1319 Tasting Notes
The other day Rijje reviewed a Ceylon tea and didn’t much like it. This morning I wanted a solid, plain black and weirdly enough Rijje’s review put me in mind of some Ceylon. Yes weird, I don’t know how my head works either, but there you are. Imagine my surprise when I looked in my cupboard and found this!
There’s just something about a tea as black as coffee and you’re almost expecting it to have completely different smell. That Ceylon smell really is special, isn’t it. Sweet but strong and kind of roasted. It reminds me a lot of your average English Breakfast Blend. Not that strange since Ceylon is often a big part of those blends.
Ack, I oversteeped it a bit, which it so cannot handle. Next stop Bitterville. Rather astringent and it’s hard to pick up any proper flavours to review, due to my own negligence. (Which is ironic, since JUST YESTERDAY I was sitting around all smug claiming to be able to brew a decent and consistent pot of tea through guesstimation. Of course, that was about dosage of leaves and not steeping time, but STILL! GAH! feels silly)
So, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I added a little bit of cane sugar and I added a little bit of milk. I almost never do this. Very few teas IMO are nice with a little milk, and it’s not just depending on the tea, it’s also depending on the situation and the people I’m with. My colleague, with whom I frequently go to a specific cafe/tea house, is just about the only person that I will sit and drink milk tea with. Our cafe visits have turned out to be highly ritualised. Same table, same chairs, same tea, same scones. The only things that vary are the things we talk about and the cake he have.
Furthermore, and this is really a snob-thing, I prefer to add milk to the cup first and not last. When added last it’ll go in and settle below the surface of the tea, like it’s not properly mixed. It looks weird and then you have to stir to get it mixed right. With milk in first, you get it instantly mixed right and you save the spoon. One less item to wash up. Yes, this makes PERFECT sense in Angrboda-Land.
Anyway, this tea with milk and sugar isn’t working for me. At least not today and not in this situation. I’m reminded of the chai I had yesterday, because although that one was based on Assam I feel like I’m sitting here drinking a chai where somebody forgot to add in all the spices. On the other hand, if I was to try and attempt making my own chai mix, this might be a good base for it.
Today and this morning, though, I’m feeling slightly let down.
The observant Steepster Peep will have noticed that I added this to my cupboard yesterday. The Great Chai Adventure continue, this time with actually buying a real, proper chai blend in my little local shop. It was the only one they had so that made the choosing a non-issue. Do or Die.
I made it like Lena F described in the forum thread about chai, only half the amounts she wrote in case I didn’t like it.
It was mild and smooth with the milk, much like the ones I’ve already had to go in the last couple of weeks. On top of that though there was the pepper. Prickly on the tongue and throat. I think this might actually be that flavour I found in my first ever chai that led me to believe I didn’t like ginger. Or part thereof.
Overall, it was nice, but I could totally live without the pepper. I’d like it much much better if it didn’t have that pepper in it.
EDIT: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! The Evil Enabler has struck again. Meet Lexitus, previously mentioned boyfriend. Say hello, Lexitus.
I am breaking out my celebration tea! And I’ll tell you why, Steepster Peeps! Today I have, after some successful grovelling and begging, convinced 52Teas that shipping to Denmark would be a really good idea. And just a short while ago I placed my order! So not only have I discovered a new place to shop with very reasonable shipping fees, but I have ALSO for the first time EVAH! been able to get the Steepster Select item. I’ve been really good at saving money this month in spite of falling off the wagon a few times in order to buy tea, so although I’m not getting paid until monday, I decided I was allowed. It was really hard to choose. I dithered for ages. In the end I more or less closed my eyes and pointed.
Can we say WOOT!!!!
It was so worth being scolded for creating a horizontal scrollbar with my squeeing.
I love this tea. I really really do, but I hope I got the dosage right. Large leaves, narrow tea scooper. Do the math. Have also patiently steeped for as long as the shop said to although it’s still twice as long as my brain says would be a good idea.
But once again I’m both surprised and relieved. It’s awesome. It’s celebration in a cup.
Now, if anybody wants me for anything for the next week or so, I’ll be waiting by the letterbox.
Suzi logged this yesterday and reminded me that I still had some left in my sample tin. I bought it primarily because of the odd name. Never heard of this fruit before, but if I ever get to South America (doubtful, considering my fear of travelling) I’ll have to make sure to try and taste it.
It’s sweet and fruity and tastes tropical. If I knew what the fruit really tastes like ‘au naturel’ my review of it might be difference, but as it is I’m thinking it’s a fruit I might like. So this is my morning cup on this grey and dismal looking thursday. I understand the majority of you lot have a holiday today, so I’m guessing a lot of people won’t be around. Wow… bad day for me to get addicted to the live stream, but there you are. My life in a nutshell.
And now I suddenly realised WHY I’m doing my backlogs out of order.
