252 Tasting Notes
I feel like a fraud…
With dozens of beautiful, high-quality loose teas in my cupboard and all I want to drink is this. Plain Jane, grocery store Orange Pekoe. I suppose I could blame this pregnancy, baby #2 doesn’t appear to be a tea connoisseur like my first one was (who even at 20 months old enjoys a sippy cup of cold, fruity rooibos).
I’ve literally tried a little bit of everything: Green & Fruity (rooibos made me gag), Genmaicha (had to dump it), Earl Grey (normally a favourite, but now only tolerable when in London Fog form), Kanpe (couldn’t even get past the dry smells, let alone brew it), Birthday Cake (again, the rooibos)… and since I hate to waste teas I’ve just stopped trying.
Hopefully this “morning” sickness goes away soon (I’m 12 weeks along, so it should be ending in the near future) because just the other day I picked up all the new teas, but can’t bring myself around to trying them since I feel like reviewing them now will make the ratings all skewed…
Pregnancy cravings are weird and strangely enough my tea cravings for this pregnancy are completely different from my first. I tried brewing up some Genmaicha—basically the only tea I drank last time around—but only managed to get halfway through the cup before dumping it. Apparently, this baby demands sweet, buttery teas! Stat!
Since it’s been nearly a year since I’ve had this tea, it’s about time I tucked in again, and gooood-gravy, this is just what the baby wants. None of these fruity teas I’ve been trying to appease it with, they all end up making the nausea worse! Instead it looks like we’ll be sticking with Buttercream, the naturally sweet Nepal Black, and this tea.
Urgh, I knew this would happen. I just knew it! Baby #2 is currently waging war on my ability to hold anything down longer than an hour: prenatal vitamins? Nope. Captain Crunch? Bye, bye. Applesauce? At least it tastes nearly the same down as it does up. Oatmeal? Not a chance!
I had my fingers crossed that this pregnancy would be different, but no, “morning” sickness—more like all-day-and night sickness—has kicked in. BIG time. Thus I’m on Diclectin, which takes away the nausea + vomiting, but leaves me super drowsy! So drowsy that I couldn’t wait to put my 19-month-old down for her after-lunch nap so that I could have one too!
Which brings me to tea. I’ve been craving it like madness, but then the thought of getting the kettle boiled, tea in cup, water over tea, waiting for steep, etc, was enough to send this pregnant gal back to bed. Too much work? Hey, I’m growing a human here. It takes a lot of effort! Plus, I never know if I’m going to open up some tea-pouch and have the scent send me reeling to the bathroom.
My solution? A tea that has a short steep time (pregnancy makes me impatient) + it has to be fruity (fruit doesn’t set off my nausea) = BIG APPLE. I erred on the side of caution by only steeping it for a minute, which turned out to be the right choice since this tea is light and apple-y, with the tiniest hint of caramel. To me, so much more satisfying than Baked Apple or Mom’s Apple Pie.
Now, fingers crossed this drowsiness subsides so I have the energy to brew more complex teas again…
Life has been a little hectically crazy right now: my sister needs surgery on her gallbladder (we have the same issues, just apparently hers are so bad she needs it out!), my sister-in-law’s baby shower is approaching (expecting twin boys), and my husband & I just got news of our own… we’re pregnant with baby #2! It’s kind of early on to announce anything to family, but I had to let someone know! It’s strange, with pregnancy #1 I was so nauseous and tired that the slightest smell of meat or coffee sent me running for the bathroom. This time around I’m actually craving coffee! Fingers-crossed the nausea decides to stay away for good.
It’s also Saskatoon Berry season here in Saskatchewan, with berry-laced pie, preserves, and cinnamon buns at nearly every Farmer’s Market stall. I can’t have any of the baking and my mom makes her own jam, so I usually opt out of the bounty. This tea, however, was an exception.
From the moment the sales-girl opened it up for me to sniff, I knew I needed some in my possession. Today, I finally brewed up a cup to drink with breakfast and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s thick and flavourful, with the Saskatoons complimented perfectly by the maple. Much more dimensional to me than Superberry. Now, let’s see if we can get multiple steeps out of it…
First steep @ 94°C for 2 min: creamy, buttery notes first, which subtly give way to something reminiscent of leafy greens, with the slightest hint of sweetness.
Second steep @ 95°C for 4 min: Like the first, but much more delicious!
Third steep @ 96°C for 5 min: Almost identical in taste to the first, less flavourful than the second.
Fourth steep @ 98°C for 7 min: Still delicious.