1915 Tasting Notes
This is not the Holy Grail of cherry teas—that would taste like pie made from the cherries in the tree I used to sit in to read when I was nine. There was a v-shaped branch just the size for my skinny little backside and some limbs that could hold my transistor radio and an extra copy of Trixie Belden.
However, this is a good cherry tea. Bagged, no less. Not chemically-syrupy; not so tart it makes your eyeballs sweat; just pleasantly (and not too artificially) tasting cherry.
I don’t think TeaSource carries this any more. I am about to admit defeat. I think I have yet—in recent memory; this bag has been around a long time—to steep a cup at any time and temp that results in anything but bitterness. I just want it to work so badly—-it’s an Kopili Assam, which I love in black form. I hate not liking a tea!
I wouldn’t know a chestnut if I tripped over one like a banana peel. So my nose didn’t know what to look for when I opened this little sample from Single Origin Teas. My first thought was that I was sniffing chai spice.
Steeped, however, this takes on a whole ‘nother personality—a congenial one! It reminds me of a really, really good oolong (the vendor description confirms that I’m not making that up!) with brown sugar sweetness and that unfamiliar “something” that must be the chestnutty goodness. Leaves your lips and tongue sweet after each sip—like little sugar kisses.
My packet of this silky and elegant oolong with caramel overtones has lasted forever, simply because I refuse to drink it when I am busy, rushed, or distracted. I am perpetually busy, rushed, or distracted—mostly the latter!
Took a “snow day” vacation at home to work on overdue writing assignment and soon-to-be-due writing self-employment bookkeeping (blech). This, plus lemon jelly sandwich cookies, is sweetening an otherwise unpleasant task.
There are days—-most of you have been having them lately, too—-when refinement and subtlety and tenderly monitored steep times just don’t matter. And you get so tired and chilled that the first warm liquid hitting your dry throat and empty stomach is liquid ambrosia, brand notwithstanding.
One little bag of Red Rose did that on a beastly cold afternoon with office doors swinging open while they moved equipment in and out. I wouldn’t have preferred any other tea in the world at that moment.
This was the freebie bag in the latest RoT catalog that landed in our box. It smells luscious—like a Yankee Candle. Flavor is not unpleasant, by any means, but not getting any caramel out of it. Saw another note that mentioned hazelnut, and indeed, that’s more accurate. The ingredient list puzzled me. I have no animosity against either blackberry leaves or carob, but wondered what they’re doing in a brew with this moniker.
Ah, well—it’s warm and sweet and I’m cranky and cold. Surely it’ll help with one symptom or the other.
(However, a disclaimer here: wasn’t paying attention to steep time; I may have gotten a bit too impatient.)
Snow, ice, wind chill advisories: another week requiring solid, sensible, stout black tea. This qualifies. Not quite as strong as my old faithful PG Tips; a little keemun in there to add a little perkiness to the dark base. Requires no special steeping attention—throw it in and go. That’s always a plus.