246 Tasting Notes
every 500 years there is an eclipse… the world is dark but for certain iridescent flowers. only upon the most still lakes and ponds does it gleam… the black lotus; invisible by sunlight, black light, flashlight… the only way to see this bloom is during the mere moments it exists as it floats silently by in the impossible light of the eclipse.
don’t close your eyes for an instant.
the black lotus exists only for that singular drift, which stacy lim knows all too well. the secret of the black lotus has been handed down from mother to daughter within her family since time out of mind.
brown sugar flowers drifting across the water, drifting tendrils of roots trace patterns along the water, contemplating the brief existence and amber legacy it would leave at stacy’s persuasive coaxing.
such a rare existence, such a rare privilege.
thank you ifjuly. such a beautiful experience you shared…
Thanks to MissB for this tidbit!
this is an unusual incarnation of a mint chocolate chip blend ;0)
okay, i cheated, i peeked at the ingredients, which (because i cheated) revealed absolutely nothing! mint is a given, chocolate too, there would be issues with my palate if i didn’t notice the tea…. but i’m getting citrus! there’s no reason to think the ingredients are other than as listed…. there are lemon breeds of peppermint, sage too for that matter. you can also have one crop affect another by proximity to something like lemon balm or lemon thyme.
the citrus note is neat! very unusual! i FOLLOWED THE DIRECTIONS for the first steep (yeah, yeah— pick your jaws up off the floor, lol) but next time round i think i’d prefer a longer steep.
no numbers til it sits on the counter for 4.5 instead of 3. ;0P
thank you to ifjuly for this sample….
it took me a minute to switch gears! i’ve been caught up with french apothecaries since my mammoth swap with ysaurella few months back!
i like the layers in this. there’s a sweet smoke— not a lapsang, almost a hickory dipped peach, an earthy warm tobacco, and then a crisp straightforward black. i like the fact that each layer is distinct but also mutually flattering.
thank you ifjuly! a lovely experience! i would say it’s nice to get back to basics but this really isn’t basic, lol! sneaky is a better descriptor!
if you had predicted it in advance i likely would have laughed (okay guffawed) in your specific direction but this blend jolted a DISCONCERTING (and embarrassing) movie quote from me…… MissB. were you aware of this? hmmm
in any case… as i was sifting through the beautifully packed bag of treasures B packed for me last night i was drawn away to an ethereal world of fauchon crosswinds and mariage freres chinooks. after a long day i settled down (gleefully) to choose my own adventure.
what stood out about this blend was the colours…. bright yellows and red against the tea. bright and festive, and the smell! a bolero indeed. that is when it happened— that is when words from a movie i saw ONE time under duress squeaked out: ‘you had me at hello.’ yeah. ‘jerry macguire’. it’s like finding yourself singing along with the canned elevator music. how appalling.
dry the blend smells intriguingly like grapefruit! once the water was added the spanish dancer became a chameleon. no more grapefruit, fresh peaches mixed with sweet smoke, a background of fig, but a spicy version as opposed to the straight succulent sweet.
beautifully sweet, brilliantly executed. thank you MissB. i don’t think even you could have predicted a spontaneous ‘jerry mcguire’ recitation. you know what though? i’ll wear it…. a blend like this is worthy of such a dire confession, LOL!
sigh. i was so excited when i found this at winners. i must agree with dexter3657….. mint, alas mint. and i say that LIKING mint for the most part! i actually think the issue is compounded by the blue mallow? but i can’t be completely sure.
i don’t taste raspberry, i don’t even smell it. i’ll try again before i apply actual numbers, because i wanted to love this tea…. i really did. and if i apply numbers now… they wouldn’t be happy numbers. (i’d like to try again before i go on record =0( )
thanks very much to MissB for this sample.
this blend baffles me a bit. the smell when dry is fresh blueberries, all the way. freshly picked, sitting in a bowl on my counter….
once the water is added it just becomes a tea. nothing special. except every now and then i got a whiff of fresh blueberries. the cooler it gets the more blueberry it becomes. curiouser and curiouser.
