2456 Tasting Notes

drank Parker's Blend by Cuppa Geek
2456 tasting notes

Rain, rain…all day long. I had this one for breakfast. I lit some candles to make it cozy in the house, made waffles and bacon, and settled in for a cup of Parker’s.

I used my Kamjove this time and I think I overleafed just a tad. It was a teaspoon – I did measure – but it was a slightly heaping one. I steeped, pushed the button, steeped again and blended the two.

I am not sad I overleafed a tad because it really made it great as a breakfast tea. If I make this for afternoon I think I will use a scant teaspoon. As it turned out today, it was super fruity and a little brisk, just what you want in the morning, especially with maple syrup on the plate!

Parker’s is more complex than a plain Earl Grey, and is more akin to a good Lady Grey with the fruit flavors in play.

Meanwhile, I am trying to learn qi gong. Anyone else have experience with it here?

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drank Spiced Fall Evenings by Cuppa Geek
2456 tasting notes

At last we have another truly cool evening with low humidity! After broiling through days with a heat index of 104F as recently as a week ago, we are going to dip into the 50’s tonight! I have been waiting for this all day.

As soon as we dipped below 65F, I suggested to my husband a bit of rocking chair time on the back porch with a cuppa.

I made this latte style, heating the milk first and continuing to heat it for about one minute with the leaves added, then off the heat and steeping for another three to four minutes. I usually sweeten my lattes and I did add sugar to this one.

I get a lot of chamomile in the aroma but mostly taste the spice – pumpkin spice and cardamom. Oh, I love cardamom in blends like this!

Drinking it, I noticed a tingling warm sensation in my mouth from the ginger. I can imagine how delightful that will be when the temperatures are truly cold!

I am so glad this has honeybush as the base instead of the ubiquitous red rooibos which is not a favorite of mine. I greatly prefer honeybush or green rooibos in its place. This carries the spices so much better and lets them shine more, in my opinion.

It passed the husband test and was deemed as a worthy bedtime treat. And now the warm milk and chamomile combo have made me sleepy, so off to bed!

mrmopar

We had a 52 degree wake-up here this morning.

ashmanra

Ah yes! I know I will complaining about the cold soon, and already I wish the days were not growing so short, but I am happy the worst of the heat and humidity is gone!

Martin Bednář

Finally some bearable temperatures!

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A couple of weeks ago I received a book in the mail from GMathis. There was a note that said that the setting was as important a character as the characters themselves.

Ummmmm…I may have to add that the food in the book is a character unto itself. Oh, the description of Paola’s garden, the cooking! Swoon!

On my first day, I made it to page 135 and found myself in a food frenzy. I made a loaf of fresh bread, sliced some of our garden tomatoes, made an herb butter, and sliced all the remaining Gruyere in the house and placed it on a slate. To go with it, a pot of this fresh pear tea.

This is a white tea base with cinnamon, nutmeg, and pear flavor. It tastes warm and cozy while staying on the light side. The later cups in the pot of tea are speckled with bits of cinnamon, so I told my husband who has a thing about dregs to keep his shirty on because they were delicious bits and not bitter bits. He was glad to hear it.

It is still blasted hot here, though we enjoyed two evenings that were a little cooler. This is my third tin of this tea and I am once again looking forward to having when real sweater weather hits.

As for the book, I desperately want a Paola in my life to love and mentor me but I am too old I suppose since the protagonist is in her twenties. I shall have to endeavor to BE a Paola for someone instead.

VariaTEA

Your food sounds delicious!

ashmanra

It was tasty! We are still getting just a few last tomatoes from the garden, so lunch today will be BLT’s!
First, I must go dig up the stinkhorn mushrooms that are making sitting at the patio table rather unpleasant!

derk

Stinkhorns are fascinating.

Martin Bednář

But unpleasant. I can imagine it is unpleasant having it near the patio :D

ashmanra

Derk: They really are fascinating! These smell a lot like a corn on the cob flavored Japanese candy my daughter bought. So imagine a gigantic pile of buttered corn on the cob, but overwhelming in aroma. And covered in flies! We took pics of the “eggs” and the mature mushrooms and they keep coming back. I have dug up at least 25. We have three new ones and several “eggs”.

gmathis

I hate to tell you this, but I found you another author: Adriana Trigiani. A work friend and I have been eating hers up like candy. Big Italian family stories…and the food…and the settings…and the scenery…

ashmanra

My husband will be delighted because he will get lots of book inspired meals!

