1702 Tasting Notes

drank Backyard Botanicals by Custom
1702 tasting notes

OK, this is the last of the homegrowns I had not yet tried—pineapple mint. It’s interesting: leaves are thick and a little fuzzy, long olive-green ovals with cream-colored edges.

Again, using a bag of Red Rose decaf as the backdrop—I think it’s a winner because there are no strong tea flavors to compete with the mint so I can get a fair impression of the flavor profile. I’m not entirely sure I’m getting pineapple out of it, but there is a fruity-something happening along with the mint.

Wish y’all were here to share with. The applemint has gone bananas; almost growing faster than I can prune. I have several large clumps drying upside down in the garage. It’s beginning to look like a tobacco barn.

TheTeaFairy

Haha! I wish I was closer to get my hands on that applemint of yours ;-)

gmathis

We’ve had an odd spell of weather…a 5-20 minute shower daily between 3-ish and 6-ish for close to two weeks. The plants are in happyland.

Mercuryhime

Can’t wait for my own mint plants to do as well as yours!

ashmanra

Oh my! I just replanted my peppermint and bought some spearmint, but it isn’t doing as well as yours! Also, I have failed at growing lavender here. The tag always says, full sun, well drained soil. We have plenty of both. It dies. This time I planted it in a pot, in the shade, and it is thriving and blooming. Hurray! I want to get a whole trail of lavender pots going along that side of the house! It is even blooming. A first! (Where I live, the nurseries tell you that if it says full sun, it means at least partial shade for us.)

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drank Backyard Botanicals by Custom
1702 tasting notes

Whoops, forgot this category existed, and with all our recent homegrown experiments, I could be filling it up. We bought two chocolate mint plants from local nursery; one for a bed in front, the other in a back porch pot. Now that they are flourishing, it is clear there are two varieties. One has long, pointed leaves; the other has leaves that are more spade shaped.

We’re drinking long and pointy tonight, with a bag of Red Rose decaf tossed in to give the cup a little density. If you’ve never tried chocolate mint, it is well worth the $3.49 experiment—steeped straight up, you can detect the essence of chocolate. With some tea to give it a little heft, you can almost taste an Andes mint.

Nicole

Sounds interesting.

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
1702 tasting notes

In this case, cola tea (cola/rooibos) of indeterminate age and origin, sun tea’d in a Mason jar and thrown into the fridge. Leans more toward Dr. Pepper or RC than Coke, but won’t turn chicken bones into rubber :)

Perfect apres-mow beverage while I nurse my shoulder—first workout since a cortisone shot probably shouldn’t have been mowing the ditch with weeds the texture of wet rope.

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
1702 tasting notes

Experiment #2 with my first Red Leaf unflavored matcha sample; whisked up (a little more vigorously this time) a cup, then gave a spring of fresh applemint a 3-minute bath. Works nicely—-Green (Apple) Frog!

gmathis

Another rookie question—-those of you who buy an ounce at a time…help my spatially challenged mind….would that make a 1/2 cup in a measuring cup? More?

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
1702 tasting notes

Don’t you love surprise tea boxes waiting for you at the end of a rough, rough, rough workday? (Kinks in neck, permanent crease in forehead, blood pressure at low boil?)

In this case, it was a selection of matcha samples for taste testing from Red Leaf Tea. Matcha and I haven’t spent much time together and much of it has been comedies of error, so this will be a wonderful educational opportunity. I carefully followed Red Leaf’s general preparation instructions, minus a proper bowl and whisk, and am now curiously peering into a cup of what looks like squished frog and creek water, but tastes rich and mild and a little grassy.

Experts, does a little matcha still settle to the bottom of your cup if you’ve properly whisked it, or is it because I made do with a fork?

caile

Lol, squished frog and creek water – glad the taste is better! ;-)

OMGsrsly

Probably a little of both! I find that higher quality matcha can stay suspended longer, but it is little chunks of tea leaves so they do settle.

