On “Bad” Tea Reviews

A couple months ago my own tea site moved into its eighth year of publication. Because it’s always been a one-man show, I obviously can’t hope to match the output of some of those big tea review sites, and quite honestly I don’t even try. I’ve only written about 150 reviews at my site over the years. If you look at some of the older ones you’ll probably find a few “bad” reviews. You won’t find many instances where I totally trashed a tea, with one or two rare exceptions in which I apparently got up on the wrong side of the teapot.

Tea Guy Speaks (Photo source: screen capture from site)
Tea Guy Speaks (Photo source: screen capture from site)

If you look at my reviews for the last few years, you’re not likely to find any “bad” ones for the simple reason that I don’t do them anymore. There are a number of reasons for this, but I’ve already alluded to one of the main ones – not enough staff/time. Working on my own, I can barely find the time to sample the teas I do receive and write about the few that I do review, and so I’m keen to add any to that list.

Another reason is simply that taste is something of a subjective matter. While you the reader might spit a fine Bi Lo Chun all over your shoes I will probably tend to like it quite a bit. Just as I’m not likely to have anything good to say about Earl Grey, for the simple reason that I don’t like Earl Grey. And while we “serious” tea people tend to look down our noses at those big-name grocery store brands for many people they do quite nicely, thank you very much.

Finally there’s the notion, as my mother used to say (and yours too, I’ll wager) that if you can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all. Which seems like great advice when it comes to tea reviews. These days I’m more interested in focusing my attentions on those truly great teas (that’s in my opinion, of course) that I feel are worth bring to the attention of the wider public. As for the ones I don’t like so much, I’m not going to say anything at all.

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