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Recent Tasting Notes
3/4 straight-up unflavored honeybush; 1/4 orange spice black tea for a little zing and something to accompany the cranberry orange bread cooling in the kitchen and a little cat comedy: Tazo is rug surfing.
Rug surfing…you know, where you hunker down in the living room with your rear in the air pretending you’re a Puma, then you sprint as fast as your four legs will go until you hit the throw rug in the kitchen and slide all the way across the kitchen on it. Dare you to try it.
Feeling tropical today, so I mixed some of my Hula Girl Mango Chai mix with some Red Leaf Tea Coconut Matcha. I dissolved the chai mix with a bit of boiling water, chilled it down with lots of ice and topped it off with milk. I then added the matcha and shook the whole concoction to combine.
Annoyingly, the Chai mix took over and I don’t really taste the coconut matcha. Oh well, I tried.
1.5tsp Pineapple Kona Pop! mixed with 1.5tsp Wild Orange Blossom. Steeped for five minutes in my large Perfect Mug.
My best friend’s mom actually came up with this one. She and my friend gave me a sample of each of the teas in it, and curiosity got the better of me once I was home. The first steep is very pineappley when warm but the orange comes out to play once it cools. I like it better bot because cold, the citrus is overwhelming.
The second steep is much weaker than the first and the citrus flavor is muted. I like the second steep better just because it’s not as forceful with the fruit flavoring.
This morning I was feeling adventurous so I mixed the last of my assam sample in with some yunnan from the Nature’s Tea Leaf. The result is a very hefty cup with lots of malt and the spicy yunnan aftertaste… yumm. I should really look for some more breakfast blends with yunnans or just make up my own. Somehow I am always disappointed in the tradtional assam/ceylon breakfast blends.
I found a decent bubble tea place fairly close to me in Boston! Or maybe I’ve just been here so long that my standards have just lowered. Anyway, I got a roasted oolong milk tea that was pretty good. I also picked up a pitcher and some paper tea filters for more cold brewing. All in all, a pretty good afternoon!
Golden Peach from Tealish and Organic Guayusa from Butiki Teas
I want to both get rid of the straight guayusa and ramp up the caffeine in this coldbrew, so I used about half guayusa and half golden peach. I’ve been sleeping way, way too much lately, it’s starting to freak me out. For instance, last night we went to sleep around 11 and got up around 7:30. At 8:30 I went back to bed because I couldn’t keep my eyes open, and slept until 12:30.
So, I’m hoping a little jolt of caffeine will help me keep from crawling back into bed again.
However, I should have picked a stronger blend to mix the guayusa with. This is all guayusa, earthy and green, with just a hint of peach. I will not be mixing these again, nope.
So I just got a notification from the library that the book I requested was now on hold for me, woohoo! So I trekked over to Cambridge to pick it up (Cuckoo’s Calling if anyone was curious) and took the opportunity to visit Tealuxe. It’s actually a very warm day today (relative to the past few months), so I opted for a bubble tea with their mango green tea. The mango was very powerful such that it almost felt like drinking a smoothie. I wasn’t getting much of the green tea base except for a hint of bitterness at the end. Anyway, I sat at the window sipping on my bubble tea and breaking open my new library book. What a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon!
I hope this doesn’t come off as ranty, but I’m using the chance combinations to do a tasting note of Herbal Infusions Cacao Tea and a few teaspoons of a random tub of cacao nibs I bought at Home Goods.
After trying the HI Cacao Tea, I did some research regarding cacao and the chocolate making process. Apparently, the husks that they are using for their tea are a byproduct of the chocolate making process; the cocoa beans are roasted and the husks/shells are sloughed off, leaving the inner nib that’s processed further into chocolate. Apparently, it’s very common that the husks/shells are sold as mulch ridiculously cheap. We’re talking 22 pounds for under $25 (not affiliated http://www.amazon.com/National-Cocoa-Shell-BLCH001-Blommer/dp/B000VYL2CA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394904677&sr=8-1&keywords=cocoa+shell+mulch).
So, I wouldn’t necessary go out and buy mulch and make it into tea cause it wasn’t made specifically for human consumption, but the idea of spending so much on something that is sold so cheaply for other purposes seems really unnecessary to me.
I’ve taken a liking to the HI cacao tea and I actually find I like it even more mixed with the cacao nibs I bought. I’m too lazy at the moment to run downstairs, but it was a 8oz tub of organic nibs for $8.
I think though, that one could get a very similar result from buying whole cacao beans (included their shells) that were roasted (and specifically sold for human consumption) and using some kind of food processor to grind them up coarsely to use for tea. If you only like the husks, you can apparently, peel them by hand or by using some type of rolling pin, but I am super lazy and I like it all mixed together anyway. I found a few youtube videos that outlines that process; what’s funny, is these are all chocolate making videos and the husks are thought of as the waste in the process!
Just my two cents!
The last of my DavidsTea Pineapple Oolong with some Lupicia Pineapple Oolong.
I get coconut, pineapple, coconut, mango.
