I got to host an impromptu midnight tea party this weekend! We had folks over for my boyfriend’s birthday, and a couple were curious about my tea cupboard so I offered to make some. I ended up going through 4 different teas over the course of the evening, including all 3 TOMC oolongs, and had maybe a dozen people try them :D

This tea was the favorite by far, somewhat to my surprise. My personal favorite would be the Anxi Fo Shou (the only non-oolong I made for them), closely followed by the Mi Lan Dancong. But I guess the buttery texture and lack of astringency in the Tieguanyin really won over the newbies :P A couple of people did prefer the Mi Lan, but they still found it bitter in comparison to this. So this tea is getting points for general popularity.

A friend stopped by in concern at one point to make sure that I was having fun, not feeling obligated to play hostess. It was really enjoyable though, getting to share something I love with so many different people!

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Some notes on ratings:

I’d have separate rating scales for tea types if that were possible (probably Black, Flavored Black, Darjeeling/Dark Oolong, White/Green/Light Oolong, and Herbal) because the flavors and quality markers are just too different. A flavored black rated 100 isn’t better than every oolong I’ve ever drunk, just delicious for a flavored black.

Ratings are a combination of my enjoyment and the perceived quality – I do often demote teas a few points for artificial flavorings, small quantity of steeps supported, or weakness of flavor (requiring extra leaf).

I pay less attention to the number than the order of my ratings; I don’t necessarily keep a stock of everything rated 80+, but if two breakfast blends are rated 82 and 84 I consistently enjoy the 84 more.

And in case it’s not obvious? I am not an expert. I don’t even know what I like until I taste it sometimes, but I’m ok with that :) I like learning to like new teas, as well as enjoying the comfort of familiar ones.


Boston, MA



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