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Recent Tasting Notes
Goodness, what a day. I was so exhausted by this week that I was legit anxious about going 45 minutes up the road to Slough to see some Doctor Who peeps I’ve not hung out with in ages – and so tired that I stuck around for about 2 hours before heading home, and I think we spent a good 45 minutes of that having a coffee at the bar because the crowds were making me squirrely. My social threshold is low these days.
So I wanted something really fundamentally cozy and brown when I came in, and this is one of the most brown teas I know. It’s got a soft roasty earthiness to its fragrance, with a punch and creaminess from the coconut. I also discovered tonight that the best way to serve it is to brew it for like 10 minutes and serve it without accoutrements. It’s cozy, earthy, layered, and those little top notes of fruit just lift it really nicely. And the coconut doesn’t overwhelm, which is forever my concern with coconut. This is good. This weekend is good. Good.
I’ve been remiss in doing tasting notes because, well, a combination of holiday excess making me even sleepier than usual, and being away at the in-laws with less wifi than usual and a very small complement of tea I stashed in my suitcase before leaving.
GOSH, I am not looking forward to being back at the office on Monday, but at least I have a few days to chill and pretend to get stuff done, I guess. There’s a novella that’s hanging over my head and shouting WRITE ME! and I don’t think I’ve ever felt so stressed about writing a thing, knowing at some point in the near future an editor I dearly respect will be knocking on my door asking to see a completed draft. AAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa curls up in a ball of sheepish insecurity
So so so so so, this tea. Thematically-linked to the aforementioned novella in ways that will become clear if I write the damn thing, and one of the very tastiest teas I know. It’s got a lovely, gentle warm sweet spice from the cinnamon and aniseed, and the hojicha is roasty and cozy. Always with milk and sugar, because that’s the kind of person I am. So comforting.
I swear to Gosh, the further the release date for Seasons Of War the more nervous I get. My critical works have been widely enough read, and I’ve given talks at conferences and stuff, but the fictional world is a whole other kettle of fish. The kind of fans who actually pay to read stuff that somebody’s written are going to read this thing! curls up into a shaking ball of fear
Fortifying tea is like oddly really good for nervous me. This is probably why I drink so much of it, apart from deliciousness. And since this is a good tea choice if you’re going to find yourself fighting Daleks and stuff for a couple centuries, it’s good enough for me. With its roasty-toasty aroma reminiscent of puffed-grain cereals, it’s wholesome with a subtle touch of sweetness. This flavour, earthy and brown, is warmed with sweet notes of aniseed and a slight undertone of cinnamon. It’s surprisingly light-bodied, a restorative blend that won’t weigh you down when you’ve got a lot to get done, like drinking a lovely Scandinavian crispbread. It has loads of flavour but still light and balanced. Man, that’s good tea.
Ok – full disclosure, as a journalist who sometimes writes about/interviews people about certain tv shows, I sometimes have to watch things ahead of broadcast.
That being said, in spite of this being the case for the latest Doctor Who episode, and having watched it again on Saturday, I AM STILL NOT OKAY AND I KEEP MAKING THESE VERY STRESSED FACES ABOUT IT because like, it was some beautiful writing and acting, and I still think it was a really frustrating way to end this character’s run.
(The tea’s still jolly good, though – and everything this season is best with a good measure of warming cinnamon, so it’s some little solace I guess?)
Why does bread have to make you fat? Life is so dashed unfair.
I made a batch of pogacsa (little Hungarian yeasted scones – I folded some diced cabbage that I’d sauteed with paprika into the dough) on Saturday, and on Sunday my husband made a nice white loaf. So guess who gained THREE BLOODY POUNDS this weekend, having honestly not eaten that much food? It is super not fair.
And and AND I just made the beginnings of a new spelt sourdough starter. I could cry.
But I shan;t, because I don’t think tears goes with dark cocoa-swirled warm orangey cinnamon, and that’s basically what this is tasting like to me. It’s such a very comforting taste, and works well when I want something spicy and warming but not as full-on assault of flavours that you get with some chai. This is more of a tacklehug than a mouth-punch. Good.
jogs a few laps of the empty office corridors to try and burn off some bread calories
I’ve been eating far too much food. Tried to correct this the last couple days with cleansing salads and my very favourite sweet potato and coconut soup (it’s creamy and low-calorie and cooks in nearly moments) and now it’s New Years and I just baked a linzertorte and a cinnamon and cardamom babka to take to a big food party. WHOOPS. Will I ever fit into my wedding dress? Who’s to say?
But Clara is magnificent, isn’t she? The initial fragrance of the dry leaves is BANG! cinnamon, like, cinnamon hearts sweet and hot and intense, with a moment of orange and little finish of chocolate adding complexity. The sweet, warming cinnamon sits firmly at the forefront of the flavour as well, but elevated mid-sip by top notes of bright, sharp orange, and an undercurrent of dark, earthy cocoa lends depth and gravity to the flavour. Wowzers. There’s a lot more to this blend than it may seem at first, and what a fascinating, gorgeous blend it turns out to be.
Also, as someone who now writes about Doctor Who (among other things) in a sort of professional-ish capacity, MAN do some people have an irrational hate for Clara. It makes me sad. I was so grateful they actually gave her things to do and material to work with this past series, but apparently to some people this means that she’s too important. They probably thought she was useless before. eyeroll