357 Tasting Notes
I’m just gonna sorta sneak in here with my tail between my legs. I’ve finally returned to the land of tea last week when I came down with a nasty head cold. Since then I’ve been drinking this almost non-stop (still as awesome as ever). And with drinking this I naturally thought of Steepster and that I’d kinda fallen off the face of the earth here. And I really feel bad with how I’d been planning to send out gift bags of tea and utterly failed at that after people had shared their mailing addresses with me (so very, very sorry!). Every-once-in-a-while I’d think of that plan and just wanna crawl into a hole and die because of my lack of follow-through :(
Onto happier notes — I am really very happy with how much better this site is running! Six months ago — the last time I posted (eek!) this site ran like molasses for me, taking almost a minute for each page to load. I stop by this evening and holy-molie is it fast! And my stuck “Notices” have finally cleared up! So, huzzah to the Steepster overlords!
So, I’m going to try and post at least once-a-week here. Things are still hectic in my life, but I’m finally getting into a rhythm. And I think my return to tea is a nice indicator of that. However, I won’t be reviewing much new. I am determined to get through lots of my teas in my cupboard before I order any more. Uh, except for the Fortnum teas I just discovered at Williams-Sonoma. Yeah, I’m gonna have to try those. But nothing beyond that. I hope!
I have missed you all and hope that everyone is doing well!
I just had to stop by Steepster and say “HI!!!” to everyone, and apologize for my prolonged absence. I’m getting ready for a major move sometime in June and am still adjusting to the new job. And let’s not even get into the grad school fail (I need to re-apply for next year). But at least I’ll be within a mile of my work and will no longer have the 2 hour round-trip commutes to contend with anymore — huzzah!
I haven’t had a spot of tea in months :( With the hectic schedule I’ve been relying on coffee (gasp!) and diet soda (double-gasp!) to get through. However, my poor system is begging for tea — so I hope to turn it around after the move. I hope.
I miss you all and hope that all is going well!
JacquelineM — how fast did you start craving this the moment you saw me post this? ;)
Seriously, it was because of a note that JacquelineM posted about H&S’s Earl Grey that I remembered that I had a handful of samples tucked away for sometime. Well, one of those sometimes is now. We had our first nasty snowstorm of the season yesterday/today, so I felt that Florence would be very appropriate on a day like this.
I think that it’s very deserving of its praise here on Steepster, and I think others have done an excellent job of describing its many charms. So, why isn’t my rating higher? Well, you may recall that I am not a fan of chocolate. Yes, I am a freak. Ever since overdoing it on M&Ms one Easter as a child I have a very low level of chocolate tolerance. Some days I like it more than others. I think that today is a good day, but it still keeps me from utterly melting over this tea. All that said, I would seriously consider keeping a tin of this on hand — not just for me, but especially for visiting friends or family. NE
OLD LADY TEA!!!!!! Seriously, smells like a room in an old church where a bunch of older ladies were meeting and their musty perfume hangs in the air. Wowsa. I’m both repulsed by and compelled to drink this tea. So utterly perfumey and rather blech, but I keep sipping! I think that I have a problem. I will never purchase this again (if I try, then I need a major tea intervention), but I think that I’ll finish the box. Bizarre but true. The graphics on the box (owl in a teacup!) is the best part of this tea. M
Okay, so the packaging totally sold me on this one. The little happy wiener dog has “Ooo-long tea” printed across his long body. EEEEE! And then Jaime had a nice review of this, and I was looking for some handy-dandy tea for work, and so I bought this (plus the Jasmine Earl Grey — with an adorable owl in a tea cup on the box!, and their “Live Forever tea” which had just enough cheesiness for me to buy it).
It’s really amazing that I held off so long on A&D’s teas because their packaging is lightyears beyond this. Oy, I’m a sucker.
I was even hesitant to try another plum-type tea since my only “plum tea” experience was from the insta-tea packet that AmazonV so generously shared with me. And that was a bit bizarre. :)
Anywho, my first cup of this is surprisingly nice! It has a gentle gentle plum scent that almost comes off as floral. I think that I’m also getting a taste of paper from the bags, but I’m not 100% sure. This being at work — I had no control over parameters and of course we got busy. So I think that I may have understeeped this and it’s also now a very cold cup. Therefore I’ll be holding off on giving this a rating. I’d guess that it’s at least a 70. NE
I brought in this tea to work since it’s in a nice small tin, and it’s not my favorite (so the at work damage of tea isn’t heartbreaking). Pleasant first steep, and even after forgetting about it on the second steep (maybe 7 minutes) it is still very drinkable. Yes, there’s a bit more astringency, but it’s still hitting the spot. NE
On a side note (since this tea came as a sample with my mom’s gift of a tetsubin): I named that new (and somewhat new favorite) teapot Marsha :)
I also received my bagged tea order from BlueQ today. Egads — packaging is even cuter in person. I’m hoping to try one before I leave today, but if that doesn’t happen, then I’ll for sure try at least one tomorrow.
Huh…I might actually have to bump up my rating on this one (maybe) cuz I actually craved this tonight. A full-out tea craving that I wasn’t anticipating.
I messed up the first steep because in my mind I thought “oh it’s an herbal” and steeped it accordingly. It was a bit more bitter, but still very drinkable (and I figured out my mistake). So, I gave a second steep a go which is rare for me ‘n bagged teas. Well, who knew? It’s freakin’ fantastic! I would no longer be able to identify it as “candy cane” but it’s more like a green tea with a minty twist (“with a tweest!”). It’s even cooled to room temp and I like it even more. NE
I so made the right decision to bring this tin home from work: it has to have controlled brewing to bring out its best. Winging it at work made it taste…kinda like a wimpy off-brand of Frosted Flakes. At the right time/temp with filtered water: NOM!
I was also glad that this was my first tea of the new year (Happy New Year Y’all!) since it reminds me of the tea journey I started last year since Golden Moon’s sampler was the first “big” tea purchase I’d made. I’m still a-steepin’ these leaves (adding a minute to each steep). Yuppers. This is good stuff. TG