It was sad. Thomas got left by the wayside and did not get entirely drunk. Poor Thomas.
It was sad. Thomas got left by the wayside and did not get entirely drunk. Poor Thomas.
I satisfied my craving for Thomas from last night this morning. In an effort to calm the bitterness and dryness, I steeped for 15 sec and 5° less than I normally do. Oh pooh, it turned honeyed biscuit Thomas into a rather plain uninspiring black. Then, a third of the way through the cup with it cooled from hot to warm, the honeyed biscuit was back with only a bit of bitterness at the end of each sip and no dryness. I like it! But I think I like bitter and dry honeyed biscuit Thomas that I can drink hot and is wonderful too. Perhaps I’ll steep him this way on days I desire a more mellow black tea. But I think I’m going back to 3 min 30 sec and 200° F.
I still find it a bit amazing that I can actually taste differences in a tea just with slight changes in parameters.
Despite waking up this morning feeling tired, I didn’t want a tea with much bite so I chose the mellower Napal. I don’t think I used enough tea leaf so both steeps were on the weak side. I kept getting floral today and thinking violets with a honeyed sweetness.
I had a yucky headache last night which is all got today but I think is the cause of the continuing tiredness into midday. I might have some Yunnan after lunch for a bit more of a caffeine punch. Massive backlogging of teas from the past week will be coming later as well.
2nd steep: 5 min, 200° F, more than a pinch of fresh leaf.
Yesterday morning’s breakfast tea was the brawny Thomas. Even at 3 min 30 sec, his 1st steep is astringent and drying. His 2nd steep is perfect though. Definitely my preferred steep. I wish both steeps could come out that good. 2nd steep: 5 min, 205°.
Steeped my second cup of Yunnan with dinner (southwest chicken bake, broccoli, and couscous). Less smokey, less bite, less strong. More goodness continuing on to another cup. I hope to try one of the new bagged tisanes tonight.
Cravings for a specific tea don’t usually occur often for me. Normally, I’ll want a cup of tea, maybe I’ll have an idea of what type of tea, and then I’ll go to my tea cupboard, look at the teas, and pick one or peruse until one makes its need to be drank known. The past three days, not only did I want tea but I wanted a certain tea. First, the odd urge to try a jasmine tea despite my mistaken belief that I wouldn’t like a floral tea, then Dragonwell saying drink me now and lots of me, to today’s Yunnan calling. I could not resist. But who can, when such a handsome tea makes his intentions know?
I steeped for 15 sec less again today, making that 30 sec less than the recommended steep time, and I think I’ve found my ideal time for this tea. Smoky but not too smoky, strong but not bitter, and all around enjoyable, sure to lead to increased drinking.
On Saturday at Earth Fare, I splurged on some tea purchases looking to lay in some tisanes for evening consumption. I got two Earth Fare blends on sale, Cold Season Tea and Red Wellness, and a berry tisane from Two Leaves and a Bud. I also got brave and brought a Puerh, Numi’s chocolate one. It had a coupon on it, and who can resist four boxes of sale tea? I need to lower the top shelve in the tea cupboard to convert it to housing for tea, which will make one and two-thirds shelves in the cupboard for tea.
Last night, I enjoy 2 steeps of Dragonwell with a late night snack while watching the end of PBS’s Masterpiece Classic most recent rendition of Emma. I did not like this production of Emma very much. I did like the Dragonwell very much though. 2nd steep: 4 min, 165°.
Out picking up groceries at our small regional organic/natural grocery chain, Earth Fare, after lunch today (Indian buffet – yum!), I hadn’t had any caffeine yet and was thirst so I stopped at the chilled beverages section to pick up an “iced” tea to drink on the way home. Earth Fare brand bottled teas are often on sale for $1, as are their “vitamin waters” drinks. I had planned on getting a black tea for the caffeine content but I’d just left the aisle with sodas on it (I did not get any =) ) and was thinking about ginger ale.
This tea is sweetened lightly, not rot your teeth sweet like other canned or bottles teas, and you can taste both the green tea and the ginger. The slight taste of the citric acid, I think that’s what it is at least, is minimal. For a chilled bottled tea, this one is quite good I’d say.
When I requested a sample of Life in Teacup’s first picked green tea of this year, I told Gingko (LiT’s manager) to surprise me on the two other free samples he offered with the green tea. The teas on LiT are more “serious” looking than any teas I’ve had so far, it was late at night, and I love surprises. This jasmine green tea is one of the surprise samples I received (and you’ll just have to wait until I review the other one to know what it is). I should add, since this my first tea from LiT, that Gingo responded to my email quickly and I was emailed when the teas were shipped. A+ for customer service to LiT.
