I was an anxious child who didn’t like change, so when my parents flew across the country for my grandfather’s wedding and left us kids with my aunt and uncle, I was a nervous wreck. Our first night at their house was tough. I couldn’t sleep, so I got up and padded into the kitchen, where my aunt was puttering around. She could tell I was distressed and offered to make me a cup of tea. It was just Celestial Seasonings’ peppermint tea, but it was exactly what I needed. The tea itself, the comfort it represented, the ritual of making it… I was enchanted. I’ve loved tea ever since.
I’m partial to strong, intense flavors and prefer loose-leaf to bagged, but I’m also no snob. I just know what I enjoy and like trying new blends. I mostly drink my tea straight but once in a blue moon I’ll add a little plant-based milk, generally oat.
I live in Maryland, USA, with my partner, three dogs, and one cat, and I’m an editor at an animal welfare nonprofit. I use she/her pronouns. I’ve actually been a Steepster reader for years and years, but only started posting in late 2021. :)
When I’m not drinking tea (or sometimes WHILE I’m drinking tea!) I’m reading, rewatching comfort shows on Netflix, going for a jog, knitting, hiking, or puttering in the garden. You can find me on Instagram at @kelmishka.
Favorite ingredients, flavors, etc.
Maple (all-time fave flavor!), vanilla, caramel, and all that dessert-y warming goodness
Jasmine, lavender, and most floral flavors
Most spices, although I go through phases and sometimes get bored of generic-feeling winter spice blends
Most fruity flavors
Matcha and other vegetal flavors
Not-so-favorite ingredients, flavors, etc.
Bergamot (I tolerate it, but it just doesn’t do it for me)
Overly artificial flavors (banana, coconut, mango)
Stevia, monkfruit, and other sugar-alternative sweeteners — blech
Chocolate — it’s hard to get it right in tea, though I love real chocolate!
Animal products, including honey (long-time vegan checking in!)
90-100: The best! Will almost definitely repurchase.
75-90: Really good, and potentially worthy of a restock.
60-75: Decent, if not terribly memorable.
50-60: In the “meh” range, but possibly for personal taste reasons.
35-50: I’m not a fan, and this is not very good tea.
20-35: Varying degrees of bad.
1-20: Actively bad. Like really bad. I can’t imagine anyone disagreeing.