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I am 99.9% sure that this is one of the teas from White Antlers, so many thanks!

We went to Lidl last week, which is a huge deal for us. We buy very little and we seldom go but for some reason it is almost a date night. Lidl is new here, and we really love picking up some unusual little something to try. That something this time was frozen baklava.

Before you judge, let me just put it out there that years ago we could only get baklava once a year as far as I knew, when the Greek Orthodox Church in town holds their World’s Largest Spaghetti Dinner in November.

Then I found out that a restaurant nearby owned by one of the church members sells it – but they sell out fast. Every time I have had a baklava craving, I have heard the sad words, “We are sorry! Someone came in and bought the whole tray!”

So when I saw frozen baklava at Lidl I figured it couldn’t hurt to try.

But what tea to pair with it?

I have been eyeing this one, but was afraid I wouldn’t like it and it would ruin my baklava experience and almost had Da Hong Pao, but the more I thought about it, the more I was sure that the toasted sesame flavor would be great with the walnut baklava.

Because once again, the craving hit fast, there was no following those sissy instructions and letting the pastry thaw for two hours on the counter. Time’s a-wastin’, people! I popped it in the microwave on the very lowest setting for a few minutes, turned it around, and gave it another minute. It went really well.

As for the oolong, I gave it a quick rinse and then followed the instructions. (Unlike the baklava…) The first steep is brilliant gold and gleaming in my silver lined cup and smelled almost toasty smokey with a hint of burned crust, but tasted nutty and definitely sesame. It really did taste great with the baklava. Neither detracted from the other and the tea cut the sweetness of the pastry nicely. The second steep was creamy and nutty, smooth, and flavorful but not overpowering. The strong roasted aroma is turned down a bit and sesame rules now.

Third and fourth steeps are paler gold and still going great with the baklava. I am so glad I chose this instead of Da Hong Pao, which would have been good but I got to have a little tea adventure tonight!

gmathis

OK, you’re making my stomach growl.

Martin Bednář

I tried Baklava from Lidl as well, but I wasn’t fan of it. Maybe I just need to try it with nice tea :)

And this tea… sounds interesting and nice!

ashmanra

The baklava from Lidl was just okay, but not great. It was not quite as flaky as fresh baklava and there was an odd but not horrible flavor…almost like it had absorbed some meat or savory flavor from another food? But then I thought perhaps it was just the flavor of that baklava after all. Thawing in the microwave worked fine, very low power for a few minutes until it was no longer cold. But yes, it isn’t as good as fresh!

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I don’t enjoy hibiscus in my tea blends and herbal blends that I intend to drink unsweetened. I do enjoy it as a sweet drink. White Antlers recommended this one, so I bought it for myself and also bought some for my eldest daughter, Superanna, who loves it even plain. She had quite a bit of it in Mexico and really enjoyed “jamaica” as it is called there, and I wanted her to be aboe to make the real deal here. She drank cranberry and cranapple juices even when she was really little, whereas I just tolerated the tartness of those.

As a sweet beverage, made as I make my iced tea, I really enjoy it. The first time I made it I kept the first steep and second steep separate. I preferred the second steep. It was a little less tart but is a beautiful, juicy red color and very satisfying level of flavor. The first steep was good but it was tart, as expected.

Today I am making a gallon by steeping four teaspoons of dried petals three times and adding to sugar and water. I will update on how it turns out!

WE ARE CLOSED

So glad you were brave and got this one, ashmanra. Let me thank you for reviewing Dragon Eye Oolong. Based on your review, I ordered a box and it’s extremely enjoyable. Fortunately we are having cooler weather (60 degree mornings and mid 80s days) but I made this as a cold brew and found it delicious and refreshing. Cheers!

ashmanra

White Antlers: We are having a little cool down, too! I am glad you enjoyed Dragon Eye Oolong. I am waiting eagerly to hear how my daughter likes her hibiscus, but she did drink a little of the sweetened resteep here yesterday and seemed to like it!