So, I’ve never had a jasmine tea before. I wasn’t sure I’d like a jasmine tea, or any floral tea for that matter. I worried I’d have to write a “I don’t like this” tealog for tea samples I was kindly given. Turns out I didn’t have to worry, not only did I like this jasmine green, I really liked it. I didn’t expect to like teas with smokey notes (A&D’s Yunnan and Jackee), but I did. I do have to brew them on the mild side so I don’t know if I’d like a truly smoky tea. So far, I’ve liked all new tea types I’ve tried, despite any prior expectations. Good, right? Maybe. I can only store and drink so much tea.
The tea sample packets came with no steeping instructions so I had to look on LiT’s website for them. They are also on Steepster. I did find them a bit vague. My leaves did not float mostly, only a dozen or so with most at the bottom, so I had to guess at steeping time a bit. Luckily, I seemed to have guessed pretty close to right.
I opened my sample packet and looked and smelled. The leaves were small dark, dark spring green curls. There were very few jasmine petals in my sample, but I think such is the luck of samples. The smell was all flower. I’d call it gardenia since I’ve never smelled a jasmine flower. The wet leaves lightened in color a bit and smelled like gardenia’s on a hot summer day after a rain shower. The tea had the same smell and was a warm, bright tan.
I tasted. Flower! Just what I’d expect a flower to taste like if I were to decide to eat one for some bizarre reason. I like flower taste? Really? Weird, but I do! The green tea is light with absolutely no bitterness.
I oh-so-rarely steep a second time as soon as I’ve finished my first cup, but I did. In the middle of writing this tasting note, in fact. Same steeping parameters as the first cup. Lighter in color and only slightly lighter in flavor.
I wish I’d made this tea during the day so I could have resteeped it as much as I could or until I tired of it. (Oddly, after tofu coconut curry leftovers for dinner tonight, I wanted to try this tea. It sounded like it would go with Chinese/Thai foods. As it grew later, I wasn’t even sure I would make tea tonight but I kept thinking about trying this.) Although, I might do a third steep even this late at night. Luckily, I should have two more tries out of this sample to enjoy. This tea makes me eager to try my other samples from LiT soon.
Thomas Sampson threw his manly brawn around and ended up in my cup this again this morning. He was steeped for less time and in cooler water in an effort to reduce his bitterness a bit. It worked. And I think I got a bit of bake-y too. More of a honeyed biscuit though. I liked it. He will not have to fight his way into my cup tomorrow morning. His second steep (5 min, 205°) was weak but drinkable. Much more honeyed biscuit and less bitter, smoother. The slightest pinch of fresh leaf will revive him there, I think.
In one of my last tealogs, I was wondering where takgoti had gotten to. Then suddenly, where is chrine? Well, the husband was in a car accident early – 6am – Monday morning on the way to work, detailed below.
The husband: Drives our Prius, The Bunny. At 50 mph on cruise control. In the right lane. To get 53 mpg. While commuting 45 min to 1 hour each way to work. Lights on cause it’s still dark out. Assumes truck will pass him at the last minute cause they often do. Highway is flat and straight. The speed limit is 70 mph. No other cars are around.
The 18 wheeler: Does not pass the husband. Runs into his rear end, driver’s side.
The husband: Propelled a bit into left lane. Gets car off the road and stopped without hitting the tree line.
The Prius: Damaged but fixable.
The husband: Not badly hurt, ever so thankfully. Impact related back pain. On meds. Drowsy, zoned out, quiet.
Now, the tea. Also in non-sentence form. First tea since accident. Not sure this was the best time to try a tea for the first time. What the hell though.
Look: Thin, longer than Jackee, more curled, black with spots of tan and brown.
Smell: Papery – dusty, musty. A bit floral, oddly. Slightly sweet.
Look: Flat dark brown.
Smell: Papery. Raisiny. Sweet.
Look: Deep brown with red tones.
Taste: Bitter. Honey/sweet. Soft. Bitter.
I think I need to steep it less time or at a lower temp.
By the way, if Jackee “caramel” Muntz reminds me of takgoti, Thomas “bake-y” Sampson reminds me of Auggy.
So how was the 2nd steep of Jackee?
Well, I steeped it for the same amount of time as the 1st (3 min 45 sec). Let it cool slightly to be able to drink it. Realized it was weak. Steeped 30 sec more. Still weak. Steeped 30 sec more. Better but weak. Steep 1 min more. I taste tea mostly now, not watery. Steep 1 min more. Now somewhere over 6 min steep time on a black. I stop. I drink the mug. Sweet and smokey.
