403 Tasting Notes
Life is better when you have heating on, and the sun starts to shine between the clouds. I’m having this plain, with some Moroccan mint that I grow in pots outside my apartment. This tea grows bitter very quickly, so if you don’t enjoy the bitterness of tea, add sugar, honey, stivia or any other kind of sweetener that takes your fancy.
I’m hoping that the bitterness and the mint will clear away some of the fogginess left by the cold (which, alas, has yet to pack its bags and leave me be).
Another herbal tea from Ronnefeldt that I bought in Berlin. Again, this tea contains Rooibos, and I probably wouldn’t have bought it if I understood the ingredient list on it. But it was on sale, as part of their Christmas selection, and it smelled nice (of not-too-powerful Amaretto), so I bought it. It is actually quite good, not two sweet, without any chemical taste, and with a juicy, fruity, Amaretto taste to it. The brew is quite opaque, and looks like honey melted in warm water. It will probably brew well cold, but I needed a hot drink, and so I prepared it hot. Not sure that I would go out of my way to buy it again, but it’s nice to have it around for now.
I am down with a cold, and am drinking tea with great abundance. The heating is out, and I’m waiting for a technician to arrive and fix it. Meanwhile, I have pulled out my traditional comforter, F&M’s Keemun. I’m not feeling it’s smokey, nutty, malty goodness quite as well today, but it was good enough to cheer me up and warm my hands.
It’s been a long time since I have last brewed a cup of this tea, still one of my top 5, and vying for #1 only with Verdant’s Laoshan Black. It still smells of candied stone fruit, and tastes delightfully sweet, and fantastically invigorating. I have finished one pouch of this tea, and am halfway through another, and I’m eyeing my supply worriedly, since the wonderful Norbu Tea no longer stock it :(
I am in the midst of a flurry of university papers, so I had no time for a proper Gongfu session in over a month now (sob), but this tea still works wonderfully Western style.
Managed to have a cup of this at work yesterday, before all hell broke loose. Can’t really talk about it, but let’s just say that I had a very interesting 4 hours, and that instead of leaving work early, I left at 20:30, in pouring rain and freezing cold, with nothing but the memory of this tea to sustain me.
A good, smooth, always-nice-to-have-around tea, that is completely dependable.
I don’t like flavoured teas.
I like rooibos even less.
But something about the Berlin Christmas markets, and the snowy weather, and the fact that I love Ronnefeldt tea, and the fact that I haven’t been able to find it outside of Germany, and the fact that this-tea-was-on-sale, and the fact that it smelled oh so very nice, and the fact that since the label was in German I didn’t notice that it was a rooibos until I opened the bag at home today and made myself a cup – all this resulted in me buying a 100g bag of this tea.
And it’s lovely. It doesn’t taste like rooibos or honeybush, nor does it have the chemical taste, or the sickening sweetness, or the overpowering vanilla/hibiscus/other-cheap-additives smell and taste that flavoured teas and herbal infusions tend to have.
It tastes exactly as if you had just made a lovely batch of sugar cookies, and while they were still piping hot and made the house smell like all that is good in the world, you somehow managed to melt them into a tea. This tea is sweet, but not overly sweet, and it is begging to be coupled with a batch of homemade cookies, or a really good cake. A great way to cheer yourself up in this miserable weather.