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drank Decaffeinated Black Tea by Red Rose
1702 tasting notes

Score another modest win for this Cheapster Steepster…a good long steep in a cup with two plentifully leafy sprigs from the chocolate mint plant. It was rich and tasty—not York Peppermint Patties, mind you, but you didn’t have to think to hard to get the chocolate. The Red Rose made a good, unassertive base. I’m going to be a rebel and press the “Yes, I would recommend” button.

Veronica

I’m going to buy a chocolate mint plant this weekend just so I can do this. I have a few decaffeinated teas lying around that aren’t that appealing, but a bit of mint might help them out.

gmathis

I am loving our little potted garden. The last “stray kitten” my husband brought home from the greenhouse was a small pineapple mint; it’s not quite big enough for me to start snitching leaves yet, but soon.

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
1702 tasting notes

I cheffed! I cheffed! Not cooked…cheffed ! Dredged and orange zested and hubby tried roasting garlic and we put it all together to make a variation of Chicken Balsamico with a little orange juice thrown into the liquid (http://carinosathome.blogspot.com/2012/07/chicken-balsamico.html). And we didn’t ruin it! (Again, this is one of those statements that will make some of you laugh heartily at my expense.)

Anyway, with some orange zest left, it seemed sensible to toss it into a tea strainer with some dried lemon verbena. Smells citrusy-sensuous, tastes pleasantly orange zesty, and is a perfect aperitif after one more helping of pasta than I really needed…

Nicole

That’s a tasty sounding dinner!

gmathis

It really wasn’t that hard: dredge, brown, dump balsamic vinegar, and reduce. I can cook plausibly when I don’t have to hurry…it’s just those confounded evening meals when I come dragging home exhausted that turn me into a kitchen incompetent. Oh, to be able to retire…

Angrboda

Well done on the cheffing! I’m not particularly interested in cooking beyond liking to try a new recipe, but it’s fun to try and do a new one now and then that seems a little more difficult or uses some new technique or something.

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Was saving this little treat from TeaBrat for an afternoon I could really enjoy it. This is one—feet up after a day’s worth of “get-to” puttering around the house (as opposed to “got-to” trudging through chores in the evening when I’m exhausted to start with).

My favorite lemon teas are those that have a lemon tart (pastry) personality instead of a tart lemon (painful) personality. This bagged tea fits Category A quite nicely; very light, very fresh, makes me crave lemon pie.

TeaBrat

glad you liked it :)

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
1702 tasting notes

Junkyard Tea in a Mason jar after a long, humid day opening up a stuffy, stinky farmhouse to welcome 84-year-old dad home after a long absence. Still continuing to discover all kinds of unexpected treasures Mom had stashed away in the oddest places. Today, lodged between two afghans in the cedar chest, a handmade, never-worn vintage 50’s era shirtdress made of funky, swirly cotton fabric—and it just might fit. My sister thinks it was intended for my grandma, who was born in 1892.

caile

: ) Those type of treasures are the best!

gmathis

Too small through the shoulders :(

caile

Aw, that’s too bad! Maybe you could get it adjusted at a tailor or make it into a skirt or something. :)

TheTeaFairy

That is awesome, I love vintage clothes!

gmathis

Me, too. My favorites are long, swooshy rayon skirts.

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Scribbles shared a China black from Tao Tea Leaf that was so deep and rich I fell in love with it…was hoping that locally, I could at least make acquaintance with its peasant cousin.

So I picked this up last run to Fox Farm. It has hints of the toasty cocoa richness of the Tao gold standard, but just hints. All the same, an inexpensive (just over a buck an ounce) lightweight breakfast tea for the summer months.

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Bio

Somebody asked me once when I became a tea junkie; I think it dates back to college when I needed caffeine for a 7 a.m. class but chose not to do coffee. My favorite teapot is a medium-sized Brown Betty given to me by my Mema; the painted flowers are chipping off, but the size and feel is perfect. I rejoice when I get a morning to brew a pot of loose tea starting with a kettle; not a bag and a hot pot.

Location

Southwest Missouri

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