867 Tasting Notes
My first Earl Grey in a few days. It’s nice to change things up every now and then.
Had a terrible scare this morning. Okay, I probably over reacted, but no. 1 got into an argument with his dad and left the house without saying where he was going. I figured he’d come back in in a few minutes, but he didn’t. Took no. 2 to President’s Week Camp figuring that perhaps no. 1 had walked over there. He wasn’t there. Came back ready to call the police, but cooler heads prevailed—got in the car with the BF and started to cruise the neighborhood. Got out of the car to ring the neighbor’s bell and no. 1 was coming out the front door right when I walked up.
We had a long discussion about leaving the house at age 9 without asking permission or saying where you’re going.
My throat was a bit tight from the length of the discussion and from the panicked tears.
This morning, for the first time, I’m actually tasting tea in this. Being able to taste the tea is an improvement. It helps with the mental confusion I’ve described in previous notes.
It also takes the edge off both the bacon and the maple.
It’s really not bad this morning, but I haven’t changed my mind about the food genre. The BF likes it in any case, so I have a sipdown helper.
Sipdown no. 94 of the year 2014. Bye bye sachets!
I’ve been thinking about why this doesn’t do it for me, and I don’t think it’s the chamomile.
I’ve had some really terrific chamomile lately, either by itself or in a blend without any of the following: hibiscus, mint, licorice.
It’s these other ingredients that are making this not work for me. They suck the delicious natural sweetness and creaminess right out of the chamomile and reduce it to some straw-like imposter that’s tastes like a mouthful of chamomile potpourri.
I had the same problem with the other mint/chamomile blend I had a while back.
I think I’ll stock a chamomile blend when all is said and done, though I don’t often crave it. But at this point, I think it’s going to be Harney’s Yellow and Blue unless something else comes out of left field and bowls me over. (How’s that for a parade of cliches? It’s late. Night night all.)
It has been a really long time since I had a Pina Colada. In fact, it’s entirely possible I never actually had one….
So I can’t really rate this against its purported flavor. I suspect if I were to do so I’d give it a lower rating because, well, just the barest suggestion of rum, and I know enough to know that Pina Colada has rum in it.
However, the other two flavors, pineapple and coconut are wonderfully done. In a way it’s surprising, because in the packet I mostly smelled sort of sour wood. But after steeping, that goes completely away and the slight woodiness from the honeybush is barely noticeable. The pineapple and coconut are very well balanced, with neither flavor overpowering the other, and I don’t get an artificial note from either of them even though both flavors are very easy to go toward artificial with.
I wasn’t expecting to like this as much as I did, which always makes for a nice surprise.
This isn’t the only tea I’ve had since this morning, just the only one I had anything to say about. The others were all from teabags, consumed on the way to or at work, in various stages of sipdown. The good news is, I have several sipdowns of my starter teas coming up in the next few days. Yay!
I had this for the first time last night but it wasn’t under the best conditions. I intended to take it with me in the car on the way to meet another family for dinner out, but the BF was in a mood and eager to get going and was unwilling to wait the 1:30 it would have taken to steep this. Sigh. So it sat in the Breville until we returned and was room temperature, which this time of year is more like cold. I drank it cold, and it wasn’t bad that way, but I suspected it would be better hot.
So I’m trying again tonight. I really like genmaicha, and even without enhancements it gives me a bit of a malty grainy impression sometimes. This is like that natural maltiness dialed up to 11. I can smell toasty rice in the aroma of the steeped tea and barely any malt, but the flavor is as though someone has taken the insides out of malted milk balls, smashed them up and sprinkled the resulting powder into genmaicha.
There’s also an interesting milk note. I noticed a lot of discussion about the symbolism of the glass of milk on the label, and my own contribution is that perhaps it is referring to this milk note and not so much the idea of malted milk.
The tea liquor is a clear, light yellow.
I give it high marks for living up to its name. I suspect, though I don’t know for sure, that unlike a couple of the other elderly 52 teas packages I’ve cracked open lately this one won’t turn on me. It has a different aspect to it altogether that isn’t causing me vertigo from drinking tea that tastes like a completely different non-drinkable food. Yay!
I mentioned that the Buttered Cinnamon Raisin Toast gets exceptionally high marks from me for successfully evoking its name (on the order of 90+ points), but that I had to mark it down because the overall experience of drinking it was uneven and also I concluded it wasn’t really a taste I wanted in a tea.
I’m having a very similar reaction to this one, and it is now something I’ve put in the active sipdown category.
Today I’m definitely tasting maple bacon. 90+ for getting the flavor right. But it’s just too weird for me to drink this flavor. If I was at a breakfast buffet and dropped a piece of maple bacon in my coffee or tea, I’d probably be grossed out and dump the cup.
I did choose this as something I’d like to try, so my reaction isn’t that severe, and I’ll be able to drink my way through this. But the cognitive dissonance I mentioned in my previous note is a strong factor here. My brain feels fooled into drinking something that shouldn’t have this flavor, and it gives me an overall feeling of uneasiness.
In the future I intend to stay away from ordering food-flavored teas unless that food is some dessert confection that contains chocolate, vanilla, nuts or fruit, all flavors that can be found naturally in the tea leaf without additional flavors. ;-) One might argue that bacon can be found in lapsang and maple in other teas, but I haven’t come across this combo anywhere in nature.
Sipdown no. 93 of the year 2014.
I have to settle on a rating that’s lower than I was prepared to give yesterday.
The bulk of this rating reflects the amazing ability of this tea to conjure that for which it is named. On that score, as I said before, it gets something like a 90+.
However, it’s easy, through preparation, to get it somewhat off, and when that happens it heads for a chemicaly flavor that sits like a rock in my stomach. Even when it is prepared well and tastes like its name without the chemical overtones, I’ve concluded that it’s just not a flavor I really want to drink in my tea.
It has been a long time since I had any of this and when I had it way back when it was in teabag form at the office, so not particularly expertly steeped.
This is apparently one of Angrboda’s favorites. Kidding! Her note about this cracked me up. I have to say that although I don’t remember my grandmother smelling like this, I get what she means. There’s something about the smell in the tin, the musty floral spice scent, that reminds me of antique shops, and I suppose that could be extended to antique people.
The aroma of the steeped tea is very similar to the aroma in the tin—spicy but not savory, floral, and very very vaguely Earl Grey-like. I don’t get any soapiness. The underlying tea is sweet and pleasant.
It’s not my favorite, but not because there’s anything wrong with it. More because it just isn’t very distinctive. Still, I’ll enjoy drinking it more than some others I’ve tried recently. Bumping the rating.
Sipdown no. 92 of the year 2014! Three down, two to go on the SpecialTeas samples.
Taking off a small number of points because the last couple of days this has been heavier on the coconut oil than it needs to be, probably because I was getting to the bottom of the packet. The flavor was still good, just a little on the oily and heavy side unlike the initial taste.
I have a lot of other coconut teas, so fortunately, I won’t miss this one.
Today I steeped this one at boiling and tacked on 30 seconds, steeping for a full 5 minutes.
This may be the sweet spot for this tea. Not chemical-y, and the very strong butter flavor I got before is somewhat milder. More raisin is coming through, and somehow the combination of the buttery and raisiny, even without a separately identifiable cinnamon flavor, is evoking the toast very nicely today.
I have to bump it up just a bit. I think I have one more pot left before sipdown. I hope by then I’ll have figured this out enough to zero in on a final rating.