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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
395 tasting notes

What an interesting few days!
Sunday I had my final baby shower. We also got hit with quite the snow storm. Like to the point where I couldn’t get the car out of the driveway.
Then Monday… well the greatest and craziest thing happened. I had my little boy!
Monday went by like any other day. I hung out… went for dinner with my dad and just as I was about to go to bed that night, I started to get some weird symptoms. Come to find out my water was starting to break but I wasn’t sure if that’s what was happening for sure or not. Anyways I eventually decided to go to the hospital to get checked out and I went from 2cm to 8cm in an hr. Our little guy was born about 3hrs after I got to the hospital. It was the fastest delivery of a first baby ever! Born at 35.5weeks. Isaac William James is 4lbs 11oz. 19" long.

Only problem is his lungs aren’t quite right yet. He’s on a ventilator right now and we’re hoping and praying that’ll change soon. He’s slowly getting there but it’s taking a while. I’m hoping he can stay breathing on his own fully soon.

Alright onto the tea. This is the one they have ay the hospital and honestly it’s not too bad. I’ve loaded the cups up with milk and sugar and there has been something so comforting about it. Maybe it’s cause it’s the only tea I have on hand but it’s been great to have. I’m so thankful for it today and yesterday. I’m slowly getting anxious for loose leaf again but honestly it doesn’t matter. Thinking about tea is just my distraction for worrying. I know the little guy should be fine but I’m really having my moments. And it’s hard not getting to hold him. I’ve only held him once and it wasn’t long enough. And I was in such shock from giving birth that it feels like a dream instead of reality. Hoping today I’ll hold him again.

Wow I’m really using this tasting note to voice all my thoughts and fears. .. haven’t really voiced all this yet. It’s kinda nice to get it out.

TheKesser

Well fix all the spelling errors later. On a phone it’s too tough

Christina

Wow. Congratulations and I’m glad your labour went fairly quickly. Here’s hoping your son recovers quickly too.

whatshesaid

Congratulations! I remember all too well the fear and excitement involved with the birth of your first baby (ours just turned 1 in december)…. I hope your little man recovers asap so you get to hold him again. Just knowing his mom is there will definitely help him.

caile

Congratulations, and best wishes that you and baby will be home together soon!

rosebudmelissa

Congratulations! I’ll keep you and Isaac in my prayers. Hopefully you’ll be able to hold him again soon.

Nightshifter

Congratulations on a beautiful baby boy! Sending well wishes that you both can go home together soon.

Anlina

Congrats! I’m sure your baby will be fine and back in your arms soon.

Good hospital tea is a precious rarity. I drank so much bad hospital tea when my mum was in, and it was really only distinguishable as tea because it was hot, brown liquid that clearly wasn’t coffee.

Indigobloom

Wow, congrats!! You’ll get to hold him soon! Sending positive vibes

TheKesser

Thanks everyone! I didn’t get a chance to hold him, but he’s doing so much better. He’s completely off the ventilator, they don’t have to give him as much oxygen, and the tube they had in his mouth has been taken out. (It removed extra air out of his stomach so the lungs had the space to expand.)
I’m home again. The doctor has been really impressed with my progress. And hopefully tomorrow we’ll have even better news!

whatshesaid

Good luck with everything!! So glad to hear he’s doing better and that you are doing well also.
This painful waiting period will end in the truly amazing experience of being (re)united with your tiny beautiful son :)

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
559 tasting notes

I enjoyed a cup of this tea on the flight home from my brother’s wedding in New Orleans. The wedding was great, and I especially enjoyed reconnecting with family I haven’t seen in a decade. We flew back safely on Saturday afternoon before Hurricane Sandy hit. Thank goodness we didn’t stick around all weekend for Voodoo Fest or we might not have been able to get home at all! Luck was on our side.

But man, the weather was cold that last day in New Orleans! It was supposed to be sunny and 84 every day we were there. Then on Friday evening, we walked outside and the temperature had dropped about 20 degrees in 10 minutes. Yikes! I don’t think people had turned the a/c off yet either, so we pretty much froze everywhere we went.