Mastress Alita

Oh, I loved cranberry juice when I was little too, I wonder if that’s why I like tart/tangy flavors now? (I too love unsweetened, plain hibiscus, and I never find that it makes tea blends “sour”, I tend to find any tartness “pleasant”, heh! On the flip side, I’m the biggest Spice Wuss in Spicy Town…)

ashmanra

Mastress Alita: Superanna loves unsweetened jamaica AND really hot spicy food! Restaurants have literally called the cook from the kitchen to see her because she is a tiny blonde who looks at least ten years younger than she is, and they are stunned with the things she orders. I have seen grown men cry while eating with her. I would dilute mild salsa if I could…

tea-sipper

Was WE ARE CLOSED originally a response from White Antlers? What happened?

ashmanra

Teasipper: yes, it was! But I don’t know why it changed.

Martin Bednář

That’s weird. WE ARE CLOSED was White Antlers indeed. But she lost who she was following. Weird. Weird…

tea-sipper

Yeah, my first thought is that it seems like White Antlers account was hacked into or something?

Martin Bednář

exactly tea-sipper; looks strange. I will write her an email later today :)

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It is hot. HOT. Heat index has been over 100F. No fall temps showing up here. High tomorrow 96F so heat index will be way up again. I am making iced tea almost day and we are downing it just as fast as we can.

We are pretty excited because the low Saturday night is supposed to in the 60’s. We plan to sit outside until we shiver (yes, we are wimps and shiver at 65F when we have been enduring 104F) because we want to get chilly enough to cuddle that teacup!

This one is nice and peachy/fruity. I like hot or cold. I am using three teabags and resteeping, pouring the hot tea over sugar and chilling. It is really refreshing and I am getting a gallon out of each three bags. Yes, it could be stronger but I want to be economical and there is enough flavor to satisfy.

WE ARE CLOSED

LOL! I am waiting to shiver at 65F, too. We’ve had a lot of rain but it’s made everything more humid rather than lowering the temps. The tea sounds fantastic.

Stay hydrated and cool!

gmathis

Come see us…it’s a few days out, but Wednesday’s high is scheduled to be a lovely 65!

gmathis

(We call Revolution Tea “Truck Stop Tea” because it’s the brand at the coffee station at our local Flying J.)

ashmanra

White Antlers: Ugh, yes! The humidity is what is tearing us up! We have had a rare lower humidity evening here and there and it feels blissful!

Gmathis: Sounds like a fancy truck stop!

It is 99F right now for heat index. Next Wednesday our high is 85 and low is 73. Every day for the next two weeks is sticking in the 80s, mostly mid to high 80s. I’ll trade ya! But Sunday night we should have a low of 63! Happy dance!!!

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drank Sakura Vert by Lupicia
2456 tasting notes

The first time I tried this, I had it the way I am sure it was intended – hot.

But years ago when I placed my first Cuppageek Teas order, it came with a yerba mate straw with the strainer. I was thrilled. It was going to be such fun to put water and tea in a mason jar and drink it cold with my lunch next day! Except after all my excitement, I never did. I never planned ahead for my tea, or I would just make whole gallons because we go through iced tea so fast in summer.

I finally decided to try my straw on a cold steeped tea but I was skeptical about whether cold water would TRULY extract enough flavor. I figured I should use one of my strongest teas to insure that there would be something to taste.

Wow. Left it overnight and seriously this is every bit as strong as when I made it hot. And it is definitely a hoot to get out a mason jar with leaves in it and slurp away, so I am going to be doing this more.

My impressions of the tea remain the same as last note. My fantasties about how cool and Pinterest-y using the straw would be…oh ya. I want to do some fruit and herb blends next!

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I am 99.9% sure that this sample came from White Antlers but it was on the center dividing line of my loose leaf sample box, so I could be wrong.

I really wanted to have a nice gong fu session last night. To be perfectly honest, it is because I told my daughter I would watch Avatar: The Last Airbender (animated) since she loved it and when I hear the music it makes me want tea.

My husband loves white tea and says it feels more thirst quenching than water to him, so I thought he would enjoy this.

I gave a really quick rinse and then a short first steep. As I would expect, my first impression is of sun-warmed hay.

The second through fifth steeps were our favorites, even though I oversteeped one and it was actually a little brisk. Otherwise, they were fruitier than I expected with a hint of floral and some minerality.

Steep six lost the the fruity notes we loved and went back to hay and mineral, so we stopped at steep seven.

Served with cinnamon toast! A most satisfying gong fu session.

Thank you, White Antlers, if this was from you! (I am pretty sure it was!)

