1705 Tasting Notes

drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
1705 tasting notes

I’ll borrow this heading for a lovely cuppa I enjoyed last evening: despite my bumbling and splotchy skill as a gardener, our potted mint plants are doing beautifully. Last night I had my first steeping from the applemint plant. Ten fresh leaves, crushed, a good eight minutes in the cup. The mint was gentle, not sharp. Don’t know that I was specifically getting apple, but there was some soft fruitiness in the background. Quite pleasant.

Christina

Ooh, that sounds lovely. I had some tea a few nights ago that was just black bagged tea with fresh mint, and the mint made it taste wonderful. What exactly is applemint, though?

Suziqzer

I’ve not heard of applemint.. does it smell of fruit? Fresh mint is always great!

Terri HarpLady

My mints are all up & thriving, along with some cilantro that self-seeded. I’m thinking I need to make a vietnamese salad for lunch tomorrow.

Suziqzer

Yum.. Fresh garden salsa w/home grown cilantro.. Where is summer ?

gmathis

K S sent a sample of homegrown chocolate mint (which really had some cocoa taste going in the background) last summer. That prompted a visit to local nursery to discover how many mint varieties there are. We tried three: applemint, orange mint, and chocolate mint. Tried a steep of the orange last night, and it was more true to its name. We also saw a pineapple mint.

Terri HarpLady

I have a few mints here, & although I’m not always a big fan of mint in my tea, I do enjoy them in my salad, & nothing says ‘refreshing’ more than a few sprigs of mint in a glass of cold water!

gmathis

I would’ve never thought of mint in a salad, but we’ll give it a try—maybe with a little spinach and strawberry vinaigrette…?

Terri HarpLady

I usually feature it in a vietnamese style salad, with shredded asian cabbage, grated carrot, thinly sliced radishes, cilantro, green onions, & a dressing of fish sauce )or soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, a little maple, & toasted sesame oil. I think that’s everything! Toasted cashews make a nice addition to the salad. Traditionally it has chicken on it, but you can put anything on it. Goi Ga is the actual salad’s name. I had it at Mai Lee restaurant here in st. louis once, then found a recipe & have been eating it ever since. Although I haven’t had it for awhile.

Terri HarpLady

And here’s a recipe!
http://www.girlcooksworld.com/2012/07/goi-ga-vietnamese-spicy-chicken-and-cabbage-salad.html
I’ve never tried this recipe, but it looks about right.
Also, I don’t really care much for chicken. When I was a vegan I ate this with smoked tofu, or crispy fried tofu triangles, or tempe, or extra nuts. Otherwise, you can put any form of protein on it.

gmathis

Thanks! Sounds like a “make it once and eat it all week at work” recipe. I’ve been needing to get a small bottle of fish sauce—it keeps cropping up in things I want to try.

Terri HarpLady

I adore fish sauce, LOL. I recommend red boat brand, but if you can’t get red boat, Thai kitchen is pretty good too.
Regarding the salad, I’ve been known to make a very big pile of it, along with a large batch of the dressing in a jar, & just grab a handful for lunch (and maybe again for dinner), using different toppings as fits my mood. I pretty much lived off that salad during the last 3 months of my son Leif’s pregnancy (and he still weighed over 10#).

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There’s not much, in my opinion, to distinguish one peppermint tea from another, providing it’s fresh and not musty. This one is slightly different from the pack simply because of its lack of bite. And that’s OK, when you just need a gentle cup to unwind with after a long week. (Also helps to re-watch one particular scene from last night’s Big Bang Theory. No spoilers, I promise; it just made me smile.)

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drank Decaffeinated Black Tea by Red Rose
1705 tasting notes

This has gotten very little love so far (poor scruffy stray kitten left at the pound), so I will take it home with me and love it. Less dishwater taste than most unflavored black decaf teas; no distinct stand-out flavor characteristics, but it’s decent hot leaf juice with a little sweetness. No, it’s not top-of-the-heap, but I haven’t found an unflavored decaf black that is. Have you?

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drank Versailles Rose by Nina's Paris
1705 tasting notes

Grapefruit without tartness! Enough rose to shave off the sharpness without adding perfume flavor. Nicely done, Nina’s!

Christina

How did you steep this? I’m still trying to figure out the best steep parameters for Nina’s teas.

gmathis

Sloppily in a work microwave—water not quite boiling, maybe a 2 1/2 minute steep.

K S

Sloppily – my favorite parameters.

Terri HarpLady

Is there another way? ;)

gmathis

I think, generally speaking, Nina likes a light touch both on time and temp.

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drank Marango by Savoy Tea Company
1705 tasting notes

Temps warm enough for (a) flavored tea (b) iced tea and © both simultaneously. This is fruity-strong enough to take icing well. Mango-peach-apricot-ish.

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97
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
1705 tasting notes

Enjoying the rest of my quart jar. After resting in the fridge overnight, it’s developed a little starchiness—like shortbread. Still tasty; enjoying it while watching the bumblebees and butterflies in the back yard and resting my feet—flew kites with a bunch of fifth graders this morning and wore the wrong sneakers.

Kites were made from copy paper and bamboo skewers:
http://www.nationalkitemonth.org/teachers/plan3.php
You really need to try this—they fly great!

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97
drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
1705 tasting notes

Cautiously made a sun-tea quart of this; it’s a little touchy, so to avoid bitterness, I was stingy with the amount of leaf (3 teaspoons to a quart jar) and the steep time—maybe 45 minutes on the back step instead of stewing it for a couple hours like I do with black tea. Result = cool, pleasant, fruity!

And to ensure the quality of my experiment, I happily sat outside in the glider doing not much more than staring over the top of my book at the jar :)

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drank Pink Ceylon by Kandula
1705 tasting notes

Another “Oh! Where has that been?” from my cupboard clean-up. This is still more of a novelty than it is a substantially flavored green tea, but it does have a nice silky-satiny texture.

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drank Coconut Pu-Erh by Unknown
1705 tasting notes

This is the result of some significant stash cleaning last night: (Tossing tea, books, or ratty clothing is difficult for me…you?) The upside was several rounds of, “Oh, I forgot I had that!”

Like this. The coconut side of this pu-erh is almost candy sweet. In all, reminds me of a dark chocolate Mounds. Wish I knew more about the source (bulk health food grocery buy) so I could share.

Veronica

I have the hardest time letting go of books. Donating them or selling them at a yard sale actually makes me depressed even when I know I’ll never read the book again! I may have a slight addiction.

gmathis

You are welcome to join my support group :)

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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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