80

I will always have a special fondness for the Swedish (=German) champagne blends, even though I know how chemical they come off to other brave Steepsterers I have exposed to them.

This is one of the few rooibos teas I will want to restock when I’m back in Sweden, and as you can tell, I’m still being a very good tea drinker, sticking to no-caf before bed.

After a trip such as the one I just returned from, I crave healthy foods so much it’s not even funny. There isn’t much in the ‘healthy, fun, pre-packaged snacks in aesthetically pleasing containers’ category here in Rome, so I made a trip to Whole Foods in NOLA to stock up before leaving. (There are two stores!) Right now, I’m eating freeze-dried apple chips, and I have serious plans to incorporate the peach chips I bought into my Project Peach proceedings.

Tomorrow I’m going to try my new super-ultra-natural-wholly-organic maple almond butter. Let’s all ponder suitable tea pairings until then.

Preparation
Boiling 5 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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