345 Tasting Notes
i adore creme brulee. so much so that i tend to focus in on that word and not observe the words before or after it. sigh. face to palm.
i really don’t like orange peel in teas. well, usually. it’s often bitter and that’s all i taste. the caramel would balance it out though, right? yup, if i could taste it. i have no idea what my problem is but other than butiki’s caramel vanilla assam i can’t taste it.
i’m sorry ShortSorceress and i’m sorry della terra… this was all my oops. note to self in future: maintain level of literacy previous to identifying the presence of the word ‘brulee’. no numbers. my bad.
let me begin by saying that the arrival of ShortSorceress’s mammoth swap (i know i have never done one on this scale) was perfect. i have had a rotten week. nothing remarkable about that fact, we all have bad stretches, they come… they go… we survive… ideally we thrive. i was late for a doctor’s appointment last friday. it was the appointment where we were going to review the images of the MRIs taken to diagnose my injured right arm. because i was late i was handed a copy of the report by the receptionist and shuffled out the door.
depending on how you weight the value and application of information then i was in both a fortunate and unfortunate position. i have extensive experience with advanced first aid, and i have a neuro-transmission disease, which simply translates to: i know more than most regarding trauma to the vital systems and the nervous system especially. the only doctors that trump my knowledge base are very specialized.
unwisely i read the report (if only i had a tardis and could undo that fact)! the words lesion, lesions, cervical spine, atrophy and dubious were bandied about. this horrible diagnosis, these terrible terrible pictures were me. and i have more than enough education to know how serious everything APPEARED to be.
what about school? what about the future? sleep was elusive. food was disgusting. in a second my life had become a terrifying thing.
it took me a couple of days, but this is generally the way i exist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H5uWRjFsGc (the getting up again, not the booze) that and Concentrated Power of Will. nervous system diseases are always evaluated clinically: your images can light up like a christmas tree, but it’s your physical presentation is what’s most important. i found my feet. sometimes we get knocked about and forget what we know, namely that the piece of paper that i never should have been handed, that i never should have read may be me technically, but it is not at all how i present. the report does not accurately reflect my function.
it is very likely i have been like this for months, even years and the fall poked a previously dormant plaque. it’s the nature of the disease. somehow in my stress i had stopped drinking my tea. my horror had stopped me dead and i strove for a sense of control. tell me friends, how does eliminating a ritual that gives comfort help anything? it doesn’t. i’d like to say that i came to that conclusion myself, but a friend very reasonably pointed it out.
i’ve had teas arrive this last week. i’ve been storing them with the mental note ‘for a day better than this one’. counterproductive! and so when the mailbox door thumped and it became obvious that it was crammed full i retrieved the package from our miss ShortSorceress.
it was meant to be. there was a lovely sample of adagio’s tardis blend. the closest thing i can get in time travel aside from a massive graphic f/x budget or concurrent degrees in thermonuclear dynamics and theoretical astrophysics.
this tea is so smarta**. it will get a nice high mark because it hit so many points all for me. timing: yes, it is getting a nice mark because it arrived when i needed it. i don’t care if that isn’t as a result of adagio. it has a timelord smell palate (bear with me, no i am no crazier than usual, lol)… the dry leaf smells musty, but no unpleasantly so. makes me think of a ship full of rooms that haven’t been visited in a few years but are filled with good things. it also smells like something it really isn’t! for a half second it smells like an earl grey, but then i got a tea based round, orange, autumnal that segued into a berry muscat. so very appropriate! dr. who looks human, but really isn’t…. a perfect tea metaphor for a blend of this name.
steeps up to a lovely amber (again, very appropriate… amber freezes time after a fashion). makes me think of an earl grey/lady grey hybrid with some unseen twists.
i guess the last determining feature are the little blue flowers… they were tardis blue. neat! and then i added water… the became translucent with the flower bases weighted downwards. they looked very much like the opening sequence when the tardis goes sailing into roiling space/time. OH VERY GOOD!
i really can’t thank you enough ShortSorceress… if it had arrived yesterday or the day before it might not have given me what it did which is my first real grin in days. and thank you adagio teas (watch it folks, i intend to spell without stars this time…) for being such outstanding smart asses. the metaphors of taste and smell, the cheeky visual, and an elegant refined taste
btw: i am not normally a fan of earl grey… but this one was truly great.
there is something in this tea that is not alright with me. the ingredients list doesn’t give me a hint… my only thought is that perhaps coffee (which i am nastily allergic to) might have been added as a chocolate enhancer?
in any case… i believe i am done with tea drinking today as everything i put in my mouth makes my stomach hurt. =0(
has anyone else had this experience with this tea?
this one surprised me… thus far my experiences with 52teas have been very western: not subtle, not layered (my interpretation). if the name is ‘pancake breakfast’, then that’s what it strives to be. so imagine my surprise when i found myself filing this one under ‘other’.
the white tea, predictably, is very gentle… but the forest berry essence caught me offguard. it’s virtually undetectable when you think about it… but when you don’t think about it it’s absolutely clear. the word i will choose is nuanced which is not a word i have applied towards 52teas before.
