The Boston Tea Party commemorates a gathering at which people threw a lot of tea overboard; my annual tea party does much the same thing, though for completely different reasons. I compare all the black teas that have accumulated in the cupboard and throw the disappointing ones out.
The standard for the taste test is Yorkshire Gold, a blend of Assam, African, and Sri Lankan (Ceylon) teas made by Taylors of Harrogate. I buy Yorkshire Gold from the online vendor Blue Moon Tea. Blue Moon's prices are some of the best online, and shipping to Seattle is speedy. (However, the Blue Moon site requires Internet Explorer for full access to drop-down menus.) Another fabulous site for Yorkshire Gold and other Yorkshire teas, including Yorkshire Hard Water tea, is Sarah Woods.
It appears I'm not the only Yorkshire Gold fanatic around. Check out the site of Wallingford Bicycle Parts (named after its original home in Seattle, but now in New Orleans). In addition to saddles, pumps, tools and supplies, you can ordered their favorite Yorkshire Red or Yorkshire Gold!
Here are this year's tea party results:
Top marks: Stash English Breakfast and Tazo Awake
Honorable mention: Twinings Irish breakfast (complex with smokey overtones) and Walters Bay & Co. Pure Ceylon (bright and complex).
Failed in the testing (bitter, monotonous): Swee-touch-nee, Typhoo, Red Rose, and Murchie's Keemun.
I'll stand by my top choices. However, a low rating in the test may reflect old tea or a bad batch of tea. I'm always willing to give a brand a second chance!
If you like to rant and rave about tea, this site is for you!