263 Tasting Notes
This is all quite sad, but that was the very last of it. I dropped the remains into a pitcher and cold-steeped over night. It’ll last me to the end of the day, but this is definitely a tea I will miss very much until I restock.
This remains my favourite crisp, green apple tea and I will nudge it up five points for being consistently awesome since Christmas 2012.
Lupicia, I love you.
[Purchased at Lupicia in Honolulu, December 2012.]
[Polished off in Rome, March 2014.]
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.
I’ve taken to making whole pots of tea for myself now that I have a good teapot – it saves time now that I’m mostly in work mode. Rome is beautiful right now, but tourist season is here with a vengeance and I’m glad I already got most of my on-site work out of the way.
Anyway, a pot of this lasted me through an hour and a half of yoga and an hour and a half of work, and it’s still warm enough to drink. Plus it’s as perfect as ever – I never want to be without this tea. Never ever.
In other news, I’m still adjusting to being back (unpacking gradually) and this week is a logistic quagmire of epic proportions – I’m sorry for being so behind on messages and comments, but I’m getting there.
I had Em and M (I did not do that on purpose) over for dinner and we had a pot of this because Em was all ‘no caffeine because sleep no caf no caf hyper’.
And M, who stayed in my apartment while I was away was all, ‘okay so I found your tea stash and are you aware you might possibly have a problem?’
Oh, and Veronica Mars! And that kid on the plane and all the other people, including that guy and all those other things, but I’m too tired for coherence, so I’m off to bed.
A small backlog.
So I promised I’d give the last of this a fair sendoff. It’s the last bag. The last bag FOREVER, because it doesn’t seem like Lupicia make this anymore. Unfortunately, because this has really grown on me. Or rather, I’ve been the one doing the growing, and I can now appreciate the complexity of this tea. +10 points.
The base is a subtly roasted houjicha, and this is what made this a little hard for me to fully embrace earlier, as I hadn’t quite decided how I felt about roasted teas. I’m completely swayed now, though – and roastiness intermingling with one of Lupicia’s perfect fruit flavours? It’s so, so good, and beautifully balanced. It gives me apricot tonguefeel if I close my eyes.
If this had been available, it would have been an instant restock, but as it is, I’ll just add fruit-flavoured houjicha to the list of teas I absolutely need in my cupboard.
Either way, it’s a fair sendoff – I’m at the airport lounge and the bartender sings his usual showtunes. ‘Is it really the very last of the tea?’ he asks, shaking his head sadly. He seems to understand the gravity of the situation. I will leave the tiny bag corpse with him.
[Purchased at Lupicia in Honolulu, December 2012.]
[Polished off at Fiumicino, March 2014.]
I’m drinking this tea out of my new birthday mug, and it’s been poured from my new birthday teapot. I have named the latter Freddie, after the character Freddie Miles in The Talented Mr. Ripley, because it’s fat-yet-elegant, showy and has weird colouring. Birthdays aren’t very gifty to me, unlike Christmas – I’d rather get together with friends and chosen family for activities and Symbolic Things. I prefer getting myself birthday gifts – small things I don’t really need, but that make me happy. So on Monday I was out all day on a magpie spree with my special sweetface Em. When I got this, they offered to deliver it for me. I mean. It’s a tiny teapot. It was hilarious. When it had been settled that it did, in fact, fit quite easily into my bag, they knocked €2 off. It really cracked me up.
My friend T. inspired me to pick this up (Hey T. – good news, I have enough to share!) She’s been ogling it for a while and I figured I’d do us both a service and act as a test subject. I wanted something fit for spring – complex, floral, but yet light and not too overwhelming. Mariage Frères definitely delivered on all accounts. First of all, this is a beautiful tea. Long, thin, needly leaves in various dark shades of green, the occasional light leaf breaking it up nicely, and an absolute abundance of lovely petals.
Scent wise, it excites me a lot, because to me, this is the spring counterpart of Marco Polo Vert – and that, to me, is the ultimate green tea for autumn, with its thick fruity ripeness. This has the same boozy character, but it’s a light, floral booziness. A perfect spring tea party tea – when I close my eyes I see tiers and tiers of dainty sandwiches and cakes.
I’m sometimes frustrated by teas that have no discernible, individual flavours, but in this case the multifaceted florality present in each sip is like a lovely, delicate veil of tea. It’s perfectly achieved, and I’m very pleased with this one. Like most Mariage Frères teas in my collection, it has a very clearly defined personality that grows on me with each sip.
Anyway, one of the Symbolic Things I did yesterday was to dye my hair for the first time in… well, forever. I have never altered my hair colour, ever, in any manner whatsoever, during my 34 years. We went with chocolate, tobacco and a dash of gold. In other words, just like my own hair, only without the greys that emerged overnight some time in late November. http://tinyurl.com/qe7jd58
I love my pervy old uncle Rick.
[Purchased at Dagnino in Rome, March 2014.]