very nice as cool, just there as hot. hmmmm. no numbers, could have been operator error.
thank you so much to laurent and sophie for this sample…..
the description of this tea is wrong. it is appallingly understated and borders on misleading. strong words, i know. allow me to explain:
apple teas are rarely what they claim to be. they are rarely ‘apple pie with spices’, they are rarely even good bases for tisanes— the apple gets lost, becomes vague…. not sweet, not tangy, not there.
at this point i will segue: french teas are a different breed. the nuance, the layers, the hundreds of years backing the study….. still what could they do with an apple. just because it’s a french apple doesn’t mean it’s going to carry any more punch. while i was excited to have a famously named sample….. as soon as i saw ‘apple’ listed in the ingredients list my heart felt a little less buoyed.
wrong. WRONG. i need a size 22 font……WRONG.
if i’m not mistaken they chose crab apples. plenty. of. punch.
clever, so clever…. rose can be too perfumed, crab apple could be too bitter…. the acid aspect of the apples draws out the fresh petal suggestion of the roses, i get fresh flowers…. not an intense perfume. fruit, flowers…… all made brilliantly because of what seems to be a crab apple.
laurent, sophie, mes compliments tres sinceres.
laurent, sophie, my most sincere compliments.
this is the first and only apple tea i have ever found even remotely tolerable, nevermind outstanding.
i steeped for 3 minutes after a full boil, i think perhaps a slightly lower temperature for perhaps 2.5 minutes next time.
this sample came from the gracious Stephanie whom i am thinking of at this ungodly hour as i sip.
i have an exam in a few hours. i need to be able to think. which means i need to sleep….. instead i go over and over my information. this is NOT helpful!!!
the tea…. mild, minty, hopefully conducive to sleep in the near future. although going by the name i am not inspired to look up in awe at majestic trees or dodge charging elk (which has been known to happen in northern BC). to me this blend is a murky mint. i don’t get any oolong, birch, cinnamon or clove….. i smelled anise in the dry blend, but that is explained by the fennel. murky mint sums it up for me.
no numbers, c’mon, it’s 4:15. i’ll try one more time. at the moment though i’m not amazed.
this was an insightful inclusion by one miss VariaTEA in a return swap.
this blend calls old fashioned christmas trees to mind, the ones decorated with oranges studded with cloves in eccentric patterns, hung by huge loops of ribbon. the air is always spicy when i see them, almost sharp; cloves, orange peel and some invented element when they combine that i have never been able to identify… hmmmm a few tweaks and this could be a chai!
heavy spice, but beautifully balanced. a very good way to wake up, especially if you’re feeling rotten. very smooth base, very smooth transition into and out of the spice. the orange has a strong presence…. THERE IS NO PITH!!!! i am getting no lingering bitter after taste. full marks for that kusmi!
honestly, i am wondering where i can buy some of this. this could absolutely be my seasonal theme tea. thanks so much VariaTEA! such a thoughtful inclusion.
thank you so much to Stephanie for this sample. (her timing was very ninja-like…. quite cool!)
for those that have been following the nonsense that has been my life of late: i saw the emergency opthomologist yesterday. surgery likely in two weeks, steroids up until then. reading isn’t fun which means my exam on monday is going to be….creative? thus Stephanie-ninja’s package (and VariaTEA’s) found me yesterday!
the tea: hmmm. my sample does NOT look like this, first off, although the smell wasn’t too far from the photo. this tea would give darwin new insights, lol. (ie: the blend has a dramatic evolutionary shift).
i do not care for it hot. i scowled at it openly. i got no chocolate, no almond…. coconut? hah! i do try not hold grudges…. they serve no purpose but to grow poison trees. i channeled zen sipped again and….. MUCH BETTER! not robust. not clearly chocolate almond…. but the cooler it gets the more it improves.
i think the blend itself needs more oomph. an oomph boost! good idea… not done yet though. darwin could meddle!