953 Tasting Notes
Little league baseball season has started. With two kids on two different teams, this means we will have three games and two practices each week for the next few months. Last year around this time we pretty much lost control of our entire schedule because of the baseball situation and I couldn’t wait for it to be over. Not that it wasn’t fun watching the kids play. No. 1 in particular is quite talented. He has an amazing arm and is a pretty reliable batter as well. But still. On top of everything else the kids have going on it’s quite a hellacious couple of months. Not to mention what we, the adults, have going on. All of which basically gets put on the back burner. At least this time I have a folding chair to take with me to the games (I asked for one for Mother’s Day last year because my butt hurt from having to sit on the concrete at the parks where there aren’t bleachers).
All of that is a long winded way of saying that I’m going to put this in a big mug and go lie down with it beside my bed, and I expect I will fall asleep (continuing with the baseball theme) before you can say Jack Robinson.
The pie flavor is coming out even before much cooling goes on tonight, which is comforting. Soon my body will realize that it isn’t getting any sugar out of this despite the taste and I won’t be able to stay awa…
I still have one serving of the plain Yerba Mate before sipdown, but I thought I’d crack this open today anyway and see what’s what.
It was definitely the right choice to try to plain first. This is much easier to drink than the plain version. It is much mellower—tastes more grassy and less dirty-grassy. Steeping a shorter time may make the difference, but it could also be the addition of the kukicha. In general it is less bitter and closer to sweet, though I wouldn’t go far enough to call it sweet as the description does. Interestingly, I’m not really getting a mineral or metallic note, but then I didn’t get a passion fruit aroma from the leaves, either.
Definitely more to my liking than the plain version. I’m not going to rush out and buy mate blends, though. Mate remains not really my thing.
Sipdown no. 102 of the year 2014.
I bought the 2 oz size of most of my Teavana teas, so if I apply myself to drinking them they don’t last long.
This was a nice one. I’m bumping the rating some because the key to this is steeping very short and using low temp. At 175 for 1 minute this has a very delicate, pleasant lychee flavor that is kept from being cloying by what I am assuming is the effect of the goji berries (I haven’t had them outside of this tea so I’m not sure, but I’m thinking they must have some natural tartness to them?) and the white tea is taste-able without being planty.
It has been discontinued, however, so this is a definite goodbye. On to the next flavored white.
Started the day with the same Earl Grey as yesterday (no note on that one, I didn’t have anything new to say about it) and then turned to this. Another from my original 52teas over-acquisition that has not been opened until today.
A very sweet cinnamon fragrance over black tea in the packet, and the bright little red hots look pretty among the dark tea leaves.
The aroma from the tea is very cinnamon-y, but not quite as sweet and I can smell a maltiness from the black tea underneath. The liquor is an astonishing, garnet color. Really gorgeous.
I really love the H&S cinnamon, which to me tastes like red hots except without red hots actually in it. This also has stick cinnamon and some flavoring.
It’s tasty, and it is definitely cinnamon-y. It’s on the sweet side, but not really the hot side except for a spicy kick in the finish, right on the tip of the tongue.
And I’m not having the “food tea” reaction, though I didn’t expect to. Candy doesn’t really count as food. Or at least, that’s what I keep telling my kids…
I prefer the H&S because of its base. And also the weird voodoo by which they manage to make it taste like red hots without actually having red hots in it.
But this certainly lives up to its name, is tasty, and I don’t see its novelty wearing off very fast the way the food teas did. High marks from me.
The name of this cracks me up. (What happened to the first 1236 herbals?) It’s like the guy who named his boat “Lucky 2.”
I am excited, however, to be drinking an ingredient called Moldavian dragonhead. I feel tough just thinking about it.
My first note on this recorded surprise that I liked it as much as I did, and I agree with what I said before. It isn’t an overly lemony lemon tisane, and the vanilla isn’t enough to push it into the cream or chiffon camp. It’s got an herbally lightness to it that is more grassy sweet than sweet-sweet and the vanilla supplies more mellowness than actual flavor. It’s not a fruity lemon, but it’s a pleasant one nevertheless.
This is tonight’s after dinner tea. I had a choice of sipping down a few things or having this and I chose to leave the sipdowns for a day when I might need them to hit my at-least-a-sipdown-a-day mark.
It’s actually quite pleasant after food. Something about tomato based sauce seems to mellow the maltiness a little so that it is just a bit more pronounced than the natural maltiness of genmaicha.
In other news, I found my matcha bowls! I only remembered having two, but apparently I have three. (Quelle surprise.) I only had to go through five cabinets looking for them and had basically given up when I thought to look some place I really thought they weren’t. So there is now matcha in my future. Awesome.
File under stupid tea tricks.
I had two Finum baskets on my desk at work, both with measured portions of this in it. The first was to consume, the second was to attempt to ascertain how many servings were left in the tin. (My guess is there were about 3-4.)
I say were because after I steeped the first basket, I grabbed a basket to toss out what I thought was the spent yerba mate and dumped the dry mix into the garbage.
There are now about 2-3 servings left and I feel like an utter dolt. If this had been something I love, I would have been heartbroken, too.
Fortunately, I’m sure it is more than apparent from my previous notes on this how I feel about yerba mate. On the bright side, I’m one serving more away from being able to recycle the awesome black matte Samovar tin. I already know what I want to put in it.
Sipdown no. 101 of the year 2014.
Today it was a little on the too much side, really dense. Almost like an oil slick, really.
I attribute this to the descent of the chocolate pieces to the bottom of the sample packet and their concentration there much more intensely than its blenders intended.
I had some nicer cups out of this and the bottom of the barrel experience doesn’t ruin it for me.
This concludes the sipdowns of my SpecialTeas samples, though I still have part of a tin of Rooibos Lemon Chiffon. I’ve been enjoying it in the evening, when it has been populating the mug beside my bed. Though it hasn’t aged particularly well, it is far more enjoyable than the last tisane to fill that role, Tazo’s Sweet Cinnamon Spice.
This was, again, my first morning tea.
Today was the first day in a while that I didn’t have as an initial tea something I wasn’t wild about and was trying to sip down. Not having that hanging over my head made for a very pleasurable tea experience.
I have a full sized tin of this and I hit the halfway mark today, so this is becoming a candidate for sipping down. But this is the way it should happen—naturally, as a consequence of being enjoyed, not because its owner is on a mission. ;-) It’s still a solid, middle-of-the-pack Earl Grey that I enjoy drinking, but it isn’t off the charts in any respect. That’s fine, though. Sometimes I just want a tea that isn’t so incredible that I spend all my time thinking about it while I’m drinking it. Sometimes I want something that doesn’t call attention to itself with every sip. That’s this tea.
I haven’t had this in a very long time. Today we were running out of the house to go to the laser tag place and I had to grab something fast. I didn’t have time to measure or think too much about water temp and I am down to very few types of bagged tea, so I grabbed this and stuck it in the Timolino.
I think that pu-erh isn’t really the best toodling around tea. Or at least not for me.
Which isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy this. It was leathery and a bit brothy like it apparently was the last time I had it, judging from my previous note. I just think that it’s meant to be sipped in peace and quiet and in smaller amounts.
I never realized how rushed my life is most of the time until I started having to fight for minutes to get tea made before leaving the house. Or even getting it ready to steep on the way. Sigh.