WE ARE CLOSED

ashmanra, I don’t remember if I sent that one, but I enjoyed reading about your session; especially the cinnamon toast. : )

ashmanra

White Antlers – I discovered that a friend of mine makes cinnamon toast with white sugar and cinnamon! I always wondered why the grocery store had those bottles of cinnamon sugar because you could NOT make my mama’s cinnamon toast with that! Her cinnamon toast was bread with a healthy smear of butter, LOTS of brown sugar, a sprinkle of white sugar and cinnamon.I used Penzey’s Blend or Penzey’s Vietnamese Cinnamon! We love our cinnamon toast. Sometimes the brown sugar is so thick it cracks like a hard candy crust when you eat it. I have attempted to make it healthier with less sugar. Mama would give me side eye if she knew…

WE ARE CLOSED

Wow, ashmanra! What a mind blower. I never thought to make cinnamon toast with brown sugar! My Nana always made it the ‘standard’ way-butter, white sugar, cinnamon. Dull but comforting to a kid. You’ve opened up a new culinary door for me. : )

Nana did use brown sugar on grapefruit halves but only as a treat since growing up, citrus was mostly something you got during the winter. Like tangerines in the toe of our Christmas stockings and gift crates or ruby grapefruit from Florida. I still try to eat seasonally ’cuz it tastes best but sometimes I am still amazed and chuffed that I can buy pineapple, mangoes, strawberries and grapefruit (among other things) all year round.

gmathis

I still watch Avatar once in a while, especially the Uncle Iroh episodes.

ashmanra

Uncle Iroh is 99.9% of the reason my daughter wanted me to watch it!

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drank Parker's Blend by Cuppa Geek
2456 tasting notes

I can’t write a really proper review for this yet, as I reviewed it for Sororitea Sisters and I have to wait until that one publishes. What I CAN do is tell you just a little about this tea.

This special blend, along with Parker’s Evening Blend, benefits St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, where Cuppageek’s son is being treated. These are some of his favorite tea blends!
And it is easy to see why.

Look at the ingredients. Think extra nice Lady Grey. For now I will say no more!

But nip on over to Cuppageek Teas if you can and treat yourself and some friends to some delicious tea, and help support a great hospital at the same time!

derk

Today my niece received this and Parker’s Evening Blend, plus several others. She’s so excited!

ashmanra

Derk: I hope she likes it! I did! I can’t sleep so I think I will try Parker’s Evening Blend right now!

derk

You a night owl? You’re always up late! I haven’t tried Parker’s Blend yet. CuppaGeek inlcuded a sample of Mornin’ Waffles in my box. It served as a decent substitute for breakfast one day last week. Frosted Cranberry was awesome.

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Well, now I’m sad. Another one bites the dust. Apparently this company has gone out of business.

Years ago, someone sent me a gift from this company. It was a sampler of five of their teas with a cute little measuring spoon and some filter bags in a nice box with a heart showing through the cut out that says “You are loved!” It was so nicely done that I sent a few as gifts myself.

I put off drinking this tea because it is a rooibos base and I just don’t like rooibos. I decided it was time to be rid of it, steeped it and added sugar because you can drink almost anything as a sweet iced tea in summer, and resteeped to top off the pitcher.

There was a tiny bit of the resteep left that wouldn’t fit so I drank it. And it was DELICIOUS. It reminded me of my lemongrass tea that I make in summer from the lemongrass I grow in the harden, but heartier and more flavorful. It was so good that I was sad there had only been about five ounces, so I got the still hot sweet tea out of the fridge and poured myself another cup. Since the first steep is in there, it was actually not quite as good to me because I don’t drink my hot tea sweet, and the rooibos was a little stronger. But it was still good!

Now I know that I can really look forward to drinking this tomorrow when it is nice and cold instead of suffering through to not be wasteful. Also, I may add a little extra water (or maybe ice will dilute it enough) because thus tasted SUPER sweet and strong even though I added the usual amount of sugar I put in that carafe.

What a pleasant surprise!

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Profile

Bio

I am a music teacher, tutor, and former homeschool mom (25 years!) who started drinking loose leaf tea about ten years ago! My daughters and I have tea every day, and we are frequently joined by my students or friends for “tea time.” Now my hubby joins us, too. His tastes have evolved from Tetley with milk and sugar to mostly unadorned greens and oolongs.

We have learned so much history, geography, and culture in this journey.

I am also reviewing for Sororitea Sisters now!

My avatar is a mole in a teacup! Long story…

Location

North Carolina

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