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1628 Tasting Notes

Working from home today, which means time for a comfortable tea break in bona fide sunlight. Leisure tea and sunshine are going a long way to ease the gloomies that have plagued me (and, with apologies, the folks who have graciously read my grumpy and cantankerous tasting notes) all week.

My first note on this one had lots of floral references in it. Today, without monitoring temp very carefully—it was somewhere under boiling, how’s that? and a 2 minute steep, it is the color and flavor complexion of a Brach’s butterscotch candy, sans sugar.

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There are several Belgian Chocolate options here; I clicked Metropolitan Tea because a friend sent this from a little tea house in Tennessee that I think private labels Metropolitan stuff.

This particular blend is nice—I am a calendula lover in blended tea and it adds a nice little kick to the cocoa-roo. Pairing it with some bittersweet dark chocolate highlighted the sweetness.

(Curious…anybody ever steep just plain calendula leaves? Just wondering how they do on their own.)

Kittenna

I’d refer your question about plain calendula leaves to Stacy at Butiki. She seems like the most likely person to have tried something like that!

gmathis

Noted. Thanks!

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It’s unanimous, based on other reviews, that Scottish breakfast tea should be strong enough to kick the wind out o’yer wee bagpipes, but this isn’t.

So I doubled up the bags this morning and (inadvertently) oversteeped by a minute or so. NOW we’re talking. Sharp. Stout.

Serenity

Is it a little smokey tasting?

gmathis

Not to me. A single bag is just a nice “brown” tasting breakfast tea, if that makes sense. Doubling up made it a little more acidic/astringent.

Terri HarpLady

I often double bagged teas, regardless of the company or flavor, as I feel they are usually stingy with their portions. Having said that, I also often double the amount of loose tea…
Not all of the cups I have are 8oz, which is (in theory) what a portion is suppose to be. Most of them are 12oz, & I tend to like my teas on the strong side. :)

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
1628 tasting notes

Let’s call this one “Beat the Blues-berry.”

The struggle to slog through the day continues. Non-specific, frigid-weather, car-behaving-eccentrically, nothing-to-look-forward-to, just-can’t-muster-up-the-joy, seasonal icks. Watching one friend lose her father to cancer last week; another visiting a surgeon today to scope out options for a breast lump. Housework. Taxes. Gotta smile at how Psalm 3 calls God “the lifter of my head…” Mine’s hanging down by my socks!

So…a cup of buck-up is in order, don’t you think? With little forethought, I tucked a bag of Celestial Seasonings True Blueberry in the cup, then dashed in my steeping basket with a heaping teaspoonful of tulsi, my trusty tension tamer.

Works! The clovey-lemon tulsi taste plays nicely with the gentle blueberry, and I hope to feel its un-kinking effects soon.

It’ll be OK. I know how it ends. Our troubles are light and momentary, Some moments are just kind of long, huh? Chins up, pinkies out, carry on!

Terri HarpLady

Sending you a hug :)
Hang in there!

gmathis

You all are such nice people!

Shmiracles

i resemble your slog!
a wardrobe of seasonal icks….
your attitude is actually a song.
xo

ashmanra

I have seriously GOT to try tulsi! That is it. Going to the health food store before week’s end.

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drank Holiday Blend by English Tea Shop
1628 tasting notes

…of course, the upside to being the “_____ will drink anything; she likes tea” person are the nice little surprise packets that turn out surprisingly good.

Like this one. Apple-orange-vanilla. Nice. Made my morning. (Wouldn’t take much; seasonal gloom has hit me like a road train.)

Shmiracles

seasonal gloom — tell me about it!!! my good-feeling-after-the-gym only last about 5 min these days.
i’m only happy when i’m home and in my jammie pants. le sigh.

Serenity

How can I help cheer you, my friends? I wish I could send some sunshine your way!

gmathis

Kindly listeners go a long way to lighten the load. Thanks!

Hesper June

Maybe a trip to the florist? Fresh flowers go a long way to brightening up the frozen landscape for me:)

Shmiracles

Oh my that’s a sweet idea!
i’ll do it.

and it’s true, just getting to complain and be heard is comforting in itself sometimes.

ashmanra

Fresh flowers are a great idea!

gmathis

Color therapy helps! (Friends at work know to keep their distance when I’m in the yellow sweater; when that comes out, I’ve hit rock bottom!)

Terri HarpLady

I also am grumpy. I’m going for Bubble Bath Therapy!

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Has this ever happened to you? “You don’t want that tea? Give it to _____! She’ll drink anything!”

