84

Slightly more than 100 pages into War and Peace and I can’t believe I didn’t have the guts to pick up this book before. It’s bulk scared me. But man, is it a fast read. I needn’t have been scared, it’s such fun I feel like I want to lock myself in a room with it and only come out to make tea. But alas, that’s unlikely. I have to go to that wretched weight work out soon and then we might go see Toy Story 3 or at least I’d like to if we can pull it off.

In any case, I decided drinking something with the word Russian in its name would at least keep me feeling like I’m locked in the room even if I’m not. In the sample packet this one smells nice and smoky, as I’d anticipated, very much like the H&S straight lapsang with the volume turned down by a half to two thirds.

After steeping its aroma is a bit milder. I wonder if Keemun is one of the four teas in here? Maybe Ceylon as well? The underlying tea has a sort of sweet, woody smell to it with a bit of smoke.

There’s a mild smokiness in the flavor, which is actually quite nice, and there is also some gentle woody flavor. I could see this one being a nice morning tea. Although I haven’t tasted it in a while, this one is making me think of Upton’s Baker Street Blend but without the perkiness. If there is darjeeling in this, I can’t tell. This one has a mildly smoky flavor that would make a nice segue into smoky teas for someone interested in giving them a try but not yet up for the very tarry, piney strength of the more intense lapsangs.

This is going to make it into my Russian run off, for sure.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Angrboda

You are really beginning to make me curious about that book! I’ve thought about it before myself but I too was scared by the size of it. And it’s always that one that people use as an example for a really long book. I’m not always a very fast reader so I’ve got two fairly big ones to get through first, but I might give it a go afterwards.

UpInTheAir

That’s an interesting sounding tea

__Morgana__

@Angrboda, yeah, I know. My edition is about 1500 pages long in paperback, but if the rest goes as fast it won’t take that long to read. It’s surprisingly humorous; very interesting commentary on the Russian upper class in the early 1800s. There was one line that cracked me up, something along the lines of the way one of the characters talked you couldn’t tell whether he was really brilliant or a total idiot. I have known people like that!

Chey

Thematic tea drinking! One of my absolute favourites.

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Angrboda

You are really beginning to make me curious about that book! I’ve thought about it before myself but I too was scared by the size of it. And it’s always that one that people use as an example for a really long book. I’m not always a very fast reader so I’ve got two fairly big ones to get through first, but I might give it a go afterwards.

UpInTheAir

That’s an interesting sounding tea

__Morgana__

@Angrboda, yeah, I know. My edition is about 1500 pages long in paperback, but if the rest goes as fast it won’t take that long to read. It’s surprisingly humorous; very interesting commentary on the Russian upper class in the early 1800s. There was one line that cracked me up, something along the lines of the way one of the characters talked you couldn’t tell whether he was really brilliant or a total idiot. I have known people like that!

Chey

Thematic tea drinking! One of my absolute favourites.

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Bio

I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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