1323 Tasting Notes
Good morning, Steepster.
We’re trying the Ceylon again this morning and trying not to oversteep it too much this time as experience showed us that we’re dealing with a pretty unforgiving tea here.
And it’s still as dark as coffee and it still has that very Ceylonish aroma. I’m a bit concerned. Why the heck did I say in my first review of this upon purchase that it was surprisingly mild?
Oh well, at least it’s not unbearably bitter this time. It’s full and strong and just a hint of bitterness when I swallow. Not bad bitterness that comes with too long steeps or bad quality leaves. It’s the sort of bitterness that’s supposed to be there. It lends… I want to say ‘character’ but I’m wondering if I’m over using the word a bit. ‘Personality’?
Anyway, if it hadn’t been for yesterday’s chai-that-wasn’t-chai-experience, I’d have said it would work well with milk for those who likes milk tea, but having tried it and not really liked it much, I can’t make myself say that in good conscience. If you like sweetened tea, though, a bit of liquid honey might work.
Apparently I hadn’t actually hidden relationship info over Facebook way… Just had to reply to an all caps message from my aunt who demanded to know why she hadn’t been told about Lexitus. looks shifty I’ve only told my parents about it and was rather hoping they would leak the info so I wouldn’t have to. Obviously not. Curses!
So I need something fortifying. (And dessert-ish because I’ve just had dinner)
This is it. The hazelnut with the lovely sweet nutty woodsy smell. Like nuts smell in a cake with nuts in it.
Second tea I get today that turned out as black as coffee. Considering I ended up oversteeping the Ceylong this morning, I’m a wee bit concerned, but upon tasting nothing’s wrong with it. It’s JUST right, with that nutty hazelnut flavour that’s at the same time roasted and sweetish. I think it’s very good for a dessert tea, and since nuts in Denmark is often associated with Christmas in Denmark, it also tastes a bit Christmassy.
Maybe this is why it’s going so well with my other dessert which is this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/aebleskiver
Also, I’ve added a load of people tonight (again) so apologies to those who may have been following the live feed when I uh flooded it a little bit.
Inspirational tea for the WIN! Literally, actually, as I just hit 50094 words on NaNoWriMo. Just now.
Leonard Cohen is now singing ’I’m your man’ for me and I’m on the second steep of this now. The tea itself can handle a resteep quite well, but the berries, not so much. At this point it might as well just have been a regular plain oolong. A nice one definitely, though. It has plenty of flavour and plenty of lingering aftertaste. Like it’s crawling down into every little nook and cranny of my mouth and sitting there saving the nummy for later. Slightly astringent at first contact with the tongue but it goes away again.
Also, it makes me think of those of you who now and then describe a tea flavour as ‘baked’ and I can’t for the life of me figure out what you mean by that, but this tea reminds me of it, so maybe it IS bakey and only my subconsciousness is registering it?
I should probably make a pot of Pai Mu Tan since that one has turned into my celebration tea, but really, I’d rather see if I can get a third steep out of this one. So I’ll do that.
I felt like something fruity, so I put the kettle on. And then I was too slow in cleaning out the pot, so it had cooled a bit before I was actually ready to use it. And since I had cleaned the pot in hot water (and the hot tap water gets really really hot where I live) the pot was already nice and warm. So that left me wondering if I should boil new water and use this to scald an already warm pot or what to do.
And then I thought of my raspberry oolong and decided to just pretend that it had been my plan to make that one all along (instead of the blueberry from Adagio). Perfect really.
I’m spending the day trying to bury myself in the last little bit left before I can say I’ve won NaNoWriMo. 2K to go. Estimated 30K to go before I reach the end of the story. The plan is to reach the 50K words to win NaNo and then continue writing and eventually finish the story. I’m not interested in publication at all, but when I’ve finished the story (If I ever make it) and it’s been rewritten and heavily edited I know where I want to upload it on the internet and will of course share the location of it if and when that time comes.
Anyway, this tea is going to help me do this today. It’s to give me some focus and concentration. Maybe I should have used a crappy tea, since if all goes well, I’ll end up with half a completely forgotten cup.
I have my tea. Leonard Cohen is singing ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’ for me. I’m ready.
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.