1593 Tasting Notes
H & S Tower of London + bulk cocoa nibs = ooh!
Our little indie import grocery had cocoa nibs available for bulk purchase—couldn’t resist; thought it might feed the winter-blahs chocolate monster without actually ingesting candy and tubs full of fudge frosting.
So, first thing out of the bag, I spooned in a very scant and experimental 1/4 teaspoonful with this morning’s Tower of London. Didn’t hurt, but didn’t have much effect, either.
Seond steep of the TOL, I popped in a full teaspoon of the nibs. Added some very pleasant, gently chocolatish (as opposed to sweetly chocolately) personality to the used leaves.
Good for a picker-upper after taking down the Christmas tree. I didn’t want to do it this year. When the tree goes, January comes :)
After a lovely week of downtime, I’m wrestling with a case of post-holiday, here-comes-January-and-taxes, darn-I’ve-gotta-take-down-the-tree, my-favorite-jeans-don’t-fit blues. Seasonal depression breathing down my neck like cold orc shadows.
In an attempt to keep from drowning my glums in the last of the Christmas candy in one gnarf, I made myself the tastiest tea I currently have to hand. I haven’t had marzipan in years, but this is what I think it tasted like. The orange-almond-vanilla combo in this is so sweet and confectionary, it’s a good dessert substitute.
A sample-sized packet was not enough of this!
a) I have way too many open half-packets of tea and tisanes. I have got to do some serious sipping down. (Surely this does not happen to you.)
b) Probably not a good idea to have a caramel Milky Way snowman before I tasted this. It’s messing with tastebud accuracy.
c) Hibiscus in peach tea? Seriously?
d) It’s bone-cold, cloudy, threatening to spit snow, I’m freezing; at the moment, the only flavor profile that matters to me is WARM. This is.
The sweet condensed-milk flavor in this is so strong, it rates a “weird,” but a good weird. Bet you haven’t tried anything like it! (And if you like dairy, creamy, caramelly, desserty teas, you need to try it.)
I half-and-halved it with some basic unflavored Ceylon and that cut the strength to just about perfect.
Manomanomanoman, oh, man…I wish I had Smell-O-Net so you could get a whiff of this, dry. The smooth, marzipanny almond is so rich it’ll make your eyes roll back in your head. I want a candle that smells like this. I want pillows that smell like this.
The first fresh cup was fabulous—tasted every bit as good at it smelled. Orange and almond predominate, with the rest of the godies serving as backup singers (doo-wop!)
Second steep is still smooth; more almond, less orange, and oh, wow—there’s some pretty decent green tea under there!
Unfortunately, this isn’t on the Savoy website—must have been an in-store holiday-only treat. Locals, grab it while you can ;)
My first dragon pearls! Savoy is fast becoming one of my favorite walk-in-the-door tea sources. For a cheapskate like me, they’re a leetle pricey, but no shipping/handling and no waiting. (That’s the walk-out-the door advantage.)
Dropped two of these little gems, about the size of your pinky finger tip, into a big clear mug, added the recommended 8 oz. water, and … at first, not much. Was a little worried about impending tea fail, even after four minutes, because the water seemed awfully pale for a Yunnan.
Not to worry. I ran it through a little tea strainer into a smaller, opaque cup, which showed a little more color—bronze. Flavor was pleasantly surprising. A little savory and brothy and yep! cocoa as advertised.
Off to try a second steep. (Do dragon balls bounce back? ;)
Contentment. Warm, full, mildly sleepy, schlepping around in sweats in the early afternoon.
This tea is as cozy as your favorite fleece blanket. The earthy pu-erh is a perfect base for the cherry flavor. Gives it a wonderful black cherry personality. Not artificial tasting at all. Another Nature’s Tea Leaf winner!
…and this was what I made to warm up when I happily returned to my hobbit hole. Bilbo says, “I miss my books, and my arm chair, and my garden. See, that’s where I belong; that’s home.” Now I know! I’m a hobbit.
This is a little sweeter and gentler than the Boston Tea dragonwell I had earlier today. Lovely on its own; I may have a second cup with a little sugar.
The movie today reminded me that sometimes we’re called to do things that are much bigger than we are—to be light in a dark place. As I’m rocking and sipping in my favorite spot, my prayer is that God’s love and light surrounds you and gives you peace. Merry Christmas, friends.