I think I need to do something different next time. Perhaps hotter water on the 2nd steep and a longer initial steep time. I might also turn my 1st steep at 3 min 30 sec. The 1st steep was quite strong. I believe A&D said on their website that Jackee could take 2 steeps. They said that about the Yunnan and it could. I think I just need to fiddle with it.
So, Steepsterians who’ve had Jackee and done a 2nd steep with him, what parameters did you use? How did he come out?
My A&D DFT Series 2 arrived yesterday. It shipped on Thursday so I wasn’t expecting it until early next week. I got it from the mailbox too late in the day to try any yesterday.
After a delicious lunch of chicken enchiladas, I decided to go on the caramel quest with Jackee Muntz. The dry leaves were small – four to eight millimeters long and thin, mostly straight with some curves, and deep cocoa brown with some reddish and tan accents. They smelled smokey, like antique library books starting to burn. The wet leaves looked like broken pencil shavings in shape and were a rich brown and a dark sierra brown. They smelled smokey but more tarry, almost putting-down-asphalt like, but without the toxin edge to the smell.
The cup of tea was a rich brown with a touch of red to it and smelled smokey and burnt, yet sweet. The sweet part smelled like a dessert-type food that I haven’t identified yet. It reminded me of the fair. At first, I thought hot burnt caramel corn or kettle corn. But that isn’t it. I’ll keep sniffing subsequent cups and see if I figure it out.
And now for news of the caramel quest. I’d like to thank everyone who paved the way for me with their tealogs because I found caramel. The first sips were smokey and ashy with some sweet. As the tea cooled, I could taste the burnt sugar taste along with the smokiness. By about half a cup left, it was smokey and light caramel and just warm. The last few sips were caramel with a bit of smokiness and cooler. I also noticed it had a thicker mouth feel as it cooled.
I noticed the taste of this tea change a lot with the temperature of it. I’ve noticed that before but never so prominently. Maybe it was only because I was paying such close attention looking for the caramel. I have to admit I wasn’t expecting to be able to find the caramel in the tea, especially after smelling the dry leaves.
I think I was planning to write something more but I seem to have had a brain blank thinking about this tea. Since I’m planning to do a 2nd steep shortly and drink this tea again quite soon, I’ll end this tealog instead of leaving it up until I remember more of what I wanted to say.
Also, while I was typing this the thought occurred to me – I haven’t seen anything from takgoti in a few days. Where is takgoti? Has she been around, or told us of her absence, and it slipped my mind? (I just thought through my other favorite regular posters and they’re all accounted for.)
I drink True Blueberry for the second time yesterday night. I steeped it 30 seconds longer. It was good but didn’t seem as good as it was the previous night. I’m going to steep it a little longer next time.
Yesterday morning, the husband and I shared a pot of Napal with homemade apple, raisin, and spice oatmeal. Delicious.
2nd steep: 4 min.
On Wednesday night, I tried another tea from the Celestial Seasoning sampler Barbara gave me. I went for the True Blueberry this time. There were four bags instead of the three there were supposed to be in the sample packet. This isn’t the first time this has happened to me in a Celestial Seasoning sampler. I even got five bags once.
Since these fruit herbals have steeped quite strong at their recommended four to six minute, I steeped this one at only 3 minutes. I had hoped to maybe get another steep out of the bag but I didn’t – too watery. The blueberry flavor was light, smooth, and only a little tart at the end. It was easy to drink. I do think I’ll try steeping this longer next time.
When we last left Chrine Tuesday night, she had just tealogged the teas she drank that day and was about to go into the forum for a certain chai recipe she’d see and make stove top chai from the last of her Rooibos Chai…
Oh.my.gawd. It was SO good! I used Takgoti’s chai recipe which teaplz posted in the forum using Lena’s suggestion of brown sugar (to spread the credit around for this wonderful experience). It didn’t even come out as good as I could make it and it was still so good.
With the Rooibos Chai at least, I could have added more tea cause I would have liked the chai flavors to be a little stronger. I also could have used less sugar. But this is the last of the Rooibos Chai that I had so I will be moving on to trying it with Rishi’s Marsala Chai. I also covered the pot when I turned off the heat to left it sit and steep so it would stay hot and it bubbled up out of the pot a bit. Next time I won’t cover it or at least won’t cover it right away.
I also got to use my big big lavender and gray swirl pottery mug which I got when I was around 11 visiting my grandma. I don’t use it much anymore cause it holds two servings of tea or coffee. Although, it is cavernous and round and stays warm really well for a long time.
I am sure I will be steeping my chais this way from now on for the most part. Although, not too often because of the milk and sugar.
1 c boiling water. 1 tbsp brown sugar. 1 tbsp Rooibos Chai. simmer 5 min. 1 c milk. bring to boil. turn off heat. steep 10 min.
