I thought it would be helpful for me to issue a standard disclaimer for my reviews. It is as follows…
I am not in any sense of the word a “professional” tea drinker, nor am I “educated” in this sort of thing. These are all the thoughts of an amateur, hobbyist tea drinker.
- I typically drink at least two cups of the tea for each review (reusing the leaves). This is so that I can attempt to give each flavor its just-due (often trying something different like adding sugar or trying to perfect the water/tea ratio) as well as get the most out of the leaves.
- I use an “ingenuiTea” tea strainer for my loose tea most of the time, because it’s easiest.
- Occasionally, I’ll use a teapot or teacup with a strainer that’s built in/part of the set.
- I (horrors) microwave my water to just to the point of boiling. One day I’ll switch to electric kettle (I just need one first).
- I prefer to drink my tea with nothing added so I can taste it “straight”.
- I make exceptions for honey. (Especially when I’m ill.) ((Especially if the honey is local.))
- I’ll add sugar only if I can’t find honey.
- I’ll add milk/cream if the tea is recommended as best with it. (I have trouble getting the portions correct.)
- I’m not a tea snob. I’ll drink it loose or bagged or whatever.
- Except for iced tea… I don’t drink iced tea. (That’s not really “snobbery” so much as I just don’t like it. It seems to bring out the bitterness to me.)
- Since I prefer drinking my tea “straight” 9 times out of 10, I tend to avoid teas I find “too bitter”. This is why I prefer flavored teas and, in general, turn to black tea bases since they’re generally inoffensive on the bitterness front.
- I only review if I can sit down and write everything up while it’s fresh in my mind. It’s hard to describe something like, “The mint has a clinginess to it that I can only describe by comparing it to the peppermint in a York Peppermint Patty, only not as sharp and fresh.” from memory if that peppermint flavor isn’t rolling on your tongue.
- I do not at this point get “kickbacks” for mentioning brands or items. As such, I do not link to them. If you want some yourself, use a search engine to find it. :)
- I will totally review tea if given a free sample - but I will put a disclaimer on the review stating where my source came from. (In this case, I’d be happy to provide a link.)
As an extra notice, I’ll review teas as I feel like it.
I tend to drink tea more often during the winter or when I’m ill. But in the dead dog heat of summer I may feel like having a cuppa (likely being influenced my my Australian best friend, for whom it is winter during my summer) and may remember to review it.
PS: I now have an account on Steepster.