165 Tasting Notes
I had about 80 g of this at the start of the season, and I think I have enough left for maybe two or three more servings. I brewed this up as a treat for myself when i got home, because my feet still feel as though they belong on a dead person and wading through inches and inches of snow in my not-made-for-snow work shoes didn’t do anything to improve the situation. And of course the bottoms of my dress pants were soaked, and and and…I needed tea as soon as I came home.
I strongly prefer this tea to Santa’s secret. I think I prefer the peppermint used here, because it’s closer to the mint more commonly known as “wintergreen” than true peppermint, and perhaps that’s because the sharpness of the mint is tempered by the white chocolate. Add in my usual cream and sugar, and it makes for a wonderful caffeine-free treat. I know i’ll be picking up some more before the end of the season, especially as I have very few caffeine free options for the obligatory post-workday soothing in the chilly winter months.
On a side note, Mr. Keychange isn’t in this evening: he’s playing for a Christmas party. Despite the fact that I can certainly enjoy my alone time, the house just feels so empty without him. Like, I had my cup of tea, I’m going to play around on the internet for a while, maybe wash the dishes…but I typically chat to him about my day when i wash dishes. Ha, I’m really not this needy in real life (or maybe I am), but I just mean that it’s interesting how quickly we become used to a certain arrangement. Saying yes to Mr. keychange is among the better decisions I’ve made in my life, and there haven’t been many of those!! LOL.
Ok, off to do those dishes, and then maybe lay around and watch trashy TV.
Wow, talk about the weather outside being frightful! I just got back from having lunch with a friend, but I honestly wish I could have gone home, changed into warm PJs, make a steaming mug of fragrant tea, and huddle with it under the covers to the tune of a good book (Wally Lam’s ‘We are Water’, FYI). But alas, I am here at work, and just finished the last drops of this tea in my trusty timolino. I’m nearly at the bottom of my tin of this, and have an unopened 4 oz bag of it that I’ll probably dig into soon enough. this tea is also a hit with Mr. Keychange, and we both prefer it to David’s version.
Moral of the story: I want to go home, warm up, and sleep! If, unlike me, you are at home in your cozy sweats/with a cup of tea, know that one Ontario-based girl is feeling very jealous!
I had this lovely tea again this morning. I think it has blown every other unflavoured black I’ve ever had right out of the water. I’m afraid, however, that i’m going to need to stagger this tea, because I’m scared that I’ll drink it every day and then lose my admiration for its perfection, and I just don’t want to get desensitized like that, not quickly, anyway. But it’s such a perfect combination between smokey and sweet, mellow and brisk, and even verges on being savoury. I am inclined to give this tea as a gift to other people I know who love black tea, because I know i’ll be able to promise them that they will never have had a tea quite like this. Although I know that this tea wasn’t actually made for Queen Catherine herself, I can’t help but imagine it being presented to her and her drinking it, although to be honest, this tea is versatile enough to be served to the people with the most wealthiest and most modest of lifestyles alike. it can demand your attention and captivate you, or stand gracefully in the background as you guzzle it down distractedly, always assuring you of its completeness. It’s wonderful with a banana nut muffin, although I’m dying to try it with an everything bagel and cream cheese like one of the reviews says. Oh my gosh, I’m craving this all over again.
Well, my timolino full of this tastes delicious as usual, and my supply of this tea is dwindling. I’m not overly concerned, though, because despite originally thinking this tea was going to be a definite restock, I think I’ll try and make it through some of the tea I have yet to try before worrying about this one. I don’t know if my local dt is even still carrying this, although it was there the last time I was there. It travels in a timolino really well though, and I don’t feel that way about many teas, so there’s that to lose. So the moral of the story is that although I’m glad I got 100 g of it, it may just be all I need to keep me happy until this hopefully comes back again next fall.
This tea is perfect. I am hoping so, so hard that I never get sick of it the way I can with many a tea, because it really is as perfect as its “back story” makes it out to be. I read the back story last night (about how it was part of a project to improve Portugal’s image and is the only Western tea to be featured in the Chinese tea museum) and dreamed really, really big.
Last night was perhaps the first night in a long while that i’ve had decent sleep, and although I’m still feeling a bit tired this morning, I actually slept through the night and woke to the sound of my alarm, and excitedly got out of bed because I’d planned for this tea this morning.
