My opinion of blends isn't so good, but I think I need to reconsider. I only want to drink tea from this or that plantation. 'Where is this Darjeeling from?', I ask myself or whoever's serving it. I avoid non-descript black tea blends. That's a bit idiotic, don't you think? Not all blends are bad.
Here's why I'm talking about this: I have excess tea that I don't know what to do with. Drink it, you say? Well, duh. But it's not to my liking anymore. Or it never was. For example, I have a hundred grams of something called Assam Greenwood. It's not my taste. It's too tannic. I know that's supposed to be healthy (the same stuff that makes red wine good for you), but this tea is somehow displeasing.
So, I've started mixing it with what the Germans call 'China' tea. It mellows out the harshness of the Assam. This is likely where most blends are born. I've talked to quite a few tea shop owners about this. Most shops have their own line of blends. Called things like 'Breakfast blend' or 'Friesland blend'. They've learned that this or that mix of black tea is pleasing to their customer.
Tea shop owners must rue the day when they see me coming. A million questions always at the ready for them. Normally, they're only waiting for me to leave so they can go back to whatever they were reading before I came in.
Am still working on my list of tasting terms. Quite a few people here on the blog and in 'real' life have told me it's a good idea. Very practical. Coming soon, ok?