The plane ride home was especially cold, so I asked for a cup of hot tea. They served me this Mother Parker’s Orange Pekoe. It wasn’t the best cup of tea I’ve ever had, but it was hot and tasted like tea, so it met my expectations. :) I’d rank it somewhere in between Lipton and Twining’s. Not bad stuff!

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
1502 tasting notes

As you may have noticed I am definitely not a tea snob. I enjoy a bagged tea from time to time. Today was experimental day. I have a bag that I brought home with me. A thought occurred to me that part of the reason I enjoy this one is the water. The restaurant is one block away from where I used to work. The tap water made awesome tea. Our county water is pumped out of the ground right next to the city water pumps. Basically it starts out the same and goes to two different filtration plants. Our county water does not make awesome tea. It has to be filtered to remove the chlorine stench.

There is no chance of making a short story out of this now. So I brew my cup at home. Wait for it to cool. Yeah, most of the flavor elements are there but muffled and twisted more earthy than the lightly smoked leather I get in town. I’ve tried bottled water and it does not seem to help. I may have to start filling up a five gallon bucket once a week in town. I’ve done crazier things. The weird thing is Denney’s is next door to Steak N Shake and our Denney’s tea (Lipton) tastes like fish. Gross as it sounds. Yeah, I don’t go there any more.

My back is better but not great. I took my guitar Sunday (just in case). I had no intention of playing until the Pastor told me the keys player wasn’t going to make it. So I played. It hurt. The third song was a fast and rowdy song where the beat is like galloping on a horse. If you haven’t heard Stand Up Stand For Jesus done that way – you should. I made it through but was out of breath. I am on portable oxygen for those who don’t know. The next song is a beautiful slow song (Your Beloved) where I make my electric guitar sound like an acoustic. I thought no problem. Wrong. I could not catch my breath but made it through. Fortunately, the lead singer had plenty to say before the last song. Back when I took guitar lessons, my instructor and I made up an arrangement to Holy Holy Holy. It’s not Led Zeppelin but it is a lot closer to it than my mom’s version of this song. I made it but it took all day to recover. Next time I do something stupid like that (because I will), I’m loading up on painkillers first.

Fjellrev

I originally come from a small village and I am so glad that they get their water from the city 100km away since it’s so good.

Way to be playing the guitar! But you also need to look after yourself. :)

gmathis

I’ll refrain from asking you to sub in my fifth grade Sunday class, then…we played jacks on the floor—it’d have done you in. (It was a hoot—these 10-year-olds had never even heard of jacks and thought it was the coolest game I’ve suggested in ages!) Do take care of yourself. Singing a cappella is perfectly acceptable for a week or two!

K S

Thanks for the voices of sanity. a cappella sounds like a good idea. It is just really hard to sit there and not play.

Jacks – it has been so long. I’d have to Google how to play but I can imagine a floor full of kids giggling and jumping up and down while shouting, “My turn!”

How did you pry the gameboy and phones out of their hands? Yeah, I know my wife gives one warning them confiscates them.

mrmopar

You made a “joyful” noise and I am sure it was heard and appreciated.

gmathis

I promised I’d shop for a real set…we improvised with oversized coat buttons…and a cheap one can’t be had in town. Found one for seven bucks at ToysRUS (FAO Schwarz brand). I’m trying to decide if I love my kids that much.

My mom’s wise teaching advice: “Always keep ’em too busy to misbehave.”

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
1502 tasting notes

Like many of you, we have been in the deep freeze this week. This morning the sun was shining and we ventured out for breakfast anyway just to blow the stink off from being cooped up ;) Anyway they were really busy. The manager brought my tea. Typical restaurant version – kind of steaming water in a metal pitcher, a cold cup and a tea bag. Some assembly required. Tea was good but not like usual.

A friend happened in at the same time and I asked him to join us. His 90+ mom was in the hospital and is now back at the nursing home. She has given up. My friend is coming to terms. He has been her care giver for as long as I have known him. He is a good man and a great son. It was sad talking with him but glad I could be an ear today.

The server who loves tea was working the other side of the room. My wife took her the chai I had sacked up for her. She told my wife she starts chemo tomorrow. It brought a flood of thoughts as we just lost my sister-in-law right before Thanksgiving. The server told my wife, so far the jasmine pearls are still her favorite. I don’t know if chemo and caffeine are OK so I may need to hold off any more sacks for a while.

