I was an anxious child who didn’t like change, so when my parents flew across the country for my grandfather’s wedding and left us kids with my aunt and uncle, I was a nervous wreck. Our first night at their house was tough. I couldn’t sleep, so I got up and padded into the kitchen, where my aunt was puttering around. She could tell I was distressed and offered to make me a cup of tea. It was just Celestial Seasonings’ peppermint tea, but it was exactly what I needed. The tea itself, the comfort it represented, the ritual of making it… I was enchanted. I’ve loved tea ever since.
I’m partial to strong, intense flavors and prefer loose-leaf to bagged, but I also appreciate the convenience of bags and sachets. I mostly drink my tea straight but once in a blue moon I’ll add a little plant-based milk, generally oat.
I live in Maryland, USA, with my partner, three dogs, and one cat, and I’m an editor at an animal welfare nonprofit. I use she/her pronouns. I’ve actually been a Steepster reader for years and years, but only started posting in late 2021. :)
When I’m not drinking tea (or sometimes WHILE I’m drinking tea!) I’m reading, rewatching comfort shows on Netflix, going for a run, knitting, embroidering, hiking, or puttering in the garden. You can find me on Instagram at @kelmishka. (My account is private, but feel free to add me!)
Favorite ingredients, flavors, etc.
Maple (all-time fave flavor!), vanilla, caramel, and all things dessert-y
Jasmine, lavender, violet, and most floral flavors
Most spices, although I go through phases and sometimes get bored of generic-feeling winter spice blends
Most fruity flavors
Matcha and other vegetal flavors
Not-so-favorite ingredients, flavors, etc.
Bergamot (I tolerate it, but it just doesn’t do it for me)
Overly artificial flavors (banana, coconut, mango)
Overly herbacious blends, although this varies!
Stevia, monkfruit, and other sugar-alternative sweeteners — blech
Chocolate — it’s hard to get it right in tea, though I love real chocolate!
Animal products, including honey (long-time vegan checking in!)
90-100: The best! Will almost definitely repurchase.
75-90: Really good, and potentially worthy of a restock.
60-75: Decent, if not terribly memorable.
50-60: In the “meh” range, but possibly for personal taste reasons.
35-50: I’m not a fan, and this is not very good tea.
20-35: Varying degrees of bad.
1-20: Actively bad. Like really bad. I can’t imagine anyone disagreeing.