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Recent Tasting Notes
40 degree temperature drop overnight plus the first day back at work after a lovely week-and-change off…need the heavy stuff today.
As preferences and tolerances change, I don’t consider this to be the strongest tea in my cupboard these days—there are others with more boot and more bite. But it’s sturdy and black; takes milk well and warms your reluctant bones. Who could ask for more.
This isn’t a subtle tea, or a nuanced one. It doesn’t taste like sweet potato or chocolate or freshly baked bread. It just tastes like tea. As others have noted, PG Tips really is England’s Lipton—albeit a bolder, deeper version. It really is quite strong—my general stance is the more kick the better, but this one can be a bit much even for me if steeped too long. This has been my wakeup beverage of choice lately, and it’s just the thing for those fuzzy early mornings (and really, when are early mornings any other way?) when you’re not aware enough to appreciate a more refined (or pricey) tea and just need a serious caffeine infusion ASAP.
I overdid it with the puerh yesterday. After I steeped my chenpi to extinction, I moved on to another shou, which was extremely delicious right up until I discovered from first-hand experience that ‘tea-drunk’ skips right over the pleasant intoxication of, say, ‘merlot-drunk’ and goes straight to the hangover.
I’m not even going to review yesterday’s second shou experience, but it did make me go to the corner shop and get a load of digestive biscuits and croissants to fill the snack-cupboard with, lest I encounter puerh on an empty stomach ever again.
This morning I tried to seek comfort and solace in my favourite, gentle, softly-murmuring Oolong, but yesterday’s dizzying memory still haunts me, so I’m settling myself with PG Tips decaf, with a big splash of milk to cool it down and temper any lingering and vicious shards of caffeine, tannins, polyphenols and whatnot.
It’s quite nice, though to get any tea-taste at all, it has to be brewed for a good couple of minutes in a mug of boiling water, whilst poking at the teabag then squeezing it against the side of the mug with a teaspoon.
I’m rating this highly for a mass-market decaf with a watery taste. 65 I think, because although I once opened up a teabag of it and tried to brew the ‘leaves’ in a jug, like loose-leaf, and watched the tiny particles turn to an unhealthy-looking brownish sludge, sometimes it’s exactly what I need.
It’s like the fizzy-fizzy-make-feel-nice of Alka-Seltzer for merlot-lovers, but for intemperate tea drinkers.
Ok, so this tasting note actually represents the million or so cups of this I inhaled over the course of Friday and Saturday on the way to and from the Wirral to do social with a bunch of people from the Doctor Who. And I did! With copious amounts of tea.
This may have something to do with the fact that somebody bought me drinks on Friday night and couldn’t bring myself to, like, say no to free champagne. And I kept getting sidelined by people I hadn’t shared a string of terrible jokes with every time I insisted I was going to bed. I love the Doctor Who people who know how to have a good time.
(I also love the half dozen tea bags I totally stole from the breakfast bar at the hotel.)
BLERG. My allegies have hit something fierce, even though I’m taking allergy pills every day. A combination of cat and springtime is killing my senses. Ughhhhhhh.
That said, I filmed an episode of Coronation Street on Friday, and it went really well. I do hope they invite me back to reprise my role sometime. I can’t say much more because spoilers, but hopefully I won’t forget to check when it’s on! Anywho. Hoovered about 5 cups of this throughout the day, and as far as basic tea goes, I do prefer it to some. It’s quite strong, so to be honest I only brew it for a minute while stirring my sugar in and then dump the bag. It’s not got that sort of cardboard taste you get with some basic black teas that I find really blech. It’s pretty strong and smooth.
Also, on an almost totally unrelated note, yesterday was Gentleman’s birthday party, and along with the vegetable lasagne and roast and vegetables and salad and garlic bread and everything, I made a Doctor Who Death To The Daleks quarry cake. It was a dark chocolate and tonka bean sponge sandwiched with tonka bean buttercream, enveloped in dark chocolate ganache, and scattered with a cascading landslide of cornflake-marshmallow cookie crumb soil, and the TARDIS and a small army of Daleks dotting the landscape. I’m stupidly proud of this thing.
This tea has rapidly climbed its way into my top 5 favorites! I love the dusky flavour and the wonderful aroma while it is steeping and even brewing. I have a special teapot that I use only for my PG Tips that I got from a shop located about 45 minutes from my house. At this tea house, appropriately called the British Store, a wonderful lady serves tea on the weekends. She makes just PG Tips and scones (either Pumpkin or regular) and they come with clotted cream and your favorite spreads. PG Tips is the perfect tea time drink for any English enthusiast. Would recommend to everyone.