People have vastly different tastes in tea. This morning, a new review was posted to RateTea, which I happened to read, and this review was of Two Leaves and a Bud's Mountain High Chai. This tea now has five reviews on the site.
Interestingly, four of the five reviews seem to agree on one point: the tea has a strong spice aroma, but the base tea is on the weak side (or mellow/smooth, for people who prefer to phrase it positively). Some people seem to like this and others don't; one reviewer noted steeping the tea for 30 minutes!
I find this interesting, because it is rare that people seem to agree this much about a tea. In general, when I see four out of five reviewers agreeing about a certain characteristic of a tea, I'm likely to believe their reviews.
Checking Steepster, breaking the pattern:
Interestingly, I checked Steepster's records for the same tea and I'm not seeing the same pattern in reviews there. One of the reviewers noted bitter flavors dominating the cup if it is steeped too long.
No consensus on the aroma:
I also read Little Yellow Teacup's review of the same tea, and interestingly, I found that this review said that the aroma was dominated by cinnamon. I tend to strongly dislike masala chai blends that are dominated by cinnamon, and I've found that this one, in my perception, is dominated by clove (which I like more, although in this case I still thought it was a bit unbalanced). I've tried the tea many times over a long period of time too, so if the company changed their formulation, it produced only a subtle change that I did not notice.
I find this difference interesting, because it shows how people perceive aromas differently.
What do you think?
Have you tried this tea?
And do you have any idea why there seems to be clear agreement on RateTea's reviews whereas Steepster's don't seem to show the same pattern? Could the two sites perhaps be appealing to people with somewhat different tastes or different ways of perceiving tea? Or do you think it's just randomness? It is a small sample of reviews in both cases, after all.
And do you think that in general, people are more likely to perceive aromas differently and more likely to agree on flavor (i.e. bitterness, basic strength of a tea)? Or do you think that's just this specific case?