This tea is definitely better on the 2nd steep, no milk. Less strong, bitter.
I forgot to say on my last tealog. I ordered A&D DFT Series 2 this morning! It was getting too low in stock and I was getting nervous I’d miss ordering it before it ran out. I was #24. Carmel, here I come!
I have very little left of rooibos chai so tonight I’m planning to look up someone’s, can’t remember who, stove top chai recipe with milk on the Steepster forum. I remember seeing a good looking one. I’m going to drink it while I watch more of PBS’s Masterpiece Contemporary’s Place of Execution or while I read The Shipping News. Except, I put the burner plates in the dishwasher to clean!! They need to get done soon so I can use the stove.
This morning I had a cup of Vanilla Bean with milk with my 10 grain “oatmeal” with milk and honey. I think I could taste the vanilla today, or maybe something that reminded me of vanilla. Still not a favorite, but drinkable. Sometimes I just reach for a bagged tea when tired.
Last night I was heading into my bed to read before sleeping, when I absolutely had to have a cup of tea to take with me. Now, sometimes I thinking about it before hand and make a cup of tea to drink while I read while I’m getting ready to shut down for the night and head into the bedroom. But no, last night I already had the lights off, the heat lowered, the computers sleeping, book, cel phone, and water in hand, heading into the bedroom, when I realized I had to have tea, that I would be preoccupied wanting tea while I read if I did not make some. So I put down my stuff and headed back into the kitchen, prepared to out of bed a bit longer while I made tea.
This brings me to a problem I keeping meaning to query my fellow Steepsterians about. What do you drink when you want tea late at night?
I’m talking 9/10pm when you’ll likely only drink a cup or two. I don’t want to drink a black tea because even though I’ll occasionally have one while making dinner, with dinner, or right after dinner, it’s just too late to have one that late. I don’t want a green or white tea because I’m likely to drink only one cup and feel like I’m wasting the multiple steeps I could have had from those leaves and I personally am not comfortable leaving wet tea leaves over night. Which leaves me with herbals. I like rooibos but I’m low on it and often don’t feel like it that late at night. I tend not to like chamomile straight or in blends where it’s a dominate taste, but I don’t mind being able to taste it in blends so long as it isn’t the strongest flavor. I don’t mind hibiscus cause I like tart things so I wouldn’t avoid it but I wouldn’t go out of my way to find it either. So far I’ve had a hard time finding non-rooibos herbals that I like and want to drink, not just this is okay and I can finish the box/tin ones.
So part two of my query, Steepsterians, is to ask for your herbal recommendations. I will also take good rooibos recommendations, since not many of you drink it, and I’m open to them, but I’m looking for mainly herbals to consider.
Now back to my regularly scheduled late night tea story. Barbara, my mom, brought back a ton of teas from the Celestrial Seasonings plant in Denver, CO, when my dad, my sister, and she were visiting my sister’s boyfriend who was stationed there with the Air Force. One box that she gave me was a sampler of their fruity herbals.
As someone who also readings “junk food” romances, I’m also embarrassed to admit that I kind of like these teas. I enjoy fruity teas and herbals, when I’m in the mood for one. And while these aren’t as good as others I’ve had, they are decent and I don’t mind the tartness from the hibiscus.
I did steep this tea less than the recommended four to six minutes and with water below boiling. It could probably be steeped less time and with cooler water. It was still a dark purple-red. It tasted fruity and tart with a general berryness. It filled my late night need for tea.
A cup of Ceylon after breakfast this morning and another cup after that. The 2nd steep was rather weak as I forgot to add a bit of fresh leaves like I usually do. 2nd steep: 5 min.
Slightly sick for the past few day, I’ve had a bit of an upset stomach in addition to the dry, scratchy throat and the runny, sniffy nose. I haven’t wanted to eat much and haven’t had any tea.
Today marks my return to tea. A nice, simple cup of Ceylon. (2nd steep: 5 min. Pinch of fresh leaves.)
Shared a pot of Yunnan with the husband and takeout Indian chicken tikka masala, saag paneer, and baingan bhartha. The Yunnan stood up to the strong flavors and spiciness of the food and still tasted smokey. 2nd steep: 5 min.
Yesterday morning. Mellow with milk for my first steep. Plain for my second steep. Second steep: 5 min.
I’m a 28 year old pharmacist. I live with my husband and our two cats, Bin and Sakai. I love tea, coffee, reading, and learning.
I’ve drank tea all my life but recently my close friend Spautz became an educated tea drinker and started educating me. Since then I’ve tried white teas and oolong and learned that I love rooibos.
Would I order this again ranking:
5 – definitely
4 – likely
3 – maybe
2 – neutral
1 – no
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