Had a second cup of tea and gave thanks that today we are doing well.

Anlina

I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my mum this summer. She drank matcha throughout her chemo, so I think caffeine should probably be okay, though I imagine it all depends on what type of chemo.

K S

Thanks.

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
1502 tasting notes

My weekly update: I was so excited to play with my new (used) teapot I almost forgot to share about this one. The tea loving server saw us coming in this morning and begged the others to let her wait on us. Yeah – cause that means way better prepared tea. And a new tea bag with each cup. What a novel idea.

This week I took her a baggie of Teavivre’s Yunnan Dian Hong Golden Tips and a sample bag of Teavivre Jasmine Dragon Pearls. The pearls were harder to give away because I don’t know if I have any more at the moment. I told her these blow the ones I previously gave her out of the water.

I asked her if she was steeping the teas more than once. She said, “Are you kidding me, I’m steeping them until they have nothing left to give.” Awesome. She told me she pulled the teas out at her book club and shared with ‘the girls’. They loved them – dragon well was the favorite. As you can tell, I’m loving this.

I asked if she was willing to try pu-erh. She did not know what it was. I told her it smelled like a horse barn and tasted like leather. Her eyes lit up. Now I have to go through the drawer and figure out which one I have is the best example of what I just told her.

Tune in next week, same bat time, same bat channel.

Mikumofu

I always enjoy hearing your stories of a fellow tea aficionado!

ashmanra

Aren’t tea padawans fun?

K S

When I was working I had a couple guys I shared with. This lady has made me realize how much I miss the interaction with a fellow tea lover.

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
1502 tasting notes

My Saturday morning restaurant tea. It is pretty funny right now watching the guy server trying to butter up to me because I gave tea to the lady server. He is trying. It is kind of like an agnostic trying to talk Bible with a believer. He doesn’t really ‘get’ the connection. I’m working on him. I think I’ll take some Candy Cane Lane and Sugar Cookie for him to try. He isn’t ready for meat. Right now, he sort of heats the cup but the water is already cooling by the time he gets to the table. Still a pleasant tea for cheap bagged stuff.

Total Tea Girl – the lady server – was swamped but we talked as she ran past the table. She wasn’t feeling well so kind of glad she kept her distance. ;) First time she ran past she said, I just have to say I have been enjoying some amazing teas all week. Specifically she mentioned the Dragon Pearls. The one’s I gave her are good but no where near as good as the Teavivre Premium. I’ll dig through my stash and find her the good stuff.

She also mentioned the Nina’s Earl Grey. She said it was amazing. Her roommate could smell it across the room and asked what she was drinking – nothing, move along nothing to see here. This is not the tea you are looking for. (I sense a disturbance in the force from a pilfering roomie – just guessing)

Talking about all of the teas, and especially some of the green’s (dragon well for one), she commented on how clean and crisp they were. This comment made me very happy.

She told me she lived in China for a while and has been asked to return as an English teacher. Can’t wait to discuss this more in depth with her.

I promised her some lapsang souchong next time, which she has never heard of, and I think she needs to experience golden tips. It was a game changer for me. I’m debating on pu-erh. Ashmanra has much success with it. Since I can’t control the pot, I’m not sure about it yet.

Nicole

It’s nice to gain converts or find other fans among the already converted. :)

caile

haha, love hearing about your weekly restaurant encounters!

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
1502 tasting notes

Remember me telling you about the ‘total tea girl’ server at our Saturday breakfast? As I crossed the river this morning, I remembered I did not pack tea as I promised. D’oh! Anyway our server today (a guy) brought my extremely preheated mug and a pot of already brewing tea to my table. I told him I was impressed. As he walked away I said to my wife, Steph must be rubbing off on the other servers. I took a sip and went Mmmmmm. Later total tea girl stopped by the table, I mentioned the morning cup. She told me when she saw us come in she started heating the mug. She added the other server asked her how come she made better tips than him. She told him it is because she goes the extra mile. When the guy came back to check on us, I explained to him how it really did make a difference. Progress has been made. Let’s see if it sticks. Now I need to pack up some teas and set it with the Saturday coupons. For cheap tea, when prepared going the extra mile, this stuff is pretty darn tasty.

