Doulton’s Shakespeare: A Tasting Note in 5 Acts
Act III scene 5
Exit, pursued by the Bear.
Stage direction from A Winter’s Tale, Act III scene 3
When I was initially going through the mighty Shakespeare box and I pulled this bag out I said aloud “Oh God” both as a statement of horror and a supplication. I dislike both chocolate and Puerh: this seemed like the most unholiest of pairings. I needed to be in the right frame of mind to try this one. And today was the day.
I bravely went to my teapot and prepped. The dry leaves actually didn’t make me recoil. As I added the freshly boiled water to the leaves the scent wafted up I did recoil and said “Oh God” yet again. Dirty animal chocolate. As I poured the steeped tea and the smell came at me I started muttering “ohgodohgodohgod…” My composure totally cracked, and yet I tried a sip. I GAGGED! It was my first full-out tea gag. I calmly set the cup down and put my hand over my mouth and tried to decide what to do. It smelled like a zoo. A chocolate sprinkled zoo. Perhaps more like if you took this tea, mixed it with the mocha powder that Starbucks uses, and then stored it in the cave where a bear’s hibernating for the winter. I decided to let it sit in another room while I decided its fate. Either the cooling would be a good thing or it would go down the sink.
The cooling helped it quite a bit. I’ve only had a few Puerhs, but there seems to be a “sweet spot” of time/temp where it becomes this oddly fascinating drink to me. The window on this one was very quick. I could sort of understand why others like this: the chocolate did do a neat “flavor coat” on the roof of my mouth. The tea seemed more like a mineral-filled earth. And then it went back to being blechy. There’s about 1/3 of the cup left and it’s sink-bound.
This tea is Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale. It starts off full of vengence, then does this 180 where it’s all about redemption and a statue coming to life. It really isn’t Shakespeare’s best play — the only really good part of this play is the stage direction Exit, persued by the bear. I started off vengeful with this tea, then shifted maybe 10 degrees or so in it’s favor, but that’s as far as I got. No redemption here. If I really enjoyed chocolate or Puerhs, then this would be a completely different note, but alas it is not to be. GA