289 Tasting Notes
Backlog from this morning plus tonight at work. This is always the tea I bust out when I’m stressed. My boss has been gone the past couple of days and tomorrow, which means I’m in charge, which I’ve done several times before but it always makes me just a little nervous. Then, one of the part-timers scheduled an “instrument fitting” (when the kids going into school music programs try out different band instruments to figure out which one they want to play) at a time when both the people in the store (myself and the other part-timer) aren’t fully qualified to do fittings, and for some reason it made me get REALLY STRESSED. Luckily, it worked out that I got one of our lesson teachers, a former band director, to do it. I owe her some kind of baked goods. And now I’m working on my program notes, which are probably fine, but I’m entering that stage of paranoia and perfection, in which I start wondering if I’m writing notes that are helpful enough, or accurate enough, and then I start thinking of what might happen if some hoity-toity music critic from New York read my notes and thought they were absolutely the most asinine analysis of Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto he had ever seen. OK, TeaKlutz, time to step awaaaaaaay from the Word document!
So after my serendipitous trial of this tea yesterday, I’ve been drinking it for the rest of yesterday and today. I think I shouldn’t overdo this tea, because it’s just distinctive enough I could make myself tired of it if I’m not careful. But still very delicious and brisk!
So yesterday, my day off, was supposed to be my R & R day. Well, until I got an email… there is a local professional (professional-level?) symphony orchestra that I’ve been helping to write program notes for; the lady who normally does it was my really awesome music history professor from college, and she knew I could do them because one of her assignments was to write program notes for the pieces we were covering. Well, the email was an offer for me to officially take over writing program notes, since she was no longer able to do it. Perhaps I should only be mildly excited about this, but I’m thrilled. If I could make a living writing program notes, I would. It’s writing, which I a) majored in and b) am good at (at least, when I try to do it well, not in my Steepster babblings), but it’s writing to help listeners appreciate what they’re hearing, not academic or jargon-y or intimidating. I get to talk about music; I get to research; I get to explain things in ways non-music people can understand and give tidbits of music history knowledge; I get to gush (in a professional and educational manner) about works I love and look for beauty in the ones I don’t; it’s everything I love and why oh why oh why can’t this be a living?
The only downside? First set of notes is due Friday! Aaaaaah!
So there’s a Russian grocery store right next to the store where I work. A few weeks ago while a friend was visiting, I went there for the first time in my 2+ years of working there… which was something the shop owner, who is himself Russian (or at least Russian-speaking), chewed me out for. “Two years?!? Typical American!” You got me, sir. You got me.
Of course, I can’t be in a store with loose-leaf tea without buying some, especially when I have no idea what to expect. So I got this! It’s nothing if not brisk. But it’s not your “typical” brisk black tea. There are these incredibly bright, perfumey notes I can’t identify (rose?) It’s something that I feel like I shouldn’t find pleasant, but somehow, I do. It’s hard to explain, but… it’s like I’m taken to a different time and place. Not to mention it’s a great wake-up tea.
Even though I was hoping I’d enjoy this tea, it truly is an unexpected pleasure!
So I was going to make a particular remedial tisane, but then I got paranoid about the fact that it has natural aspirin in it and my foot seems to be collecting bruises. (I don’t know how, I think it’s just particular strain points from where it’s receiving extra pressure with the sprained tendon… ow!) So I poured it out, and was going to make myself a nice white tea because it’s late. And then TWEEEEEEEEEEET went the kettle and I thought, “Welp, I’m in it now! Black tea it is!”
So I did my Presley/Nixon tea (see my earlier review of this for that reference.) I’m still pretty conflicted about it, but at least it has nice comforting flavors.
Backlog from yesterday. Had a cup at home, then drank another cup throughout my work day.
And now, a summary of my weekend.
FRIDAY: Went for a pretty awesome bike ride with my parents. We did… 8 or 9 miles? Which is longer than my normal trip, but it felt like I got a lot of exercise without being killed. Doc says I need more regular exercise to up my good cholesterol, so there ya go…
SATURDAY: Worked. And while I was at work, I sprained the CRAP out of my ankle when I tried to do a running vault over merchandise to answer the phone, only to land entirely the wrong way. It even made me cry. And then I left work 1 hour early to drive to Indianapolis (I tried to leave earlier, but the part-timer made this slightly judgmental comment and then we got really busy anyway) to visit a friend. It rained all the way from the state border on, of course right after it got dark.
SUNDAY: Friend and I went with her parents to see a dinner theater matinee of Les Miserables. It wound up being actually really cool, since it was a much smaller production than that show normally gets, and once I got over that and the mostly-synthesized orchestra, we got really into it and raved about it all the way back to her place. And then I drove home, and as soon as I crossed the state border, it got dark and rained.
And now I am sitting at home, going back and forth between Epsom salts and an ice pack on the ankle, which is not a pretty sight right now. I’m considering making tea, but I’m not sure. I did have three cups of coffee during the show, anyway. Ah well!
After I enjoyed this so much yesterday, I made another couple of cups this morning. Came out on the smoky side rather than the earthy side, but still delish. This tea is also great with sweet foods, I have found.
So funny. When I first tried it, I could have sworn it wouldn’t be a restock. Now, I’m not so sure. It’s growing on me!
It’s been FOREVER since I had this!
It’s not a tea I crave. Being a white tea, it’s too delicate for me to really feel like I’m “in the mood” for it. But it’s still sweet and light and soothing and delicious, and I have a fair-sized bag that I need to get through. And when I thought, “Dangit, I WILL make myself a cup of tea tonight!” this seemed like the logical choice. Mmm!
Despite having stayed up much too late last night and moving more slowly than I’d like today, I am feeling significantly better than I was the other night! I mean, I still have to go to work today, but I have tomorrow off and I don’t feel mopey and stressed like I have been.
Mmmmm. Earthy smoky goodness. Just what I was looking for. The more I try them, the more I start to like earthy flavors. Perhaps this will become a staple after all…
Backlog from Sunday.
Had this while over at a friend’s house. They have a lot of Teavana, and I was feeling pretty sleepy from some rather unorthodox sleeping arrangements the night before (what do you do when there are three guests, only 2 have air mattresses, and there are hardwood floors and no sofa? All three of you lie across the two horizontally. So the mattresses are different heights? Adjust and readjust, and laugh hysterically about it until you fall asleep because it’s 11:30 at night, which is late for us, and everyone decided we needed to try mead, including yourself who normally never ever drinks alcohol.) So yeah, pretty darn groggy, and I’ve never had a mate, so I thought I’d give this a try!
I don’t know how it compares to other mates, but I like it. It was a less spicy drink than I was expecting, but it’s a warm, comforting flavor with a hint of chocolate in the aroma. It seemed to do the wake-up trick, too. Normally I don’t like Teavana (has more to do with everything I’ve heard about the sales tactics than the tea itself), but I am seriously considering adding this one to the ol’ cupboard.
Backlog. Did this one on a whim yesterday for work.
Whatever I did the first time, I goofed it up, because this time around it was completely different and much closer to what I’d been lead to expect. It was malty, and a little mushroomy. I don’t really know how else to describe it, and to be honest I drank it 24 hours ago in a travel mug that still smelled like dishwasher detergent, but I enjoyed it.
Thanks again to Nicole for the sample!