This is from this morning on the way to work. I was feeling really tired and in an oolong-y mood, so I made this for my travel mug today.
This tea is not suitable for travel mugs. I couldn’t smell it at all and when you don’t get the full experience, you just get a tea that has an annoyingly sour taste. It was drinkable, but suddenly, without the smell, it just turned all blah.
And here’s the reason for the out of order backlog.
I’m having second steep now. I saved the leaves mostly because I didn’t have time to clean out the pot before leaving, so I figured now that I came home, I might as well just steep them, having already learned that they can easily carry a second steep. I needed this. It’s just much much much better when I can get the full experience, and when I’m not putting two thirds of my attention into trying to wake up properly.
Apparently I’m doing my backlogs out of order. Oh well. This is from today, the train trip home from work.
Takgoti wanted me to try the spicy chai at that bagel place too, and today I was feeling brave enough to do so. I just got the smallest cup they had in case I didn’t like it.
Turns out it wasn’t really the sort of ‘spicy’ that I was expecting. I was think ‘spicy’ as in sort of ‘hot’. Not cayenne-pepper hot, but something that would definitely be felt a bit in the throat while sinking. Instead it was a more warming spicy, and it was actually quite sweet.
I was also a little concerned about the fact that it had ginger in it, and I’m under the impression that I don’t much care for ginger. The first chai I bought for myself ever and tried to make had something or other in it, a strange flavour that I can’t quite recall anymore, but when telling others about it, they said that it was most likely to have been ginger. This didn’t seem to have that particular flavour. Or at least not in a concentration where I couldn’t get it down.
I could smell cardamom very clearly. I wasn’t even in doubt about it. I could taste a little sweetness from cinnamon too and I was a bit on certain about whether or not it also contained vanilla.
It reminded me of the elephant vanilla chai, except not quite as sweet. It wasn’t the same sensation of drinking something that was actually supposed to have been a sweet dessert, but it was much better than I had feared. I can’t really decide, though, if I liked this one better than the elephant vanilla chai or not. In some ways I did, but in some ways I didn’t. I can get a medium sized cup the next time, although I still don’t think I’d be able to drink more than that of any of them without it becoming way too much.
Oh my god, I was with my boyfriend yesterday after work so I didn’t have a chance to check Steepster at all. I just curiously peeked in at the forum last night when I was checking email and replied to a couple of topics, but I haven’t read most of them yet and I haven’t read any of my dashboard pages at all since… tuesday morning, I think. And this last week I’ve been on a rather an enormous adding spree for no other reason than clicking the ‘follow’ button is way more fun than it logically ought to be. I just like adding new people, it makes me feel social. Probably a subconscious response to being such an anti-social person in real life.
I’ll just do my backlogs while gathering courage for tackling the rest.
First up, a backlog from yesterday. I was at a course and this was the tea served. Or rather, it was the topmost teabag in the pile provided to choose from. I wasn’t feeling picky and I’ve always liked strawberry tea.
It did definitely taste of strawberries, but it was fairly synthetic in flavour. Had a LOT of equally synthetic aroma too.
Actually, it had so much aroma that (and I swear this is absolutely true) I accidentally dipped one sleeve of my cardigan in the cup and got a little stain there, and hours later the boyfriend sniffed at my other arm and stated, “you smell like strawberries today.” He didn’t know at the time that I’d had strawberry tea. I suppose it could be a coincidence, but what are the odds?
So, it was a pretty mediocre cup of tea, but I’m inclined to be generous on the rating. Even the most mediocre tea wins in flavour when you get to drink it from a proper cup instead of those cheap plastic cups that you just burn your fingers on.
Because this was such a success the other day, I’ve tried to reconstruct it today. I needs it. I need something that is so good that it can take away the sneaking girl-stomach issues and the general pouting that the fact that my presence has been requested at work on wednesday, which because I work part-time is normally my day off, has brought on. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I hate, abhor and just generally dislike meetings. Especially those I can’t get out of.
So something sweet and distracting, yes please.
When I tried this the other day, it was the second steep of the caramel, and this is the first steep all round, so it’s intersting to see if it’ll turn out the same success or if I’m in for a bit of a disappointment.
Nope. Still good. Still sweet. What girl-stomach? What meeting?
Backlogged from this morning’s travel mug. My, my. I do believe the Drama Llama visited Steepster last night. Complete with Martyrian Exit and everything. I will outright admit that I might not have handled it too well. Wank makes nobody look good, and I’m no exception. A better approach would probably have been to show them how to write a discussion prompt without being hurtful in the process, but I was too angry at the time to realise that. Again, my apologies to the admins for not having managed to contribute in a constructive way, but it doesn’t change the fact that I stand 100% by every single word I said. Or wrote, if you prefer.
One good thing did come of it, though. This morning I enjoyed my cheap-as-dirt and supposedly-white bagged tea IMMENSELY. Spite can make the mediocre occasionally exceptionally awesome.