Yeah, I know. It’s called “Pineapple Oolong”. I also only expected there to be pineapple.
At any rate, this is really nice iced, right at this moment. :)
Thanks again to Dinosara for the Lupicia samples!
(Steeped then over ice in a 16oz mug.)
So I’m drinking:
1 tsp Verdant Autumn Harvest Tieguanyin
1.5 tsp Fusion Cherry Tisane
steeped in 16 oz of 85 C water for 3 minutes
Why am I drinking this?
The Tieguanyin is too green too floral for my tastes. LOVE the cherry tisane. Both of these are on my “oldest teas” list. Toss them together and I’m getting a cherry green oolong that the fruit is taming the floral. This works better for my tastes and I’m drinking down two old teas at once. Win/Win situation that’s making me happy.
Having David’s Pink Passionfruit + S&V’s Berry Nice cold brewed. I’ve done this quite a few times already in order to get through the Berry Nice since it’s way too sweet on its own, but at the same time, I kind of feel like I’m wasting the Pink Passionfruit since it’s so good on its own. I’m also nearing the end of both of them.
I’ve yet to review JagaSilk’s Masala Chai black matcha mix on its own but I wanted to see what it would be like if I combined it with Two Hill’s coconut green matcha mix.
6g of Masala Chai + 10g coconut matcha + almost two cups water + some half and half.
And I’m left with what I was crossing my fingers for: LIQUID KHEER. I was hoping for that since this chai is heavy on the cardamom.
This is really great, perhaps better than how both taste alone. The creamy coconut smooths out the milled spices, which I’ve found can sometimes be a little harsh if you don’t get the water to mix to additives ratio down properly.
So…have you tried the new Pepperidge Farms lemon/chocolate Milano cookies yet? You need to. They are the cookie equivalent of little chocolate dipped candy sticks I remember from childhood, and can occasionally find at Walgreens. (Reception candy sticks, I think.)
All that to say I decided to play with a tea equivalent. Half dried lemon verbena (some leftover leaves from our own K S) and half cocoa nibs. Long steep. A little sugar and we might have something here…
So since I’m sick, I decided to break out the best of the cold fighting fruits. I bought fresh ginger and lemons yesterday, chopped them up, squeezed a bit of extra lemon juice, steeped in a basket for 5 minutes, and added a spoonful of honey. The result is a crazily lemon tasting concoction, quite tart and tasting like it’s full of vitamin C. Feels like it will do my body good. Almost like that hot lemon cold medicine but without the drugs in it adding a chalkiness and knocking you out lol. I’m pleased with this blend, and hope it kicks this cold’s butt! It does feel like it’s fading a bit at least.
I cold brewed a mixture of S&V’s Berry Nice and Tea Desire’s Blueberry Cream because the former is quite chemical and Fruit Roll Up-/Berry Hubba Bubba-like whilst the latter is too earthy from the strong beets.
The result? Some pretty interesting, yet strange, tea coalescence. The first couple sips are BAMMO! Hubba Bubba berry chemical scariness, but then the more you sip, your taste buds get used to that, and gradually in the aftertaste comes the beetroot.
While this concoction is more tolerable than the two by themselves, I still wouldn’t recommend running out to get these teas and replicate this experiment.
On the bright side, I’m nearing the end of the Berry Nice, since up until now, I’ve been sneaking in just a bit of it with other teas, such as David’s Pink Passionfruit.
1 tsp Vanilla Cream Earl Grey (California Tea House)
1 tsp Blood Orange (Adagio)
10 oz water
This is my second time making this concoction and it’s been cold steeped each time. The first time it sat in the fridge for probably 36 hours because it got hidden behind something and I am the master of forgetfulness-fu. I only steeped this one for 8 hours, and it really didn’t seem like the extra time made much difference.
The orange rind/hibiscus combo latches onto the bergamot in the EG and makes this a really bright vibrant cup. The vanilla and cream aspects seem to temper the hibiscus to a degree, so while it is still quite tart, it’s not metallic or overly hibiscusy. I’m actually a bit enamored with this combination and once I have a manageable inventory of tea (so never, really), I would pick up both again to drink this. Especially in the summer.
Aaaand I’m back for more experimental fun!
In my 10 oz mug of cold steeped goodness:
1 tsp Vanilla Cream (Culinary Teas)
1 tsp Blood Orange (Adagio)
It made a surprisingly clean, dessert like cup. Very creamsicle tasting, with a bit of creamy mouthfeel from Vanilla Cream tea. It needed a touch of sweetener (1/2 tsp or so) to cut the dissonant notes of hibiscus that would pop up infrequently. If it weren’t for that, this would be pretty close to ideal.
One of you fine folks was talking up a lemon-pepper tea the other evening, so I decided to whip up a homebrew. A spoonful of some 52 Teas Lemon Drop Cooler (rooibos) with a smattering of szechuan peppercorns cheerfully smashed with a hammer after a trying and tedious workday. Results were positive; the pepper didn’t heat up the tea, but did add a little perk and zing to the smooth rooibos. Bet you could do this, too, with your favorite Cheapster Steepster lemon tea.