249 Tasting Notes
I’ve had this tea in my possession for AGES, brewed it a couple times, but never got around to actually logging it here! Probably due to the pregnancy and that it just doesn’t ‘wow’ me in any way.
However, my tot was clamouring for tea and I thought this one might be one that pleases her. And I was right. I brewed it up, let her stir the leaves around in The Steeper, then waited for it to steep. Once steeped I poured 1/2 tea + 1/2 milk + pinch sweetener into her sippy cup and watched her chug it down barely pausing for breath!
Hmmmm… so while I won’t bother restocking it, Strawberry Shortcake has a fan in my daughter. And at least I’m serving her tea instead of a big ol’ plate of cake!
My 2-year-old is driving me bananas… time to break out a tea we can both drink that will distract her from pulling all the books off the bookshelf.
So, I brewed this according to the directions a couple days ago, poured it in a mug, then got distracted by something and forgot about it. Thus, it turned lukewarm and rather “special” tasting. Like a mix of iced tea + juice that’s been left out and turned room-temperature. To remedy this I poured the tea into a jar and left it in the fridge until now…
And my intuition is correct, it tastes much better ice cold. Like I brewed up some black tea and added pomegranate + mango juice to it! Yum, yum! And I haven’t even added any sweetener. I do taste slightly more mango than pomegranate, which is okay since I like mangoes more than I like pomegranates. That being said, I don’t think I’ll restock. My iced tea preferences tend towards the citrus or melon persuasion, but I have no qualms about using up the rest of this when the weather warms up (if it ever does).
Let me begin by saying that I am aware maté is not recommended for pregnancy… however, today was just one of those days.
Long story, short(ened): I’ve been working on a poetry chapbook with a friend, she wrote the poems, I make the chapbook. We send in prototype + proposal by April 15th and wait to see if we get the funding to make an edition of 75. Seems simple enough, right? WRONG! First, it’s taken until last week for her poems to be edited and finalised. It’s hard to come up with layouts and such when you don’t know how long the poems will be or how they are to be structured (poetry can be tricky like that, with all it’s lack of conventional structure, punctuation, and whathaveyou). Luckily, she figured out the layout for me, I just had to come up with the artwork (I’m carving stamps), binding, paper, and printing. Unfortunately the paper we fell in love with—a Japanese paper that’s very tempermental—can’t be printed on using ink-jet or laser printers, so I’ve spent this past week wracking my brain as to how to “make it work” (in the words of Tim Gunn). I decided to go with vellum, instead of the Japanese paper, breaks my heart to surrender like that, but we have no choice. So, I waddled my 39-weeks-pregnant self—accompanied by my toddler daughter—over to the printing place and got everything sorted.
Today, I picked up the printed vellum and everything looks awesome! BUT my 2-year-old accomplice was getting whiny (nap-time, you see) so I decide that instead of waiting for the bus, we’d walk to the children’s library… 1.5 km in the Saskatchewan snow. Bad idea. Neither my body nor hers were up to the task, but I didn’t know when the next bus would be, so we did it anyways. We arrived, she played for 30 min, then it was time to catch the bus home… which meant more walking since our bus stop is a couple blocks from the library. And of course, my girl got tired and wanted to be carried, but have you ever tried carrying a 25 pd toddler when you’re 39 weeks preggo?? Not. Happening. So, I had to be harsh and make her walk, promising her we’d be on the bus soon (she loooooves the bus!).
If you’re reading this, then you can guess that we made it onto the bus okay and are now home, but maaaaaan. I. Feel. Exhausted. So, I’m drinking the jar of this that I had chilling in the fridge and hoping for the magical maté boost that it promises. The tea itself is delicious, reminding me of Luscious Watermelon, but obviously more of the honeydew persuasion. And it is excellent iced. Haven’t tried it hot and not sure I want to considering the thought of drinking hot melon tea makes me shudder.
So, here’s to the most exhausting day of this pregnancy ending on a slightly better note, to delicious iced melon-y tea, and to getting this chapbook prototype completed before baby #2 arrives! Oi.
(Received this in a swap 5 months ago, but for the life of me I can’t remember who sent it! For that, I apologise, generous giver.)