Thus, a nearly full box of Earl Grey bags on my desk, minus one suspiciously eyed, hesitantly tested bag.

I will finish the cup, but (apologies to those of you who like this) it tastes like furniture polish.

Correction. Maybe I will finish the cup.

TheKesser

That is totally my life! People are always giving me tea bags, (again, no offense to those who drink tea bagged tea) but I honestly can’t stand tea bags. It doesn’t taste anything like loose leaf.

Mercuryhime

I had the same tea this morning. Was wanting an earl grey and had only this. Bad idea. Milk and sugar made it okay to finish but I didnt enjoy it. I’ve got to get some loose earls…

K S

Hurrah for furniture polish! :) Every time I have had this, but once, it just tasted like tea. Apparently kept in the store way past is expiration date. Oh, the one time it was ok.

gmathis

I guess what makes me chuckle is the notion by non-teaists that there are really no quality distinctions as long as it’s tea.

Em

gmathis, I was just sharing that thought with someone yesterday. I always thought tea was bitter and need sugar and milk. Little did I know that there was a difference until I got into loose leaf.

gmathis

Here’s to broadened horizons!

Ramvling

Its not bad when you have it in latte form with vanilla syrup. So basically not bad when its not tea anymore. :,D

Em

That leaves us with a philosophical question. When is tea no longer tea? :)

Shelyteadrinker79

LOL………..

Chizakura

Totally agree about the furniture polish. I thought you couldn’t have a bad early grey (differing qualities yes, but never bad) until I tried this one. xD

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I still hate January, but the dazzling (cold!) sun on the tree branches makes it look a little like Narnia out my front window.

Because I may have to hock my firstborn to pay this month’s heating bill, I’m following several of you in an austerity plan to drink up what I have open…and this was.

It’s a fine darjeeling with lots of apple-peel, fruity character; not much to say that differs from my initial tasting note on this one.

As my tea horizons continue to broaden, there are so many wondrous varieties that I’m crazy about, but I can’t say I’ve landed on a wondrous darjeeling that makes me want to tap dance or clutch the cup in ecstasy. But I don’t mind looking…

Em

I absolutely love reading your tasting notes :)

Azzrian

Hi Em not sure if you meant that for gmathis or myself but either way thank you I didn’t want to assume you meant me, but didn’t want to not acknowledge your post either.
I love reading everyone’s tasting notes. I wish I had more time to read ALL of them. :)

gmathis

Azz, I think there was some of the Glenburn in a care package you sent recently. Probably another cup’s worth, if I dig for it. I’ll revisit more thoughtfully.

Azzrian

Awesome! :)

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
1628 tasting notes

OK, I have transgressed and slipped into a cup of cocoa tonight. But in my defense, it’s sloppy, soggy, freezing rain outside, snow to follow, with killer chill behind that. Sitting under a super-fluorescent light at my writing desk didn’t even dent the SAD. It’s chocolate weather.

However, the chance combination part of this little story is courtesy of my hubby. Disappointed by Starbucks’ discontinuation of his favorite Signature cocoa, he started twiddling with cocoa alchemy. Turns out that one packet Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Sensation and one packet Cold Stone Marshmallow in the same cup approximates the sweet stuff he misses.

Hitting the spot.

Indigobloom

I had cocoa today to!! it really is that kind of day

Nicole

Cold Stone Marshmallow… would that be a Cold Stone Creamery cocoa??? What am I missing?

gmathis

Yeah, I don’t think I have the name quite right, but it’s a packaged cocoa we found — I think at Wally World.

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97
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
1628 tasting notes

I’m in world traveler mode today, so I took Marco along for the ride — researching and writing kids’ activities about (is this serendipity or what?) Assam, India. I smell a kids’ tea party being written into the procedures.

Also, for you crafty types, research and Internet “travel” led to a nifty world craft site with some lovely items; supports a great cause. http://worldcrafts.org/index.asp. OK, stepping off the soapbox now.

Marco Polo, for those of you who haven’t yet had the adventure, is a gorgeous, sweetly fruity black tea. I save him for days when (a) I can pay careful attention to steeping; it can’t be bullied and (b) there’s enough time to fully enjoy it instead of swigging it on the run.

I wish I could add © have multiple unscheduled hours to read a really good book and neglect housework and writing assignments to the list. But a luxury tea eases the work part a bit.

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Been a while since I’ve had this one. My loss; this is wonderfully light and tasty. Heavy on the coconut, but the lemongrass is definitely detectible and harmonizes beautifully. Plenty sweet without additions. (Now if I were just in a lounge chair on a tropical resort smelling the wet sand and watching the sun slip over the horizon….)

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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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