1103 Tasting Notes
So. I finally blended my own chai. I included pink peppercorns, crystallized ginger, whole cloves, whole cardamom (which I crack open with a mortar and pestle right before brewing), broken up cinnamon sticks, and rooibos (this is our nighttime treat). I scoop in a perfect teaspoon and a half per 8 oz of water, and serve it with vanilla infused honey and a splash of milk.
Wow! Maybe because the spices are glorious ones from Penzeys, or maybe because I used just enough to make things flavorful but not ultra spicy or bitey, but — I’m in love! My husband is in love, too! He requests it every night, and I have to cajole him to try another tisane at least one night a week!
I want to try it with black tea and I also have 2 packets of flavored rooibos and one of honeybush I want to give the chai treatment to. I hope that will allow us to have chai throughout the winter without purchasing more tea!
So I worked and worked and worked on my blend of earl grey, the Earl’s Garden (a berry earl grey from DAVIDsTEA), and vanilla tea. Each time, it felt like it needed more vanilla. So I finally got it tasting exactly how I thought it should taste this morning, and then realized – gosh this tastes an awful lot like Paris! That is wonderful — because I love Paris! But it’s also kinda funny because I have a half pound of Paris in my cupboard already (!). Now I have another 4 oz, more or less. OK!
All done :( I thoroughly enjoyed this Earl. What I especially liked about it was that it was a “morning” Earl — bold and good for a wake-up. Even the bergamot was extra fruity (but not perfumey or soapy in the least).
I’m still on a tea buying ban, but I would re-buy this one in a second! One of my loopholes is that I can buy tea if it’s of a type I love and I completely run out of that type. I have a little Earl Grey Supreme in my cupboard, but I think when I’m done it, I will get this Earl again!
I made a Franken-blend from all of my random bits and bobs of unflavored black teas in an effort to consolidate my little tins, baggies, and whatnots. From memory, I know there is some Keemun, Yunnan, Assam, and other Indian teas in this melange.
Success! This is a bold, chocolatey tea that is best with milk and sugar. I wouldn’t go a touch over 4 minutes, and I’m glad I used a timer. I feel like I have a brand new tin of tea (I think I gathered together about 3 oz of leaves altogether!) without spending a penny. Some of the teas were 2 or 3 years in my cupboard, and the fresher additions really gave them a new life. I highly recommend Franken-blending to revitalize your neglected, leftover, or otherwise languishing teas!
I made this one with my latest obsession: Vanilla Bean Infused Honey: http://www.republicoftea.com/vanilla-bean-honey-for-tea-12-oz/p/V00506/
The honey makes what is a very good already tea ridiculously fantastic. The caramel and the honey and the vanilla bean – ah! A splash of milk, too. Just wonderful. So satisfying and real tea-ish. Real dessert tea-ish nonetheless!
I could probably drive myself into the poor house at the rate I would like to consume this vanilla bean honey. Thankfully, I noticed that it’s pretty easy to make:
I made 6 jars of it today — I’ll let you know how it tastes in about a week or two :) I also made one jar with honey, vanilla bean, and a teaspoon of Penzeys cinnamon. I REALLY can’t wait to try that one!
I finally had Pleine Lune sans additions (mmmmmm). Does it remind anyone else of Nina’s Marie Antoinette? It could be my cold, but boy, I thought that they tasted so similar. Nina’s has more green apple, but the fruit and spice and maybe even a little floral? is there for me. Nuts? Maybe I’m the one who is nuts!
Thank you, thank you, thank you Organic Ginger Root! I’ve been drinking this tisane non-stop for three days straight. It is the only thing that comforts me during the day when I have a cold (I will admit that my all-natural preferences go right out the door at night. Give me Nyquil, and give me lots of it! If any of you have a good substitute for Nyquil, I’m all ears. I am up all night aching and coughing without it).
I don’t like the way plain water tastes when I’m sick, so drinking cup after cup of this keeps me hydrated. It tastes wonderful (if you’re a ginger fan), keeps me warm, and the honey is so soothing for my cough.
I seem to only drink this tisane if I’m not well in some way — stomach ache, cold — but for those days it’s indispensable.
I was trying to make some room in my spice cabinet for a newly bought jar of paprika, and saw an envelope in the back of the cupboard. Hmm. What’s this?
I opened it and saw that it was tea from ashmanra! Gasp! I must have been in one of my crazyrush flurries and put it in the general place it was supposed to go and never put it with my actual tea things. Bad, bad JacquelineM.
I sniffed the leaves and they smelled like apples and cloves and almonds and something floral. Ohmygosh. Could there be a more perfect tea for the beginning of autumn?
I’m enjoying my first cup, sans additions, and loving it (I took a raw sugar packet out, but sipped the tea first and decided it needs nothing). I read some tasting notes saying it was strong in flavor, so I steeped it for two minutes — perfect.
I’m tasting just what I smelled — an apple cider flavor, almonds, and a floral-ness — it doesn’t scream rose to me, but floral, and it’s just on the end of the sip. I love it. I must procure some!
What other lovelies should I try from Nina’s? :)
My Pen Pal and book blogger extraordinaire Jenny Colvin (http://readingenvy.blogspot.com/) created this tea over at Adagio, and enclosed a pouch with her last letter. Earl Grey Creme. Coconut. Yes please! Once I inhaled the delightful fragrance of the dried blend, I wondered why I never thought to combine these flavors — they smell SO GOOD together.
The brewed tea is absolutely delicious. The creme together with the coconut is swoonworthy, and then the light citrus adds elegance and prevents the blend from being too over the top dessert-y. Perfect sans additions (although I could see adding a little milk and sugar for a decadent treat. I can see making a tea latte for a really, really decadent treat, too!).
Magic! Jenny, how did you think of Earl Grey and Coconut together? Brilliant!
This one courtesy of Tea Sipper’s traveling tea box!!
I love dark oolongs, which makes it mysterious as to why it’s taken me weeks (months?) to try this! Picture me slapping my own hand!
The first steep at around — almost 3 minutes is roasty and chocolatey but vegetal too. Very delicious. The tea liquor is ambery — lighter than the bold flavor would lead me to expect.
I tried the second steep at 4 minutes, but I think I could have left it at 3. A little bitter and astringent — but by all means enjoyably drinkable — just a note for me to remember for next time to keep the steeps short.
I can tell that I will get several more steeps from these leaves! What a nice change of pace from black tea without sacrificing heft. I need more dark oolongs in my life!