This tea makes me happy but is bold enough that it’s a good morning tea (and does well with a little sugar and milk, making it a good take-to-work tea (though I spilled a little too much milk in today, but it dealt with it well)). These things combine in just the right way to make this a good tea on days that I’m both tired and grumpy and unhappy. It offers me the advice, in a not-unkind manner, to suck it up and soldier through the morning because no matter how bad it gets, at some point the morning does turn to afternoon (which can also be bad, but is inherently better than morning).
About five years ago, my cousin was in the hospital for an extended stay. He wasn’t around his immediate family (parents, siblings) so he was adopted into our family (well, more so than he already was being, you know, blood related) so we visited him regularly. During one of those visits, I made him cookies. Let me rephrase. I attempted to make him cookies. I was fairly new to cooking so still had a lot to learn (well, and still do though at least I’m much better than I used to be). I followed the directions I had for chocolate chip cookies, not realizing that the directions were for plain flour and I had self-rising. So yes, I used my self-rising flour (which already had salt, baking powder, etc) and added to it more salt, baking powder, etc. The ‘cookies’ that were created were more like unsweetened brownies (double the needed salt, you know) – tall, fluffy, bready, non-chocolate brownies. Well, there was a hint of chocolate since there were chocolate chips in there. I was so embarrassed but they were edible so I took them to my cousin anyway because thinking that even if he did throw them out (which I did tell him he had permission to do), at least hopefully he’d feel some warm fuzzies knowing that I cared enough to try to make him something. Turns out he really liked them. Asked me to make them again, in fact, double the salt and everything.
So why am I sharing this seemingly unrelated story? Because this tea is those cookies. Almost exactly. When I popped the lid open of my tumbler, I was hit with a soft chocolate smell. Not quite rich/earthy enough to be cocoa, but definitely in the same family. And sipping it? Lovely. Not sweet at all (not salty or tart either), but bake-y and bread-y and pretty much tasting like an unsweetened cookie. Sure, technically an unsweetened cookie would usually be called a cracker, but this is too bake-y and rich-bodied to be a cracker. So I got to thinking – if this wasn’t a cracker, what else would a non-sweetened cookie be? Maybe something like my lemon ginger snaps, but no, it doesn’t have the fruity or the warm ginger tastes. Plus, it tasted fluffier – more bread-y. And then it hit me – it tasted just like those mistake cookies. Fluffy/thick, bread-y, bake-y, a tiny poof of faint chocolate every so often but not enough to counter the lack of sweetness or the bread-y. Not salty or bitter or tart. Just… not sweet.
It’s almost enough to get me to make more mistake cookies.