1736 Tasting Notes

This makes a very pleasant summer cold steep in the fridge. Hadn’t tried it as one yet. Dark, sweet, and earthy. A good sleepy-afternoon perk-up.

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drank Backyard Botanicals by Custom
1736 tasting notes

Too many cookies and student helpers that sneak me chocolate when I can’t leave my little charges. (I pick ‘em well!) Plus, hubby taking advantages of my afternoons off for ice cream dates. Who am I to refuse? But I’m starting to feel the effects of sugar bloat, so I’ve made myself a little calendula-orange mint after-dinner steep. Orange mint is pretty mild, but does add a little freshness to the calendula. This would probably be more refreshing chilled.

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Chasing nine-year-olds up and down multiple flights of stairs on a church campus nearly two blocks long can wear on a body…so my body pflumped down in a chair with a cup of gentle, modestly grainy, faintly sweet Silver Needle and reveled in the quietness. I’m still not a white tea devotee, but this has enough personality I don’t feel like I’m drinking plain kettle water.

I bet I’m the only VBS teacher you know who was reprimanded for cheating during rec time. Object of the game was to throw foam balls, soft Frisbees, and other safe projectiles into the other team’s side; “cleanest” side when Miss Sammye yells “Freeze!” wins the game. We were playing kids vs. teachers, and I decided to strategize. Rather than run around fetching debris, I suggested that we play smart—simply gather the goods when they came our way, fail to throw it back, then dump it over the opposing line at the last minute. Brilliance. My timing was a little off, though—I unloaded on the “eeze” of freeze. (I am unrepentant. It was a blast.)

K S

The poor losers are just jealous they didn’t listen to the rules well enough to think of it themselves. :)

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drank Coconut Green Tea by Trader Joe's
1736 tasting notes

Work buddy brought me a snack bag of this to try—it’s just lovely! Light and leans heavy to the sweet coconut cream side. First cuppa was so sweet I added just a pinch of fresh leaf and am attempting a second steep, chilled. Will be tasty for a feet-up after VBS Day 1. I have two phenomenal teenage helpers—one of whom showed up in fedora and trench coat and cheerfully provided secret agent code names for my little pod of nine-year-olds. Henceforth, you may refer to me as Captain Bigelow.

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
1736 tasting notes

The first and only 100-degree afternoon we’ve had would be the one when we’re decorating for third grade VBS and poor, panting sweaty hubby nearly herniated himself lugging in our “small” floor vault for our Evidence Room. But the lasers (orange yarn) have been activated, the file boxes are stacked and stenciled, the badges and lanyards are ready, the aloe-vera gel fingerprint sensor is in place, and it’s time to rest up for tomorrow’s adventures.

And in doing so, something gentle and minty and COLD is perfect. One bag Celestial Seasonings Sweet Apple Chamomile, a healthy wad of applemint and two snips of catnip. Yep, we’ve had so much horticultural fun this summer, we got one. Tazo thinks it smells good. Other ingredients in this mish-mash are strong enough, I can’t detect a specific smell or taste.

Nicole

Lasers and fingerprintn sensors? That sounds like an awesome VBS!

K S

Very cool! Can I come? I never got to attend as a kid. As an older guy (wouldn’t go so far to say an adult) I love VBS…. and air conditioning.

Terri HarpLady

sounds like awesome fun!
Coolest teacher ever :)

gmathis

Green aloe vera gel in a ziplock bag. Layer bag on top of neon yellow copy paper; duct tape edges to heavy cardboard. You ought to see the cool badge and radio I got in my Dollar Tree FBI Kit. Of course you can come.

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drank Wake Up Call by Savoy Tea Company
1736 tasting notes

One of those mornings where about two sips of hot tea are all you get to before the outdoor temps make hot anything unnecessary—so this was a good morning choice. The ginseng gets stronger as it cools, which is OK by me—I don’t like ginseng hot, but cold or iced it hits the spot. would like to get some more of this.

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Oy, what a week. Teeth-clenching, nonstop work week followed in the evenings by in-law visit (actually that part wasn’t so bad, other than the inability to come home and sit in my Spot and drool).

Our little shabby house doesn’t accommodate company well, so they camped more comfortably at a Hampton Inn, where we lobby-lounged and visited yesterday; this was the available food-service bagged tea. Considering the setting and hot-pot water of indeterminate temperature, it wasn’t bad. Plenty of mint over “something” in the background; there’s supposedly hibiscus, but it wasn’t noticeable. Don’t be scared if this is your only available option.

On the fun side, hubby’s 89-year-old Mema (you need to meet her; she’s so cool) brought me a bagful of vintage jewelry and scarves straight out of Mary Tyler Moore. Remember those shaped polyester neck scarves with a ruffly edge? (Maybe not; I think I have underwear that’s older than some of you :) At any rate, I’m looking forward to playing dress-up to figure out how to wear them.

ashmanra

LOL! I still wear the shirt I was wearing when I met hubby 28 years ago…if your unders are older than that, I want to know what brand they are! And I bet a lot of people on here are younger than my shirt.

gmathis

I think D is still in possession of a black Rush t-shirt circa 1980 that was safe in a storage tub and worn so thin you can see through it. Don’t think it’d even fit one arm…but it’s not going anywhere!

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
1736 tasting notes

It’s taking forever for me to get through Red Leaf samples for review; chiefly because I’m trying to be unbiased and consistent in my ratings. I’m about as consistent as a….[insert most inconsistent simile possible here]. This one’s nice; color’s more forest than frog; not a bit of bitterness.

At any rate, I’m amassing quite the bundle of little samples…as we’ve got a heat wave headed this way, I need to fish around and find your favorite chilled matcha frosty goody recipes. Unless, of course, you’d care to save me some search time and throw some suggestions my way here ;)

OMGsrsly

Throw it into a smoothie. I’ve been doing 2 tbsp cream, 1-1.5 cups almond milk, enough frozen mango to make it thick and milkshake-like (about 1 cup?), and 1/2 to 1 tsp matcha. You can use pretty much any frozen fruit, but if you choose berries either use more cream, or add part of a frozen banana for smoothness.

gmathis

I’ve never tried almond milk either…sounds like an opportunity for some serious horizon-broadening!

OMGsrsly

:) I have it because while I love regular milk, it makes me sick. So a little cream for richness, almond milk to dilute, etc. I usually use unsweetened.

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The scent of the dry mix is as advertised; cocoa, caramel, salt. After a long steep (6 min), there’s a lot less caramel and a lot more licorice…and low sodium.

Drinking this first non-stellar cup minus any additives to get an accurate baseline, but I think this will need some sugar and/or some dairy to accentuate any creamy caramel personality this may have.

Veronica

So it taste like kind of salty licorice? :|

gmathis

Yeah, kind of. Next round, I will dial back the steep time to see if it backs off. No licorice love here.

mj

Boo licorice

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78
drank Oolong by Unknown
1736 tasting notes

Never have been able to source this one, but the price is still right at the Fox Farm bulk bin at a whopping 31 cents an ounce. It’s my husband’s favorite summer iced tea. Some oolongs get bitter when you sun-tea or cold steep them; this one has a roasted, nutty personality that takes abuse nicely.

It’s been my favorite kind of “get-to” day…been busy puttering (manufacturing a “fingerprint recognition sensor” for 9-year-olds with a ziplock bag of aloe vera gel) and shopping (buy 2, get 1 free used books at Vintage Stock). Believe I’ll pour me a big glass of this, put my feet up and rest from my exertions.

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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.

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Southwest Missouri

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