1853 Tasting Notes
You’d want something sweet and fragrant, too, if you were awakened at 4:15 a.m. by a rogue stink that made you panic that the central heat unit was burning…and then you realized that the stink was skunk skinking around outside somewhere. Love rural-burban life!
Since I first met Marco, I’ve also been introduced to several taste-alikes that are equally fruity and a little less persnickety (this one requires a careful steeping eye). H & S Tower of London comes the closest according to my palate. Still, Marco Polo is the gold standard that I judge fruit teas by.
Prompted/challenged/inspired by recent lavender experimentation, I attempted a little kitchen chemistry this evening:
1 teaspoon Mariage Freres Bourbon Rouge (rooibos)
1/4 skimpy teaspoon lavender
1/2 teaspoon cacao nibs
Ooohhooooh! The lavender gives the rooibos a fruity tinge rather than flowery, and you just can’t ruin cocoa. Did I say oooohhhhhoooo?
This has turned into the evening go-to tea when I need a little self-coddling. Long tiring day, writing deadlines dogpiled on top of it, hubby under the weather (Dr. Tazo is taking care of him while I’m still working), the wanna-gotta-do list that’s so long it’s strangling me… any little bit of sweetness helps.
Can y’all find this locally?
There’s a Shel Silverstein poem, “Jellyfish Stew,” I used to read to my son. Substitute Fugian Congou for jellyfish stew, and it fits: Oh, Fujian Congou, I’m loony for you, I truly adore you; I love you, I do..
Well, except when you get to the “tastes like glue” and “slimy with goo” parts.
Bitter and sweet, smooth, can’t ruin it even on a Monday morning; even one punctuated with bad poetry references.
One of those days that can’t make up its mind: a little bluster, a little sun, a fair amount of raw wind that makes it rain yellow leaves in the backyard. Calls for an afternoon tea that’s savory, not sweet.
This is a (my bad) neglected little sampling of thin green tea needles with toasted rice popcorn in it. The grain scent makes me want to find a hay barn to spend the rest of the day in. More toasted rice flavor than greenness, but that proportion is perfect for the day and time.
Wish I knew more about this one; provided by a friend, purchased at an indie grocery called Mama Jean’s in Springfield MO.
Pu-erh was just made for fuzzy-flannel additive flavors like chocolate and coconut. Half a cup made me crave a plaid shirt instead of the striped one I’m wearing.
Letting it sit to cool only improved the flavor. Sweet coconut + moist earth with a little mineral scent. Non-pu people wouldn’t get how wonderful that is, but I know you do.