetarian cooking, gardening, gemology, vulcanology, history – Especially English history and culture. Passionate Anglophile! Love to travel. Love Merry Old England and France (Paris is heaven!), Canada, New England, Northern California and the American South. Love day trips to Washington, D.C., and the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley of my beautiful Virginia. Aviation is another major interest – Love my flight simulator. I enjoy watching baseball and like to go bowling. Ardent bibliophile as well – Vast and eclectic library!

“While there’s tea there’s hope.” — Sir Arthur Wing Pinero

Location

Richmond, Virginia, USA

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