1693 Tasting Notes
Thanks to Jocelyn Rama, I have a whole care package of Teaopia samples to play with and it’s been so long since I had a really good Assam, I pulled this one first.
It is a lovely red-gold color in my cup and has a nice, thick, substantial feel in the mouth. Flavor is smooth, not sharp, not flat…right on key.
Well, at least I THINK it was Monk’s blend … I have room for just one biscuit tin of teabags on my desk, and I had made some little fill-it-yourself sachets and stuck them in a baggie and they filtered down to the bottom of the tin and I’m not sure how long they were there. Some cheapie mint foil bags have seemed to permeate the whole mess …
…but if it was what it was, despite gross neglect and mistreatment, the aroma was still quite pleasant and it was a gentle little un-tea for a cloudy lunch hour.
…and the moral to this little cautionary tale is…
Happy Easter! What I’d LIKE to do is throw open my windows and belt out “Up From the Grave He Arose” at full Ethel Merman volume, but the sleeping 2/3 of my family wouldn’t look very kindly on that this morning.
So instead, I made a cup of this blend, which is a great chocolatey cherry substitute for a hollow chocolate bunny and will be decorously and quietly grateful with a little mischief around the edges. May joy find you all today.
(Second steep addendum: this is GREAT with Hot Fudge Sundae Pop Tarts! Chocolate craving got the better of me.)
I think I’ve worked out the formula to brew three “varieties” of this one in one pot: just under three minutes for me, another minute for my husband, yet another minute for what he’ll ice down at work (he likes the bitter bite of oversteeped green…go figure). At the three-minute point this morning, anyway, I’m catching a little bit of nutty-sweet to balance the greenness.
One of the great joys of being happily married nearly 25 years is getting to walk up, stick something under my husband’s nose, and say, “Smell that!” Which is what I did with this little sample because I couldn’t quite place the scent. I’m a teetotaler, so I couldn’t accurately place whether it was a beer smell or not. It wasn’t. One whiff and he said, “Honeysuckle!”
Which is intriguing, since there’s not a bit o’honey or suckle in this. But that’s IT. Nice, sweet, plant-y. Pretty gold color. Nice spring sort of flavor. Doesn’t get bitter after it’s set a while. Perfect for sipping under the cherry blossoms—-if I only had some to sit under.
This one comes, with my great appreciation, from Meghann.
This is a blend (half-and half?) that smells so good I just wanted to stick my nose in the bag and keep it there. Just like Walgreens no-name brand Christmas cherry chocolates.
The Azteca chocolate/strawberry cancels out any sour in the cherry, which is fine by me. I brewed this first experimental cup according to package directions — 195 for 2-3 minutes, closer to 2 just in case … but it could stand to be stronger to get all the chocolatey, fruity potential out of it. Looking forward to trying again.
This has been a week of major personal stress. As I was heating water in the microwave at work (not my preferred method, but any port in a storm), I put the bag up to my nose and inhaled all the minty, lemongrassy goodness and meditated, not on Zen, but on my favorite paraphrased Bible verse: Lord, you are my portion and my [cuppa]. (Psalm 16:3, spelling adapted to suit myself.)
The flavor, steeped, isn’t quite as strong as the bag scent. I may have sniffed all the smell out! It’s more minty than green, for sure, but still very calming and would be good on a sore dry throat. Nice aftertaste on your tongue.
Husband has been reading about the health benefits of green tea for … uh, things that ail guys his age … and ordered this hoping to find something that isn’t quite so vegetabley. Out of the pouch, it smells very close to a traditional Assam, maybe just a touch lighter. Fresh brewed, the green hits you before the maltiness, and is a touch bitter. Which hubby likes. I need to experiment a little more with proportions, but will do so willingly to be able to share a pot of tea with my spouse!