it is a non denominational forest berry… it is logan berry, blackberry, strawberry and even a hint of salal. again, when i was paying attention to my tongue i got hardly a hint…. and then i realized something. it wasn’t a taste, it was a smell.
now this is a guess on my part… the timing of the tea hitting the upper back of the tongue diffuses the scent that i perceive as taste. however, when i alter my swallowing to try and capture the taste more clearly i shift the blend to the front of my tongue where i can’t detect the aroma at all. that is my layman’s guess. how frank managed to pull this off (if i’m correct) is far beyond my understanding.
very cool. i enjoyed my sample from CHAroma hugely of this one… thank you so much!
i think, in retrospect, i must have started with the worst possible choice of teas from 52teas— lime jello salad. if you take a look my review it was outstanding! and while the other teas are good, nothing has yet achieved the same standard as the lime jello salad.
granted, as always, it could be my failure… but i don’t think so in this case. the flavour is there…. not the intended one i don’t think. i get cotton candy from this! nice, but definitely not strawberry lemonade.
i think 52teas is a very creative vendor. i also think as with any producer not every product will please every customer (ie: this is no lime jello salad)… and quite possibly the fact that my samples are fairly old (very carefully preserved by the grand CHAroma, but still) play a role.
i reserve numerical judgement because i just don’t have all the information. i will say that teavana makes an awesome tisane by the same name. were my sample fresh, and if i had the chance to compare i have no idea which would prevail!
this was a gift from the awesome CHAroma… and i can’t even tell you what it tasted like!
this last january my wife and i were dismayed when a steady drip of water started through the ceiling in the living room. the last three weeks have been comprised of my wife and son clambering up and down scaffolding making the necessary repairs (while i stayed below in a cast).
this tea kept them going on a black asphalt roof last weekend when it was crazy hot. they both loved it. thanks frank!
i am a puerh lover. die hard (could i be any more clear?). i will love loose leaf for my whole life. i am genuinely contrite that it took me so long to find it: shame on me! while i will study and love and review and resteep tea forever (and build extra sections for tea storage into our kitchen so it knows how much it is loved), puerh will be a special study for me.
these tuocha are ripened. which means (i am simplifying this because i am still wrapping my own head around it) that as opposed to being dried in the sun the leaves go through a man made imitation of the ideal oxidation conditions… sortof like a natural emerald versus a spinel; one happens naturally the other not. now tea, like gemstones holds separate camps of favour. some favour the bricks and tuocha others the more nature reliant method. i fall into the latter category.
because of my allergy to coffee i am very sensitive to caffeine. when i say in a review that there ‘stickiness’ or a ‘lack of stickiness’ on the tongue from caffeine that’s because i am so sensitive to it i can actually get a physical sensation of it when it’s too heavy. my experience with the ripened puerh has been much too much caffeine and a significant amount of harshness. i literally cannot stomach it. so i avoid them.
i have heard great things of teavivre of late, so when angel asked me which samples i wanted i included this as one of them. i cannot love puerh and commit to an endless study and then refuse an opportunity to try one from a company i’ve heard good things about. (that’s not the way it works)
this is a column A/ Column B review:
*i was expecting harshness and it was quite mellow =0)
*i was expecting rose and didn’t get a single hint even after varying my technique and 3 steeps =0(
*i was expecting the flavour of puerh and also did not detect it (or not in the manner that i adore) =0(
*i was not expecting it to fall apart or ‘blossom’ because many of the brick types i have tried where too ripe and too compressed for it to happen, even after soaking, but it did =0)
i will refrain from a numerical assignment.
if you like the ripened puerhs this one is quite gentle! early on in the steep you get a deep amber coloured elixir (as opposed to some i’ve had that go as dark as turkish coffee).
thank you angel for this puerh nest… it was a much improved experience from my other ripened puerh samples!
i was out snagging some of silk road’s teas for swaps (they’re local and awesome) and grabbed this one for myself.
i didn’t know how it was going to work— puerh carries a warmth for me, while mint really does not. i couldn’t see that it would work halfway: it would either succeed or fail. success!
very nicely balanced between the warmth of the puerh and the cool crispness of the mint. Very simple. Lovely before bed. Yields a very deep green just a few seconds after the steep begins. It can be resteeped over and over using very little (3/4 tsp for a 16 oz cup with punch). Very smooth, very crisp, no caffeine stick. The soothing effect of a herbal with the longevity of a puerh!
on a completely separate note…. man did i miss steepster! i don’t do facebook or any other social media sites… just this one. it felt awful being cut off!!!
thank you to angel for this sample.
jasmine is a favourite of mine… not just the tea, but also the flowers that climb, their scent wending its way in through windows echoing the motion of the vines. jasmine has an interesting caffeine effect i find… i can drink it anytime without fear that it will keep me awake so it has become a lovely warm nighttime beverage.
to be honest i think the most striking aspect of this tea is that it unrolls… as an artisan tea, the pearls meet the requirements nicely. each ball is reminiscent of fiddlehead ferns as it uncurls. aside from that though it’s a nice jasmine, but it doesn’t stand out remarkably aside from that. nice, but not something i would pay shipping for.