Yay! I’ve graduated from bags and sachets and steeped my very first cup (er, two cups) of loose tea! Of course my first cup of loose tea would have to be something that flummoxes me, because that’s my luck. The directions for white tea are different from the directions for green tea, and this has both in it! Gah. I was a bit wary, anyway, since this tea’s got red and black pepper in it (um… whut?) and I can’t have spicy-hot stuff.
You know how some people will add salt ‘n’ pepper ‘n’ other seasoning to their food without even tasting it first? Ya, that bugs me. Generally I will have a cup of tea without any fixin’s, just to see what it’s like.
So, cup 1: 2tsps of tea steeped in 185° water for five minutes. It was mostly okay. It didn’t taste as strong as I expected it to taste, and I figured I’d got the directions wrong since I was steeping in one of those travel mugs that hold way more than 8oz. My heart sank when I saw that there’s cinnamon in this tea. Cinnamon irritates me because it overpowers everything else. I was hoping for nuances, layers of complexity, and what I got was loads of cinnamon and the bite of pepper. Not the greatest of first impressions.
Cup 2: 2 tsps of tea steeped in sweetened, 185° water for, um, probably about 20 minutes. Oh, don’t look at me like that, it was an accident. I left it for 5-7 minutes (remember, I didn’t think 5 minutes was long enough for cup 1) and promptly forgot about it. Good things come to those who wait, even those who only waited accidentally. =) This cup is yummy. My mug is awesome, so the tea, instead of being cold and undrinkable (the mug was uncovered the whole time), is actually still a little too hot to drink comfortably. The tea itself is greatly improved this time around. It’s still too cinnamon-y, but I like it much better sweetened.