I love tea.
The earliest memories I have about tea have to do with my mother. She would have tea from time to time before work — usually Lipton or some store-brand orange pekoe tea. I probably started drinking tea when I was around 8 or 9 (maybe earlier), and thought it was odd because I couldn’t taste the orange flavor in orange pekoe tea.
Fast-forward to college.
My first box of tea was some random Bigelow assortment pack with flavors like Plantation Mint and Constant Comment and I remember they all tasted terrible. There was some difference between them, but they weren’t overly very flavorful.
By this time, I was over tea. To me, it all tasted the same — bland, slightly flavored water that needed a ton of sugar, milk, or cream in order to resemble something palatable.
A few years later, on a whim, I visited a Teavana store and picked up my first loose leaf tea. According to the clerk, loose leaf tea was much more flavorful than bag tea, and that I was doing myself a disservice by writing off tea just based off a couple of bad types I’ve tried. So I bought some tea and a filter, took it home, brewed it up, and that first cup changed everything.
Since then, I’ve tried hundreds of teas from all around the world. I give tea recommendations all the time, I’ve made my own tea blends, and I own a few tea trees in Taiwan. Over the years, I have accumulated a LOT of tea. And while I think I have a pretty decent palate when it comes to tea, I think tea still probably isn’t as approachable to a lot of people like it wasn’t approachable to me. (Well, maybe more now that even Oprah’s hopped on the tea bandwagon.)
The Year of Tea is my attempt at helping demystify some of the confusion around tea by reviewing a different tea each day. Some teas will be great. Some teas will really suck. But in the time it takes you to brew a fresh cup, my hope is that I’ll show you something new that you’ll want to try.
It’ll be quite a journey. So let’s get started, shall we?
About Maurice Cherry
Hey, I’m Maurice! By day, I wear a couple of different hats. I own a multidisciplinary creative studio called Lunch. I also have an award-winning podcast called Revision Path where I interview Black web designers, graphic designers, and web developers.
Aside from being a total nerd about tea, I’m also into design, typography, video games, reading, writing, traveling, and a number of other gerunds.