Fjellrev

That’s some fine tea service!

Ysaurella

lucky you :)

gmathis

This is at a Steak and Shake, right?

K S

Yep, S ‘n’ S. Now to start working on them to restock the Darjeeling they used to carry. I’ve got a person on the inside now. ;)

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
1502 tasting notes

Our usual tradition is to go out for breakfast on Saturdays. Always the same place where I always order hot tea. Because of my wife’s craft shows we haven’t gone for a month. I was happy to see our server today is the same that told me she was a total tea fan girl. When I ordered she warned, “You know it will take a while because I have to warm up the mug.” When she brought it out the tea was already in the steaming mug and she placed a saucer on top as a lid after setting it down. Awesome. I told her how cool it was to be served by someone who ‘gets it’. She was busy so I waited for a slow moment and asked if she ever drank loose leaf. She does. I told her I would bring her a thank you package next time. She said her favorite is chai but she would try about anything. I might still have some white chai. That made her eyes light up. Now if she can just get the other servers trained in the ways of tea, this corner of the world will be better for it.

Even lowly tea-bag tea actually can be pretty decent if prepared correctly especially when served with a meal.

Ysaurella

oh my God there are a lot of corners of the world to train to get a decent cup of tea outside home…and big cities aren’t better at all. Lucky you to have found this charming lady.

Suziqzer

Yeah for a server who gets it. Maybe if she brags about her little package from you, the others there may be intrigued to learn as well.

gmathis

What kind of crafts? It’s heavy crafting season around here, too.

K S

I’ve tried talking to a couple of the other regular servers. Yeah, their eyes glaze over very quickly. This lady is a jewel. I get far better tea from the bag with her serving than I do at the coffee shop that carries tea.

gmathis – she makes doll clothes that fit 18" or American Girl dolls. If I understood imgur I would post a pic of a biker chick outfit she made. I picked out the pleather material and suggested chains. A lady at the Harley shop came up with other ideas.

K S

I uploaded a couple pics on picasa my wife took of her biker girl. I think you can view them. It is actually a lot cuter in person. Let me know if you can view them as I haven’t tried this before. https://picasaweb.google.com/112676022270636121955/BikerGirl?authkey=Gv1sRgCKmZlejRpMuvZA

gmathis

Now I remember—you’d mentioned it somewhere along the line. The biker babe is adorable!

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
1502 tasting notes

Got up made my green tea milk drink and some toast. Started out the door to take Spike to the vet. My son popped in as we opened the door. The 3 of us plus the dog piled into my cruiser and headed out. After dropping the dog off and a quick stop at Wallyworld, they wanted breakfast. Sigh. I really am trying to watch what I eat. So Steak and Shake here we come. I ordered hot tea. The server brought my cup full of steaming water, the silver metal pitcher of water with the bag in it, and a Styrofoam cup. At first my thought was, you are going to get in trouble when they find out you are the one staining the pitchers. She said she likes to heat her tea cup and that I could pour the water into the extra cup. Neat. It really did make the tea fruitier. For a tea bag it is pretty good anyway. She said she was a total tea girl. A moment of conversation and I realized she meant she drank a lot of tea bag tea. Still, she was correct on this one. I may have to sack up a few loose leaf samples and help her expand her horizons.

mrmopar

Sharing is always a good thing. Whether it be tea or conversation. if you get her hooked then get her on here as well.

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
1502 tasting notes

I have reviewed this cheapster steepster many times. Today’s experience was interesting. I caught hints of leather. I have no idea what was different. Nothing on my end that I am aware. No matters, I enjoyed 1 1/2 cups. The waitress was talking with my wife and kind of poured decaf into my first cup. She was embarrassed. I was amused. It made my morning seeing how quickly she scrambled to get another cup on the table.

gmathis

Hubby and I have decided that becoming recognizable “regulars” at plain ol’ diners is a sign of middle-agedness.

K S

I think it is worse than middle-agedness. Of course the bright side is you don’t have to order, they just bring it to you. I kind of feel like Norm. Everybody knows my name.

