Also backlogged. This is what I had this afternoon with the boyfriend. You may regard the following post as a collaboration.
Apparently these bags are getting a wee bit on in age, most likely, and haven’t been stored all that strictly according to what is best for the tea.
I could definitely pick up a citrus-y flavour, although it reminded me a bit more of lemon than of anything else. Something acidic, definitely, thought the boyfriend. We settled on citric acid.
The tea itself was rather bland. After a short while when it had developed a bit, read: steeped a little bit longer, it developed a little more character although not very much.
It did bring on the question of ‘astringency’, though. WTF is that? I’ve searched high and low for a proper easily understandable explanation of what this is supposed to taste like. I know it’s one of them ‘official technical terms’, but it has just never ever been a word that I have associated with any sort of flavour.
On the contrary, I work in a hospital lab, and when we talk about ‘stringency’ it has something to do with the environtment in which a given test is conducted being EXACTLY identical each time. Temperature and reaction times and such things. ‘Astringency’ sounds like the opposite of this and in the lab it wouldn’t really be all that good. It’s just the first thought that pops into my head, and it’s really confusing when talking flavour.
Hence, it’s really difficult for me to wrap my head around it not only being a sort of flavour, but also something good. I know that it has something to do with how tannins affect the mucus membranes of the tongue and such. But still.
Anyway, to make a short story long, we decided that this particular sensation that we found in it must be what people meant when they talked about astringency. I described it as something that could be mistaken for bitterness and the boyfriend, apparently having more imagination than me, said slightly like soap but not. After some consideration the soap was the conclusion we went with.
And then the boyfriend said he would award it 3 out of 5 chainsaws, which I thought on a 1-100 scale would translate to 60. And then he haggled me up to 65 on the grounds that chainsaws are cooler.
(It may take a couple of tries to make the slider hit 65 exactly. Bear with me if I have to edit a few times.)