The TeaChatter and tea blogger AdamMY recently renounced reviewing teas.
(See his blog The Sip Tip: Why I stopped reviewing teas)
It is out of respect for AdamMY that I offer this topic for discussion.
Here, in a nutshell is his logic:
“Why I gave up on reviewing teas, is I often felt that even though I could often identify certain key flavors I said before but certain of them even to me seemed like I was at times reaching for things, at other times I could identify every flavor and think I tasted even more. So in short I lost a bit of confidence my ability to write reviews that would consistently be true.
My opinion rests on a disagreement with AdamMY’s conception of Truth. Tea Truth, to my mind, is not the same as consistent accuracy of taste. It is rather precisely the variation, indeed the infinite potential of connecting the tastes of tea to other multiple, constantly changing aesthetic inputs. For example, the Li Shan I drank this morning connected with the wet cool air sneaking in the window I forgot to close last night, and the smell of the fresh washed bed clothes in the hamper beside me, and even the memories of the fruit tree I planted early this spring now showing its full bloom. Tomorrow will be a completely different set of connections. Tea Truth (IMHO) is the totality of these connected experiences, not the accuracy of the taste alone. Hence the need for reporting multiple tastes of the same tea. What is more, the reporting and discussion of these experiences, which we call tastings or reviews, are fundamental in the production of a tea community. In some other time and place, that community would happened by discussions in a tea house on a daily basis. But in our world we have to work a bit harder at producing a community of tea drinkers on line.
So, lest more of you pick up on AdamMY’s logic, think first about how you (most likely) learned about tea when you first started: from tea bloggers. Don’t be selfish with the Tea Truth.