It is easy, from the remove of a tea purveyor who can purchase and enjoy some of the finest whole leaf teas the planet has to offer – at wholesale prices, to forget the socio-economic diversity of the global tea-drinking population.
Tea, being second only to water as the world’s most consumed beverage, is most certainly being enjoyed by poor people. Lots of us. 85% of the tea consumed in the good old U.S. of A. comes from Argentina. According to James Norwood Pratt, author of New Tea Lover’s Treasury, “There is no worse tea.” I respect your opinion, Mr. Pratt, but why does that rich red liquor taste so good to so many people? Is “not knowing any better” a valid criticism of the consumer?
Go to your grocery store and look at the bagged teas being offered: English Breakfast; Irish Breakfast; Earl Grey . . . all blended teas with a huge following. Even your very expensive Jasmines are, in the narrowest definition, blended teas. So, why are blended teas so maligned by tea snobs? As tea regains popularity in this country, tea purveyors are offering high quality blends. Yes, they are cut-tear-curl (CTC), and many have a rich and fruity aroma both in the can and in the teapot. The taste can be exquisite. Saying that “tasting good is not an indication of quality,” is tea snobbery taken to its lowest high. Does that mean that “tasting lousy IS an indication of quality”?
T Ching is primarily a health-oriented and educational website. As Sandy Bushberg, editor-in-chief, pointed out in a comment a few weeks ago, the aim is to educate readers so they can make an informed choice. Because little has been posted here about blends, readers need to sit up and stand up for their favorite blend. Let us not be misguided by the error of omission.
Rather than bash and dismiss the blends, let’s discuss them, review them, try them. Discussion does not rob us of our opinions- it helps us to examine them.
What’s your favorite blend?