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
1502 tasting notes

I have had this one often when we go out for breakfast. For a cheap bagged tea I used to really enjoy it. Lately it has become so meh. That is probably the worst thing that you can say about a tea. It doesn’t offend. It doesn’t satisfy. It’s just meh. I hate it when that happens.

Sami Kelsh

Yeah. I’m sure I’ve had this one loads of times, and it’s just… not memorable. Like, I can’t remember anything about it.

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
1502 tasting notes

It is really warm today for the middle of February – but we kind of earned it this winter. I wanted a green tea frap but the wife wanted breakfast. This is the bagged tea at the restaurant. Normally I really like it, good taste and decent depth for what it is, but today I must have gotten the bottom of the box. Pretty much tasted like cardboard. Oh well, the biscuit was good.

mrmopar

But Thursday is frap day…

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
1502 tasting notes

Despite being up since 3:00, we barely made it before they cut off breakfast this morning. I don’t even order any more. They just show up at the table with tea. It is cheap bagged restaurant tea but I rather enjoy this simple cup with a bagel.

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
1502 tasting notes

The gloom and doom forecast was four to six inches of white stuff. Instead we woke to a light rain. For fear that it could all ice over tonight we decided to head out in the rain for breakfast and mostly for our sanity.

The first cup was meh. About what you expect from bagged tea in a restaurant. The problem is the water. I asked Andy our waiter why the water was sometimes only warm. He said it depends on how many pots of coffee they made – as in the water is just being used to quickly to get hot. He promised the next silver tea pot would be hot. It was, and the second cup was once again the delight I expect.

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
1502 tasting notes

Breakfast out tea. When they heat the water hot enough this is pretty good for cheap bagged tea. The first cup was not hot enough :( I made up for it on cups two and three.

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
1502 tasting notes

I have praised this simple bagged tea many times. Today is not one of those times. The waitress brought me the little silver pitcher and I noticed the water took its time turning dark. I picked up the cup and tasted. It was lukewarm and tasted like bland nothingness. Asking for a new pitcher, thinking she had gotten distracted on the first, the second cup was no better. I started to ask for a third, telling her someone may have turned off the hot water dispenser.

“Oh, the machine is broke, that water is just hot out of the tap. I guess I should have told you.”

Do you think?

Anyway, this makes my point. Bagged tea too often gets a bad wrap it does not deserve. Is it as good as loose leaf? No, but many bagged teas are quite nice, you just have to take care in preparing them, otherwise you get bland nothingness.

Off my rant. Leaving my score from past experience.

gmathis

So sorry…I have never encountered that level of tea ignorance.

ashmanra

Wow. I just don’t know what to say to that.

KatNa

lol, wow… I would have said, “Hot tap water, is for washing ones face, … not brewing tea!”
Jeee Hosophat.

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
1502 tasting notes

Looks like Steepster is down again. who knows if this will really post. Anyway, I think the allergy medicine is actually working. I still feel stopped up but man o’ man this tasted so good today. Probably shouldn’t moan out loud in a restaurant but I did anyway. Multiple cups. It is just a cheap bagged tea but has more depth than most. Today it had a light earthy roastedness to it. I swear I was even catching some leather notes. So glad to taste again.

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
1502 tasting notes

I had three cups of this today. As you may remember, I complained yesterday about tea made at home not tasting right lately. This one was made with the north corporation water. We have south at home. It tasted ok but nothing special (in a cheap bagged tea sort of way). I am now leaning towards my allergy medication being the main culprit. Most of what we detect as flavor is actually smell. I think I am either going to have to drink powerful tea or loose the medication. Maybe I’ll try both for a few days.

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
1502 tasting notes

Well look at me having three cups of tea already and its not even noon. Yeah, this is cheap bagged stuff but its pretty tasty.

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drank Orange Pekoe by Mother Parkers
1502 tasting notes

Three cups of this one to start my day. The first one, I was overcome by a spirit of stupid or something. I added cream and honey. OMGosh that’s just gross. I emptied the cup in a hurry so I could drink it dark and strong. So much beter. A good basic bagged black. Sometimes that’s what it takes to get the day moving.

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