I like to call this the “hippopotamus phase” of pregnancy—I’m 38.5 weeks pregnant which means that baby could arrive at any time… so they tell me, I’m not going to hold my breath though, considering my daughter was born 3 days after her due date (I was in false labour though for 2 days, fun times!)—since I’m very large and cumbersome and everything seems to annoy me, especially my 2-year-old. If I could, I would spend all my time at a swimming pool or spa, just floating my girth in weightlessness (I can see why it appeals to hippos). Instead, I’m stuck indoors with my tot, who is at the “Why, Mamma?” stage wherein everything I ask her to do requires an explanation. Also, here in Regina, SK, Canada we’ve received a record amount of snow… more than 6.5 feet. It’s supposed to be “spring” but the snow just keeps on falling and not melting, also not conducive to diminishing my grumpiness.
So, I drink tea… a) in order to appease my doctor and get more fluids in my system and b) because it’s still #$@*ing snowy outside and I crave comfort. Tea = liquid comfort.
This tea reminds me a lot of DAVIDsTEA’s Nepal Black, in almost every way: malty, easy-drinking without anything added, slight honey undertones. The only difference would be it seems to be slightly more astringent, but then again I brewed it with slightly too hot water, so that might have something to do with it! It’s delicious though. Delicious in a pure, unadulterated kind of way… plus, when I drink it without milk or sugar my daughter doesn’t feel the need to down my entire cup when I’m not looking. Because sometimes… you don’t want to share.
On my fourth steep of this while I work on this (http://worseforwear.blogspot.ca/2013/03/hippocampus-zebra.html) and still getting plenty of citrus-y goodness! I forgot how much I love this tea hot and it has the added bonus of lasting me well throughout the day! Yay for finding delicious ways to stay hydrated in this 37th week of my pregnancy!
Drinking up the last of this, since according to my tasting notes I haven’t logged this since August 2011!! Oi! Good thing I finished it too, the flavours are super stale… ugh. Maybe my toddler will enjoy this more than I…
I received this tea from Alphakitty months ago, but with moving house, plus pregnancy, plus being home with a toddler means I sometimes forget things. Today, though, I’ve been nursing a cup of this all day, thanks to being able to multi-steep. However, I can’t write a long note since my 26-month-old has decided that she wants to avoid napping in favour of throwing every blanket + plush toy out of the crib, THEN testing her mattress for weaknesses via repeated jumping. This nap = not happening.
This tea = getting me through it all! PLUS, since it’s an oolong and I can steep it multiple times I get to stay hydrated as well. Win/win. I’m loving the caramel paired with creamy oolong… interesting how with each consecutive steep the caramel slowly fades until all I’m left with is the oolong. Yum, yum.
Now, to check on this manic tot of mine… uuuuuuuurgh.
My 2-year-old daughter and I entered a local Valentine’s Day contest wherein we had to collaborate with another person on a Valentine’s card + poem. I let her colour the background with crayons, while I wrote a cheesy little love poem from a seahorse and then drew the seahorse on after she’d completed her part. We managed to win the “multi-age category”, which means I now have a $50 gift card to the downtown mall burning a hole in my pocket! Now, people have suggested that since my daughter helped with the Valentine, that she should get a little of the prize too… and I agree except she doesn’t really need anymore clothes, toys, or candy and I’d go with books, but there’s no bookstore in the mall.
There is, however, a DAVIDsTEA. And since my little girl seems to appreciate a good cuppa—especially if I’ve just made a tea latte—it seems like the perfect place to blow the money where we can both get something out of it.
Thus, we ventured in on Tuesday to peruse their selection and inquire about the upcoming Spring Collection (since I figured I might as well hold out til then if a bunch of new + exciting teas are on their way). The sales associate helping me didn’t divulge much other than there will be some fruity teas and then asked if she could help me with anything for now… and I ended up coming home with four small bags of Vanilla Orchid, Citron Oolong, Ginseng Oolong, and this tea… which I am drinking right now.
In an attempt to get the best out of this tea I am attempting a hybrid gaiwan/western style brewing… AKA: leaves in DAVIDsTEA steeper, 3 second wash, then short infusions thereafter…
First steep @ 92°C for 1 min: creamy, buttery greens, with the slightest hint of lingering sweetness. After the washing stage I wasn’t sure this had even brewed since the colour is so pale, but the flavour is definitely there, like a milk oolong without the milkiness.
Second steep @ 93°C for 80 sec: Slightly stronger in flavour, with more mineral-like notes coming through. Less vegetal.
Third steep @ 95°C for 1.5 min: Basically the same as the second and just as flavourful!
Fourth steep @ 96°C for 2 min: And… still flavourful! I could probably get a couple more steeps out of the leaves, but I’m starting to feel oolong-logged… so. much. tea.