1687 Tasting Notes
Last morning for a slow and thoughtful cuppa for a while. Back to the Work Inferno tomorrow. :( So I broke into a new packet to be thoughtful over.
At a slightly longer than recommended steep (closer to 4 minutes than 3), the color was light enough I had pretty low expectations for a breakfast tea. Pleased to be wrong…this has a surprisingly rich flavor. Rye bread with brown sugar and molasses. One of those “wow—where’d half the cup go already?” surprises.
(Also a penny-pinching plus; this is one of Teavana’s less expensive items. I picked it just to make a gift card come out even.)
Too many cookies and student helpers that sneak me chocolate when I can’t leave my little charges. (I pick ‘em well!) Plus, hubby taking advantages of my afternoons off for ice cream dates. Who am I to refuse? But I’m starting to feel the effects of sugar bloat, so I’ve made myself a little calendula-orange mint after-dinner steep. Orange mint is pretty mild, but does add a little freshness to the calendula. This would probably be more refreshing chilled.
Chasing nine-year-olds up and down multiple flights of stairs on a church campus nearly two blocks long can wear on a body…so my body pflumped down in a chair with a cup of gentle, modestly grainy, faintly sweet Silver Needle and reveled in the quietness. I’m still not a white tea devotee, but this has enough personality I don’t feel like I’m drinking plain kettle water.
I bet I’m the only VBS teacher you know who was reprimanded for cheating during rec time. Object of the game was to throw foam balls, soft Frisbees, and other safe projectiles into the other team’s side; “cleanest” side when Miss Sammye yells “Freeze!” wins the game. We were playing kids vs. teachers, and I decided to strategize. Rather than run around fetching debris, I suggested that we play smart—simply gather the goods when they came our way, fail to throw it back, then dump it over the opposing line at the last minute. Brilliance. My timing was a little off, though—I unloaded on the “eeze” of freeze. (I am unrepentant. It was a blast.)
Work buddy brought me a snack bag of this to try—it’s just lovely! Light and leans heavy to the sweet coconut cream side. First cuppa was so sweet I added just a pinch of fresh leaf and am attempting a second steep, chilled. Will be tasty for a feet-up after VBS Day 1. I have two phenomenal teenage helpers—one of whom showed up in fedora and trench coat and cheerfully provided secret agent code names for my little pod of nine-year-olds. Henceforth, you may refer to me as Captain Bigelow.
The first and only 100-degree afternoon we’ve had would be the one when we’re decorating for third grade VBS and poor, panting sweaty hubby nearly herniated himself lugging in our “small” floor vault for our Evidence Room. But the lasers (orange yarn) have been activated, the file boxes are stacked and stenciled, the badges and lanyards are ready, the aloe-vera gel fingerprint sensor is in place, and it’s time to rest up for tomorrow’s adventures.
And in doing so, something gentle and minty and COLD is perfect. One bag Celestial Seasonings Sweet Apple Chamomile, a healthy wad of applemint and two snips of catnip. Yep, we’ve had so much horticultural fun this summer, we got one. Tazo thinks it smells good. Other ingredients in this mish-mash are strong enough, I can’t detect a specific smell or taste.
One of those mornings where about two sips of hot tea are all you get to before the outdoor temps make hot anything unnecessary—so this was a good morning choice. The ginseng gets stronger as it cools, which is OK by me—I don’t like ginseng hot, but cold or iced it hits the spot. would like to get some more of this.
Oy, what a week. Teeth-clenching, nonstop work week followed in the evenings by in-law visit (actually that part wasn’t so bad, other than the inability to come home and sit in my Spot and drool).
Our little shabby house doesn’t accommodate company well, so they camped more comfortably at a Hampton Inn, where we lobby-lounged and visited yesterday; this was the available food-service bagged tea. Considering the setting and hot-pot water of indeterminate temperature, it wasn’t bad. Plenty of mint over “something” in the background; there’s supposedly hibiscus, but it wasn’t noticeable. Don’t be scared if this is your only available option.
On the fun side, hubby’s 89-year-old Mema (you need to meet her; she’s so cool) brought me a bagful of vintage jewelry and scarves straight out of Mary Tyler Moore. Remember those shaped polyester neck scarves with a ruffly edge? (Maybe not; I think I have underwear that’s older than some of you :) At any rate, I’m looking forward to playing dress-up to figure out how to wear them.
It’s taking forever for me to get through Red Leaf samples for review; chiefly because I’m trying to be unbiased and consistent in my ratings. I’m about as consistent as a….[insert most inconsistent simile possible here]. This one’s nice; color’s more forest than frog; not a bit of bitterness.
At any rate, I’m amassing quite the bundle of little samples…as we’ve got a heat wave headed this way, I need to fish around and find your favorite chilled matcha frosty goody recipes. Unless, of course, you’d care to save me some search time and throw some suggestions my way here ;)
The scent of the dry mix is as advertised; cocoa, caramel, salt. After a long steep (6 min), there’s a lot less caramel and a lot more licorice…and low sodium.
Drinking this first non-stellar cup minus any additives to get an accurate baseline, but I think this will need some sugar and/or some dairy to accentuate any creamy caramel personality this may have.