2238 Tasting Notes
Simply because I am craving autumn, the tea name had me envisioning something a little tart and sharp, like scones with unsweetened cranberries. This went another direction, but I’m glad it took me along for the ride. Think berries and cream instead, smooth and sweet.
Now, because I forgot whether my Saturday mug (surely you have a mug for each day of the week, too) was 12 or 16 ounces, I think I overleafed somewhat, because the bottom third of the cup was a little bitter. I’m calling that “leaf fail” on my part, rather than on the tea’s. Can’t wait to try this with a little dairy.
The last time I reviewed this was during the Great Snowpocalypse of 2011 (that was a year, lemme tellya!) and I was fortifying myself to help hubby tackle 18 inches worth of snow shoveling.
Just for the record, this is not the same batch. But it is the same basic, inexpensive bulk no-frills, black tea I remember. Flavor profile reminds me of dark pumpernickel or Ry-Krisp crackers. Takes milk well. (I’m ready for milk in my tea again … like y’all, certain flavors and combos are strictly seasonal, and that’s a fall/winter thing for me.)
We are getting a very welcome couple of surprisingly cool, wet weeks, and while I’m not a fan of rushing any season, come on, fall!
It really has to be fall to properly enjoy this chicory and spice blend. Back in the days when I didn’t pay much attention to the additive tea ingredients, I didn’t realize that cinnamon and star anise were part of the blend (not a fan of anise; it’s awfully pushy). But in this case, the other ingredients bully it back into submission, resulting in a really nice coffee with spice scent and taste. (Note to self: buy a pint of half-and-half. It’s time.)
Thanks to the lovely and talented ashmanra, I have been introduced to CuppaGeek. I am a sucker for wordplay and creative titles, so Double Golden Bonus Points were awarded right away after browsing selections on the website.
My first pick was Baked Apple Pie (with a hint of rum). It’s one of those herbal blends that also needs to be a potpourri—CuppaGeek nailed the pie scent. You might need to buy one packet to drink and one to sniff.
With really “chunky” herbal blends (lots of apple hunks and chamomile heads), the flavor differs a little with each cup, depending on the mix that comes up in your spoon. Last night’s nightcap was light on the rum and cinnamon and the apple-chamomile came through nicely and well balanced in the foreground. Tonight’s may be slightly different.
I have been whining for months about the demise of Celestial Seasonings’ Sweet Apple Chamomile. I’ll hush now—I’ve met its much more luxurious stepchild.
After cavorting with kids (10 of ’em, fresh out of fourth grade and squirrely!) then coming home to sterilize the rubber pig and chicken and wash my marbles (there are a couple tasks I never expected to do!) I was ready to put my feet up and enjoy something light and uncomplicated.
I don’t know much about the provenance of this dragonwell. It was passed along by a friend; a cellophane-wrapped packet in a little green box with absolutely no English on it whatsoever. And yes, I know I should have taken a picture to run by the experts before I sipped it down and pitched it. Que sera. But I enjoyed every cup of it—it definitely led with the extremely green spinach and kale vibe, but there was a sweet spot at the end of every swallow. Like getting dessert after eating your veggies.
Family is beginning to warn me that I repeat myself…so pardon if I’ve used this analogy before. But you know those annoying alarm clocks that get louder and louder the longer you ignore them? That’s a fair description of this morning tea. The first few sips are sweet and wheaty, but as you progress, the toast turns from seven-grain to dark pumpernickel. If you aren’t awake when you take the first sip, you should be by the bottom of the cup.
Way past time for me to try my little unopened sample packet. When I originally added it to the shopping cart, I reasoned that although fannings are “what they sweep up off the floor,” fannings from a really quality congou would have to be better than brand name grocery store tea bags.
I was right. (I don’t get to say that very often.) Even after 2+ years of storage, these make a decent morning cuppa with some faint aftertaste hints of toast and cocoa.
Of course, now I can’t find them on the Upton website … that’s what I get for hoarding.