What is this "Personal Enjoyment Scale?"

Years ago, when I first started reviewing tea, I quickly came to the realization that everyone has their own criteria for what makes a tea "good." Sure, there are standards by which a tea may be measured, but do those standards really apply across multiple varieties? Is it really fair to hold a rooibos (which is not actually a true "tea") to the same scale of measurement as an aged, ripe pu'erh?

For this reason, I decided to eschew scales of measurement (against the tea itself) in my tea reviews and instead rate things based on a "personal enjoyment scale." What is this "personal enjoyment scale?" As the name suggests, it is a rating of how much I enjoyed the tea - the aroma, the flavor, the mouthfeel, the experience.

In all fairness, this does mean that my level of enjoyment will vary compared to others', but in the end, I recommend not focusing on the number but on the review itself and how the various aspects of the tea are described. From there, make your own decision, as to whether or not to try it. Enjoy the cup, whether it is the most commonplace bagged tea or the rarest loose leaf.

Update as of April 12, 2016: As of today, I have revised how my personal enjoyment scale is being structured. The old scale of a number from 100 will be retired and replaced with a new 1-5 scale, described below. You can read more about the background for this decision in this update post.

The New Personal Enjoyment Scale
  1. I really disliked this tea. While I may have finished the cup (as I rarely dump tea that I have prepared), the experience was not at all good to me (whether due to taste, smell, etc.). I would actually recommend against anyone drinking it. 
  2. This tea was not great in my opinion. Maybe it had potential and then fell flat. Maybe it tasted "off" somehow. Maybe it was the tea embodiment of mediocrity. 
  3. My experience with this tea was okay. I would drink it again, if it was an option, but I will not seek-out more for my collection. 
  4. I really enjoyed this tea. I will be sad when the amount that I have is gone, and I may or may not buy more. I would highly recommend it.
  5. This tea was an absolute joy to drink. Likely, it is a tea that I will buy over and over again, so that I always have some. 

Feel free to contact me with any questions!