Why am I a Tea Snob?

People call me a bit of a tea snob.  I never understood why.  Maybe it’s because I think that tea can instantly change your mood?  Maybe it’s because I do not understand why anyone pays $8 for an average cup of coffee?  Maybe its because I love to explore how one leaf from a plant can be changed so many ways?

Yeah, I’m a snob but I’m ok with it and here’s why.  I will spend a good amount of money to purchase quality loose-leaf tea for brewing.  Overall, I know that it will cost me pennies per cup but it’s the initial investment that freaks people out. (see my article on expensive tea)

How can I spend $4-15 per ounce of tea?  Easy, I know how many cups it will brew and overall, it’s cheaper.  The problem is knowing what tea to purchase.  I’ve been to many tea shops and order online from great vendors.  It’s very easy to get lost in all the varieties.  Recently, I was at a tea shop, and I overheard a lady asking lots of questions to the staff about what to get and how to brew.  She was completely lost, and I felt her pain.  It’s hard knowing where to start.

Hence, I’ve decided to share my thoughts with you on the teas that I drink.  I know it will be a blast and hopefully I can guide you.

My Opinion

Before we even get started, I need to make sure I state the obvious.  First, THIS IS MY OPINION!!  We know the statement about opinions are like a certain part of the body (yes, everyone has one).  I can not stress this enough.  My tastebuds like certain aspects in beverages.  Your tastebuds will like certain aspects in beverages.  However, we do not have to agree on what our tastebuds like.  We are all individuals so we may like different teas.  In fact, I know we will.

Therefore, let me state the following:

  • Read my reviews, purchase, and try the tea and if you do not agree with me, tell me in a nice constructive manner!

I love discussion on all things.  It’s how we learn.  But only if its constructive so we can grow from opinions.  I’m a novice learning about tea.  I never claim to have some crystal ball that says that you should buy this or that.  I’m just sharing my opinion, as I learn every time I sample.  I hope to learn from you all as well.


To be accurate, I’ve worked with some friends in the industry to develop some tasting sheets and procedures.  These procedures work for me so feel free to come up with your own or follow mine.  Just note that every tea that I try will use these same principles so I can be consistent with my opinions.

These fall into a few categories:

  • my water source,
  • my heating vessel,
  • my steeping vessel,
  • The cup I will taste from, and
  • brewing times and water temperatures.

Most of this information, I covered in a previous article (Measuring Tea).  It lists the water source, heating vessel, and the steeping vessel.  To be accurate, I’ve incorporated two more details.

My Tasting Cup

I own several teacups.  In fact, I like to collect teacups and bone China cups.  I have two hutches now filled with them.  All of them were purchased for different reasons but the main reason was to be able to enjoy a cup of tea.  When I was studying wine, I always tasted from the same type of wine glass for consistency.  I even carried them with me to my exams because after tasting hundreds of wines in them, I knew what to expect and how I would perceive what I was tasting.

I plan on the same with tea.  I will use the same teacup each time to ensure that I taste all tea the same without variables.  Now, please note that for the website (to make it sexy), review pictures may be shown in different cups.  That’s for show.  I will always use the same cup for samples.  By the way, if you wish to send me teacups to add to the collection, I will gladly accept them 😊.

Times and Temperatures

For each tea that I’m going to review, I plan on using the vendor’s recommended water temperature, amount to brew and for how long.  I will list these each time, so you have this info.  Normally, I can find this on their website, but many vendors are printing it on their packaging.

By the way, I will taste the tea straight, with no sweeteners, milk, etc.  While I do like the occasional touch of raw honey or a brown sugar cube, I want to keep it plain.  That way, if you purchase the tea, you will receive the same results.

Final Thoughts

Again, these are my own opinions on the reviews.  Please note:

  • I’m not affiliated with any vendor nor am receiving sponsorship for my opinion.

If you wish to send me tea to evaluate, please feel free to by emailing me for discussion.  However, I’m going to be honest  about my opinion.  My friends that know me want this and know I don’t hold back.  If I do not like something, I will tell you but in a factual way.  I will never say that something sucks.  I will explain why I did not care for it.

It’s important to note again, that all tastebuds are different.  That’s why I’m spending time writing the reviews so we can all learn.  I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you.  And trust me, I have plenty of tea to drink (over 125 at last count).

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