1800 Tasting Notes

drank Huckleberry by Tea Licious
1800 tasting notes

As the heat wave continues, so does my experimentation with Ozark-y fruit teas. Steeped a pot this morning and chucked it straight in the fridge to cool.

Huckleberries, so says Wikipedia, are eccentric cousins of the blueberry—scent and taste remind me of a cross between blueberries and black berries. So the flavor is strong, especially when I got a trifle generous with the amount of leaf I used. Tossed in a couple of sugar cubes and that helped immensely.

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Since our current living conditions strongly resemble Green Acres, I decided to act the part this afternoon and steep some of these here “yarbs” double-strength in my trusty Mason jar on the front porch. Burdock—dandelion root—red clover…I can just hear Granny Clampett strumming her autoharp and singing “Billy Boy.” Furthermore, I have a bad case of the crabbies and a general physical and emotional system cleanse may be just what I need.

The mint hits you first, and hits hard when you sniff the pouch. I think it’s the red clover blossoms I’m seeing that are dried and added whole.

And…after a good hour in 99 degree sunshine and poured up on ice…the results are in…oooh, doggies! Jed, this is plumb tasty! Anytime you have an infusion with “root” as an ingredient, there’s going to be a tree-bark taste, and it’s present, but just barely. The mint is cooling in the mouth, and hopefully clearing in the head.

ashmanra

Why, I never knowed you was a yarb woman! Did you try puttin’ knife under the bed to cut the pain?

gmathis

Someday I’ll tell y’all the story of how I plucked my future husband off’n the deck of Rube Dugan’s Diving Bell at Silver Dollar City.

All this talk does remind me of the sweaty aluminum tumbler of iced sassafrass my grandpa would keep on the arm of his chair this time of year…

ashmanra

Ooo, I’ve never had home made sassafras, though we used to pull the saplings up and I loved the aroma of the roots!

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The tea description evokes thoughts of airy, ethereal, wafty sorts of flavors … but my first whiff of the dry bag reminded me a little bit of the sweet, grainy smell of a bag of cattle fodder in my grandma’s barn. Not unpleasant, but different from what you’d expect. Flavor went a little bitter—my fault for oversteeping, but I did get hints of the light and sweet floral elements.

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Leaves are huge, and steeped, have kind of a neat multicolor green/black effect. Flavor is lighter, brighter, and fruitier than what you’d expect in a normal black—several previous notes have mentioned raspberry taste and I can see that. Really nice, really pleasant, doesn’t need a single addition.

ashmanra

I have loved Ruby #18 from A Southern Season, but when I tried Black Ruby from Shui Tea I realized that my ruby was weak! Still delicious, but in comparison the one from Shui that is supposed to be the same, had richer molasses notes and deep dark raisin. They both resteep well. Did you try it with this one?

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drank Pomegranate Pizzazz by Bigelow
1800 tasting notes

As with most red-colored herb teas, I was bracing myself for a wickedly sour hibiscus rush (didn’t check ingredient list to see, just assumed)…and there wasn’t one! Flavor corresponds nicely and accurately with the nice fruity scent. Even a little bubble-gummy. I can see serving this one at a teddy bear tea party with … uh, the hypothetical granddaughter that may or may not materialize some decades down the road …

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drank Mainland China Oolong by McNulty's
1800 tasting notes

I often mention my favorite no-name China Oolong tea that, last time I looked, is still running just 31 cents an ounce at our local health food store. This is its elegant, wealthier relation. It leads with a predictable woody taste, but has some lighter, brighter, fruiter stuff happening when you give yourself a minute to think about it. Nice!

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97
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
1800 tasting notes

Strawberry is fast becoming one of my favorite fruit additives. This tastes and smells like pastry in a cup. Heat wave continues, so one cup warm is about all I’ll be able to enjoy before sweating myself into a puddle, but the rest of the pot is cooling for iced-down purposes later this afternoon.

Of late, I haven’t bothered with ratings because I tend to be inconsistent and moody, but this one definitely needs the little green licky-lip smiley face!

This is so tasty, it’s really calling for a turnover or a cream horn to accompany it. Wonder if I have time for a bakery pit stop before church…

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec
ashmanra

When I was in college, I was asked to sing for a large, old church in the city that had one paid choir member per section. Said member was supposed to get a replacement if they went on vacation, and I was it. Imagine m shock at choir practice when I was told that the church had a pastry chef who prepared fresh pastries for all staff and choir members every Sunday morning! You should have seen the huge blueberry bear claws! I don’t know if he was paid, or this was his gift to those who served, but either way I bet they didn’t have a lot of trouble keeping choir members!

gmathis

Oh, I wish I knew somebody with the spiritual gift of pastry! Settled for an apple fritter from our favorite local shop. And this is every bit as good cold, especially since it’s (pant, pant, pant) 103.

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I oopsed and attributed this to the wrong company yesterday, will try to retire the wrong note. Previous comments still stand, though; to me, this isn’t nearly as dry and grape-y as many better Darjeelings, but I like the light-and-smooth consistency that doesn’t pucker my tongue.

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drank Clearing Tea by Sacred Rose®
1800 tasting notes
ashmanra

Neat! That was a fun review to read.

JacquelineM

Charming review at it’s all about the leaf!!!!

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Bio

Somebody asked me once when I became a tea junkie; I think it dates back to college when I needed caffeine for a 7 a.m. class but chose not to do coffee. My favorite teapot is a medium-sized Brown Betty given to me by my Mema; the painted flowers are chipping off, but the size and feel is perfect. I rejoice when I get a morning to brew a pot of loose tea starting with a kettle; not a bag and a hot pot.

Location

Southwest Missouri

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