1120 Tasting Notes
I neglected to pick up any coffee yesterday. Too much going on after work. We’re trying to replace the exterior lighting on our house and the lighting store was open until 8 p.m. so the BF decided we should go there and eat dinner nearby. The kids normally go to sleep at around 8:30 so they were pretty overdone by the time dinner was over.
In any case, not to worry as the magic was back this morning. It’s interesting that Kusmi’s ideal time for preparation on this is afternoon because I think it’s wonderful in the morning. Strong blacks sometimes hit my stomach wrong first thing in the morning. This one is very mellow but flavorful, and today I’m getting a lot of cherry and grape and plum-like flavors that integrate really nicely with the tea flavor instead of tasting glommed on.
Bumping it up in points for rising to the occasion.
I’ve said it before, but yum. Just yum.
This is sipdown no. 9 for the year. (I have to say this counting thing is sort of fun.)
I’ve been drinking this just about every day since my initial note, because every day since then there’s been a point during the day when my throat went ka-blooey. Either it seemed to have caught on fire, or more recently, it has just been sort of hoarse and achy when I’ve had to talk a lot at work.
I think I’ve turned the corner in terms of this illness, or at least I hope so. I went to get a flu shot today and my temp was up a couple of tenths of a point but not enough for them to tell me not to get the shot.
Having turned the health corner (fingers crossed) I was eager to turn the medicinal tea corner as well. This doesn’t market itself as medicinal, but that’s how I’ve been using it and it has fit the bill nicely. It’s hard to know whether it’s the mint or the chamomile that’s more soothing. The freshness of the mint definitely cools a painful throat and the softening effect of the chamomile is something of a balm.
I’ve discovered this is best drunk while hot. When it cools it gets really medicine-y tasting. Hot, as it was meant to be, it’s actually rather pleasant, despite my sometime distrust of chamomile.
I noticed that a number of folks are keeping track of their sipdowns, which seems like a fun idea. I haven’t put all the teas I own into my cupboard so I can’t use that as a measure. But I can keep track of all my sipdowns for 2014, which could be amusing.
By my count, this is 2014 sipdown no. 8. I’m having the very last bag here at work.
I’ll remember it fondly, though I’m unlikely to buy more. If the blend ever changes to be heavier on the apricot and lighter on the vanilla, I might be persuaded to reconsider.
Out of coffee! It’s always what I reach for first thing in the morning, but today, I realized I hadn’t replenished my stocks. In the past when this has happened, I’ve not fully appreciated the tea substitute because I’m annoyed that I didn’t get my coffee.
I must make a note to myself: When the coffee runs out, drink St. Petersburg! No disappointment at all today. I forgot how much I liked this.
Today I’m tasting mostly the red fruits in this blend. There’s something plummy about the taste. Everything else is coming through as a single, really nice blend of caramel, citrus and vanilla, in the aroma and at the front of the sip.
Yum. Just yum.
Is Steepster flaking on everyone tonight or is it just me? Every other screen is a black screen error saying someone left the pot on too long. Hmmm.
The peanut gallery was a big fan of this one after taste testing it tonight.
Both no. 1 and no. 2 used the term “awesome” to describe this.
I’m glad to have help drinking down the rest of this box and I can only anticipate that things will get even more interesting as I start trying fruit blends and other flavored tisanes on them. Then again, it’s possible that they’re purists. Too early to tell.
A sipdown. Made a big pot to use it up because after trying the other Adagio flavored whites, this is definitely my least favorite. As it suffers by comparison, I’m lowering the rating some.
The BF likes it though, and since I’m working from home today, I am planning to do a lot of sharing. ;-)
I steeped this shorter this time, 2.5 minutes, which did improve the flavor. It takes the edge off the very, very sweet, to the point of cloying, flavoring.
The main issue I have with the flavor is that it seems more like a generic, sugar syrup has been added to this than anything else. Yes, I do get an aroma and some taste of very sweet coconut, and a very small hint of pineapple, but the sugar water flavor is primary. And unfortunately, at least for me, it’s the flavoring attempt to make it more than a generic sweetness that doesn’t succeed.
At a shorter steep time, it’s at least not doing a number on my stomach. After the initial, longer steep, not only did I feel as though I had a rock in my stomach for a while afterward, the aroma stuck with me much longer than it had any business doing, and made me have some bouts of queasiness for the remainder of the day.
Oh woe is me.
The curse of having too much tea is that little gems like the last teaspoon or so of this sample get buried and when you find them, in this case, years later, they are a shadow of their former selves. (How could I have let this happen? I really must be more careful.)
Doubly cursed, I had the last teaspoon already in the Breville filter when I realized I couldn’t get the settings to go any lower than 160 and I wanted to steep this at 140. I’d rinsed the filter from the last tea I’d made and so the leaves had adhered to the filter. I couldn’t move them to another filter without losing half the sample. Sigh.
So I used the equivalent of chewing gum and coathangers or whatever that saying is. I heated the water in the Breville, let it cool, and stuck the filter into the water manually.
And why not go for the woe hat trick while I’m at it? I also think I used too much water for the amount of leaf I had left.
You may think all of this woe is leading up to a disastrous report. Happily, you’d be mistaken.
Yes, it’s a shadow of its former self judging by my previous note on this, but, somewhat unbelievably, it still has a pleasant, somewhat sweet, green mellow flavor. I’m glad I went ahead and steeped it rather than committing it to the compost heap.
Hmmm. My notes aren’t really about Vanilla Rooibos Parfait… they’re about plain old Vanilla Rooibos (full leaf) in a slightly different package, but hey, the ingredients appear to be exactly the same so who knows?
We had a few sachets left in my BF’s tin and I thought the peanut gallery would like this one. No. 1 didn’t at all. No. 2 didn’t like the smell but said he likes the taste, then confessed he really doesn’t. I’m a little baffled by kids who prefer plain green rooibos with a dash of honeybush or plain red rooibos to this, which has a lot more going on in terms of sweetness from the vanilla to the cinnamon to the apple. But that’s what makes parenting interesting….
I quite enjoyed mine. A nice little blast from the past.
Found this in the work stash. I am having to guess a little at steeping time and water temp (the hazards of not being at home).
The sachet has the most amazing, strong vanilla scent. No grapefruit, but a really lovely vanilla. A mix of beany and creamy. Mmmm.
After steeping I get a citrus note to the aroma as well. The liquor is a clear amber.
Really pleasant flavor. The grapefruit comes out more and more as the tea gets cooler, adding a freshness to the flavor that keeps the vanilla from being overpoweringly sweet.
Though I can’t justify any more tea buying, I am putting this on my list in case I ever manage to drink my way out of lock down.