50

This is the second lemongrass I’m trying from the box. This one is a herbal, and as such (I never drink herbals! I have no idea why. It might be the lack of actual tea. Is that elitist? Eli-tea-st? Are we even doing puns this month? I’m so out of touch.) I had no idea how to brew it, so I used Scheherezade’s steeping parametres – 4 minutes at boiling.

In the bag, this didn’t smell like anything specific, just a vaguely citrusy whole, but fairly subtle. Brewed, though, it’s half Fox lemon toffee and half lemongrass, which is somewhat confusing, seeing as that’s about as broad a representation on the artificial —> natural scale as is even possible. After I let the cup sit for a few minutes, the scent slid all the way into lemongrass territory, however – again, confusing, seeing as lemongrass equals food to me, rather than beverage. I’m expecting this to be a savoury broth, but it’s not.

The confusion prevails as I sip my way through this – my brain thinks it’s having a plain broth to cleanse the palate between courses, and it refuses to accept that we’re actually drinking tea. It’s looking forward to a scented towelette in the near future. It’s anxiously anticipating the green mango salad and also, if possible, something cashewy, please. Is this a fusion place? Are there fancy cocktails to be had? Are we on a date? If so, do we get to make out later? And when is that salad coming?

It’s good; I’m glad I got to try some. It’s just not teaful enough to suit me.

Thanks to KittyLovesTea for sharing!

[Sample from the second round of the EU Travelling Box, spring 2014.]

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I’m going to try all the teas.

Then I will choose a lucky few perfect specimens, and we will live happily together in my tea cupboard.

Forever.

  • * *

2014

This year, all bets are off. I am going to drink both peppermint and chamomile and possibly suffer a little. But it’s okay – it’s for science.

I’m doing Project Jasmine, Project Peach and Project Unflavoured Green.

In terms of flavoured teas, Lupicia and Mariage Frères have become my massive favourites, and I have learned that Dammann Frères/Fauchon/Hédiard and Butiki aren’t really for me.

The O Dor, Adagio and Comptoir des thés et des épices are all on this year’s I’d like to get to know you better list.

2013

Getting back into tea drinking last fall, I was all about rooibos. This past spring has been all green tea, all the time, with some white additions over the summer. Currently attempting a slow, autumnal graduation to black teas. Oolongs are always appropriate.

The constant for me, flavour wise, is the strong presence of fruity and floral notes. Vanilla is lush, as long as it’s not artificial. Peach, berries, mango. Cornflower, rose, lavender.

No peppermint.

No chamomile.

No cinnamon.

Ever.

  • * *

My ratings don’t reflect the ‘What does this tea do for me?’ standard, but rather my own ‘What would I do for this tea?’ scale.

100-90
My absolute favourites. Teas I would travel for – or, in any case, pay exuberant postage for, because they simply have to be in my cupboard. Generally multi-faceted teas with complex scents and flavours. Teas with personality. Tricky teas.

89-80
Teas I wouldn’t hesitate to buy again if and when I came across them. Tea purchases I would surreptitiously weave into a travel itinerary (Oh! A Lupicia store! Here?! My word!).

79-70
Teas I enjoyed, but don’t necessarily need to make any kind of effort to buy again.

69-0
Varying degrees of disinterest and contempt.

Location

Rome, Italy

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