365 Tasting Notes
Doulton’s Shakespeare: A Tasting Note in 5 Acts
Act V scene 2
The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless’d;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
The Merchant of Venice, Act IV scene 1
When I tore open this teabag’s packet this morning I was quite intrigued by the smell. I think that I actually inhaled some of the escaped fannings while my nose was jammed into the packet. I was trying to figure out the scent. I had been expecting a Constant Comment-esque smell, but this was completely different ::sniff-sneeze!:: I had to trust that my subconscous would eventually figure it out. As it steeped I read the little packet and was surprised by the ingredients: Jasmine? Really? Huh…
I swear that for the whole friggin’ cup I was trying to figure out what I wanted to compare it to (so much for subconscious). It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t teagasmic, but it was utterly distracting. The orange was probably the most mellow of the flavors, but I couldn’t tell if it was because it melded nicely with the rest or if it was just barely there. I also think that my mind goes to a default “anise-flavored” when uncertain of a fragrance. I have no clue as to why. It was one of those teas where if someone was giving some away I’d be fine with taking it, but I’m not going to go out of my way for more.
After reading some other comments hoping to find the “mystery association” I found it: orange creamsicle. I think that I’ve had less than 5 of those in my lifetime, so after I removed my palm from my forehead I laughed at my sipping intensity as I had pondered similar tastes.
Oh, but where does this tea fit into the Shakespeare cannon? More pondering! It’s feminine, more comic than tragic (not worthy of a sonnet), not the best but not the worst. What play haven’t I touched upon yet? ::ponder, ponder, ponder:: Merchant of Venice! But all I really know of that play is a few quotes, anti-Semitism, and Shylock. ::research, research, research:: I came close to dubbing this tea Shylock’s daughter Jessica, but I felt that this tea had more oomph of a larger character. Portia! Yup, I’m calling this tea Portia. She’s the catalyst for a lot that happens and then does the whole “dress up like a man to set men straight” deal. I think that nowadays she’s portrayed as a strong feminine character, but back in Shakespeare’s day she would have been seen more as “the Fool” or a lot like Kate in The Taming of the Shrew. Yes, she’s allowed to get some great digs at the men (who are all not the sharpest spoons in the toolshed’s lightbulb) but once the shennanigans are over with, well, she’ll go back to being a humbled wife. NE
I’ve been cold brewing this for well over 24 hours. I used up the last of the sample Daniel Mann sent me and used a scoop from the sample that Jessica sent me: woohoo!
It’s quite pleasant iced. I usually don’t remark on the color of the liquid tea — I generally appreciate it, but I have a limited color vocabulary (my reviews would contain a lot of “brownish” and “light brownish” descriptors if I tried). That said I have to remark that this looks like lemonade. I can’t recall a more yellow cup. It still comes across as a fruit-tea cocktail. Maybe more on the tea side. I’m having trouble even sort of describing this (sorry!). There’s a teeny-tiny bit of plant-like bitterness. I’m thinking that this is another tea that would benefit by being a hot brewed iced tea. NE
It’s gonna be a long day at work (drama-llama-ding-dong) so I needed something smoky with oomph. This fit the bill nicely (not so heavy on the oomph, but it’s still so good). Hooray for Doulton who gave me a large sample of this in the Shakespeare box! The second “commuter steep” was quite yummy (I don’t know how long it steeped since I “pulled an Ewa” and was running around like a headless chicken. I’m guessing 9 minutes). Homicidal tendencies have been curbed and I’m as ready for today as I’m gonna get. NE
I used up the last of my sample today but didn’t have quite enough left for a pot. So I mutated it a bit and added some Samovar Russian Blend to it. I had a fixed car to celebrate (see below for details on that) and wanted to break the possible “curse-o-Samovar.” Plus I’d forgotten to put Lapsang Souchong on my GTC order and the uber-fantastic Daniel Mann added some to my order after noticing my oversight. More celebration! This is actually one of the best “mutant teas” that I’ve done — but hey, two yummy teas comprise this cup. It’s about 1& a half tsp LS and 1 tsp RC. TG
The car is fixed — I get to pick it up at 1:00! It had a bad computer and I’m still under warranty ::happy dance:: And since my insurance covers towing the grand total of this stress is $65. The $65 comes from the first shop it was towed to for them to say “we don’t know what’s wrong with it” which is exactly what happened the last time they looked at my previous car. Only back then they’d caused massive damage to my break system that could’ve killed me. So why did my car even end up there? My dad: gods bless him. He believes they’re great because they’re “Christian.” But I can’t get too upset since my Dad’s the one who took care of everything when my car wouldn’t start and he also let me drive his car to work for most of this week. When I found out that he’d towed the car to that shop and not Toyota I let him know I wasn’t too happy about it. I shall try and figure out a way to let him know tactfully that I never ever want any of my cars going back to that place. I’ll also be adding rental car coverage to my insurance policy asap.
Thank you to everyone who said a little prayer or sent me good vibes since Monday. Y’all are awesome! :D
Weight Loss Tea
A Tea Dialogue in 3 PMs (paraphrased):
Rabs: Um, Daniel, I don’t know how to say this, but there was this big honkin’ chunk-o-fused tea thing in my Weight Loss tea sample. I thought you should know. Should I be worried? Do you know what it is?
Daniel: No need to be worried! What you found is called a Toucha ball.
Super-cool explanation follows regarding Toucha balls.
Rabs: Hooray! I’ve learned something new. Thank you :D
::runs back to teapot and adds the Toucha ball for her second steep:: TG
I ordered more of this last night after the wonderful Daniel Mann from the Georgia Tea Company gave me a discount because of my car troubles. I waffled on this one a tiny bit because I’m still not sure how much my car repairs will cost, but then I went back and sniffed the sample bag and it’s still like my mom’s homemade angel food cake. SOLD!
Since I’m currently out of my Earl Grey Cream I decided to see how this one handled the JOEmo thermos treatment. So far this morning it’s awesome. Angel food cake inna cup! TG
This was my “oh lord, I drank some beer last night which always upsets my system so I feel horrible in the morning and I need something soothing” tea this morning. I found it very soothing. The sweet floralness really was perfect. This one’s growing on me. It’s like it has the “NERDS! taste but healthier.” I’m gonna bump the rating up a little (the original being a solid 80). NE
I finished off my cold brewed iced tea pitcher of this tonight. This puppy’s been in the fridge for…at least two days, and this extra time has (not surprisingly) given it more depth. It’s still very cherry, but it also has more cake to it. Pineapple is still elusive — I get a tiny bit in the aftertaste peeking out from behind the cherry. It’s a good way to end my day :) NE