1717 Tasting Notes
The pace at work the next three days promises to vacillate between screaminess and utter wild-eyed hysteria, so we’re at least starting the morning with a bit of calm and elegance before I start pulling my hair out in panic-induced wads.
This is sweet and subtle and cocoa-y. Stress subtle. Very good, but not for a morning caffeine jolt. Better for afternoon cookies, or for you gentle non-black-tea subtle people out there.
Work friend shared a generous sample of this one. It is gorgeous. You could put it in a jar and stare at it all day, it’s so colorful and zazzy.
And for a white tea, it does a good job of making its presence known. First cup was at work, so heated unevenly and with a bit too much water, and I still got a nice fruity-pie kick. Sweet but not tart.
Next cup gets more attention, less water, and is expected to be great.
What wimps we are. Storms again (sigh); this time just wicked lightning and torrential rain—5" in 2 hours, give or take, power out for 2; Internet out for several; you’da thunk it was the end of the world. So hard up for entertainment, I was reduced to tying newspaper scraps to string and teasing Tazo with them. (He is still officially an outdoor cat, but I needed a diversion desperately.)
So grateful for a “normal” morning, a functional heating source, and decent tea. This one has been hard to pin down. Decent, but not stellar; something a little sweet and cedar-y or raisiny going on, too. May be the first entry in my “Junk Yard” tin I intend to start.
A couple summers ago, when kind Steepies helped me replenish my tornado-crashed pantry, JacquelineM tucked in a tin filled with odds and ends of berry-flavored teas that, shaken together, made a quirky mystery grab bag of fruit flavor. Just enough left for one last jar of sun tea. Chilled, it’s a lovely treat to spend the day with. (Writing and doing grungy housework via the carrot-and-stick method: Write, sip. Vacuum, sip. Fold, sip. Dishes, sip.)
Also builds a strong case for me, when the tin is finally empty, to start a “scrap” tin of my own. Waste not, want not.
Yeah. That kind of morning. When you wake up and your eyes are so dry and tired you bumble to the kitchen to get a couple of damp tea bags to use as compresses for a while…and you don’t realize there are holes in both of them, and when you flip the bags to put the cool side back on your eyes you get a face full of tea schmutz.
These bags, thankfully, had no holes. This is one of the strongest English Breakfast blends I’m aware of. (Many of you would make jokes about using to peel paint off lawn furniture.) Half to get these bleary eyes open; half to ice down and keep the bleary eyes open.
Green tea doesn’t make sun tea very well—my best results come from steeping a green tea properly, then chilling it. Tried it in a quart jar anyway with the peach variety out of this collection. Not bad—I probably pulled it a little sooner than I could’ve to avoid bitterness. But there’s some peach in there and there’s some green in there, and when you just want a slug of something cool, subtle nuances don’t matter much.
This little tinned collection is turning out to be surprisingly acceptable.
Thoughtful of my doctor’s office to offer me a cuppa while I was waiting. Not-so-thoughtful to whomever (I didn’t look at the brand) packages green tea for a Keurig that gets the water entirely too hot and ruins it. Bitter and plasticky. The manufacturer should know better! (I didn’t know it was going to be green, or I would’ve stuck with water.)
One drinks red raspberry leaf infusion for the medicinal value, not for the flavor. It isn’t undrinkable on its own, but definitely has a tree-leafy taste to it.
So, since we’ll be imbibing it pretty heavily over the next week or so, a little experimentation seemed to be in order.
Put the raspberry leaf in a stuff-your-own paper filter (it clogs up brew baskets) and tossed in a bag of Celestial Seasonings True Blueberry. Voila. The blueberry neutralizes the leafy flavor of the raspberry leaf; the raspberry leaf neutralizes the hibiscus that runs a little strong in the True Blueberry. Win-win.
Win-win-win, if you add the fact that I’m sipping it in the patio glider on a sunny pre-vening (thank you Dr. Cooper) with Tazo snoozing with one paw draped over my leg to make sure I don’t leave. Simple blessings.