Why I’ve Become Impatient with (Some) Tea

The last time I checked there were only 24 hours in an average day. As you may know. While I might have been willing to spend a few more of those hours on so-so tea at some time in the distant past, I’m not often in the mood for it much anymore.

Black teas (ETS image)
Black teas (ETS image)

For my own purposes, there are essentially three types of tea. There are those teas that I’m fairly certain I don’t like – most often based on my past experiences. I devote little, if any, time to these. Then there are those teas I know I like, or that I at least have a fairly good notion that I will.

Which leaves a big bunch in the middle – those teas I’m not so sure about – and I find myself getting increasingly impatient with these as time goes on. There are two main reasons for this. The first is simply that because I’ve been tasting, studying and writing about tea for close to a decade now, I’ve got a better idea of what I like and what I don’t. Way back when, when all of this was new, it tended to take longer for me to confirm that I did or didn’t like a tea. Nowadays, I can often sample a tea, match it against my past experiences with similar teas and decide if I want to add it to the approved list, keep sampling until I can make a more informed decision (not so often with this one) or put it on the reject pile.

The other reason why I tend to get impatient with certain teas these days is simply that there are so many varieties of tea. For quite some time now the motto at my own tea site has been – Life’s short. Drink good tea. Which I could also modify a bit to read, life’s too short and there are too many great teas to waste too much time on the so-so ones. So while I’m still open to new tea tasting experiences, there are so many great teas out there that I actually want to spend my time with that I’ve even gone to the extreme of cutting out entire categories of tea, such as oolong, white, puerh and – at least to some extent, green – in favor of my primary focus, good old-fashioned black tea of the yummiest varieties.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

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