The dry smell of the leaf was actually a bit misleading. It sort of has an earthy, barn-yard-esque quality to it that was reminiscently evocative of the keemun I sampled from art of Tea and didn’t quite like, although the barnyard factor was significantly less pronounced in these leaves. I brewed it up as per keychange, so about five minutes and my usual cream and sugar, and was blown away.
This is perhaps the first tea I’ve ever tried that tastes sort of like a campfire, with sweet hints of maple and a fresh, rain-soaked wind that has whipped through a dense forest. It is not astringent in the slightest, and I can absolutely see what all the fuss is about (which is a relief, let me tell you. I always feel like a bit of a failure when I don’t get what the fuss is about over a beloved tea on steepster).
Seriously, if any of you guys want to try some of this, let me know. It’s amazing. I want it in my collection forever!
I can’t quite articulate how cold it is in my office this morning. I have a hot timolino full of this delicious and warming tea, but I’m desperately wishing I had more. I keep unscrewing the lid just so I can stick my freezing cold nose in to inhale the scent of cinnamon and warm it up for a bit!
I’ve been sleeping so incredibly fitfully for at least the last week or so, and i’m irritated about that but really happy overall, because my Dellaterra bf order arrived yesterday! yup, delivered on a Sunday in true holiday fashion. There’s nothing quite like opening your mailbox and finding a box inside!
Also, I must add that I love our mailbox; it’s huge! My rather large h and S order fit in it perfectly, and I was afraid it wouldn’t. I pretty much don’t ever want to leave this place.
Anyway, this tea was a wonderful tea to wake up to this morning. I’m still using the sachets, because I somehow neglected to order the loose-leaf version with my h and s haul, but as I prepared my tea this morning, I realized that it’s actually really handy to have some sachets on hand for those mornings when you can’t be bothered to fuss with strainers and measuring spoons and all that sort of thing. I’m nearly finished this tin of sachets, and am glad I have another tin ready and waiting that I picked up from Chapters!
You know what’s so funny?
Steepster said I drank this tea tonight.
And I did.
And it was delish!
I think I’m falling in love with h and s. I’ve received my box, and actually was able to guess which tea was which with just my sniffer! (well, and Mr. Keychange also helped because I was struggling a bit to decipher the fruits d’alstace from Boston blend, but he’s got a good sniffer too, so we won!).
Anyway, we had this tea with banana nut muffins this afternoon. I find that sometimes, the cinnamon taste is a bit muted as compared with the intensely sharp smell, but that’s not entirely a bad thing. I don’t think I’d actually want to drink very hot cinnamon hearts anyway. We also used sachets today, and I’ve got a few more of those to use up before I break into my 4 oz tin! woohoo!
Do you guys want to know something? I had absolutely no tea yesterday. None. And I thought to myself, you know what, self? Sometimes I’m just not in the mood for tea, you know? Sometimes I just want something else.
And when I took my first few sips of my tea this morning, I could almost feel its warmth reach way, way down deep into my soul and say “it’s ok, my dear. I’ve been an idiot before too, but you can learn from your mistakes.” and all was well with the world again.
I mean, I know there are legitimately times when I’m not in the mood for tea; when I need a break, or when it somehow never tastes the way it should. But yesterday I was plain lazy. Didn’t want to make, you know, the long drive to the kitchen from the living room to get a pot started. Actually, what was preoccupying me so much yesterday was the anticipation of receiving my h and s order. The UPS site said it was supposed to be delivered on Wednesday, but when I got home on Wednesday, Mr. Keychange gave me the devastating news that it hadn’t yet arrived. Sleeping with a heavy heart that night (is this dramatic enough?), I constantly dreamt that the UPS guy was ringing our doorbell, but that my limbs were too leaden to do anything but stay put (kind of like how you can’t run when you’re being chased in your dreams); that I got a call from the UPS woman telling me that they couldn’t deliver my package because it required a signature and no one was home. It was awful, not just because it reaffirmed that I obviously have a problem, but because I slept so fitfully as a result of it, and i’d already not been getting enough sleep. So anyway, I sat in my living room yesterday, making sure the volume on my speakers was turned way down so that I could hear a UPS truck rumble down the road. 3:00, 3:30, 4:00…I had a work Christmas party to attend, but so help me God I was not going to hop in the shower and risk missing the delivery. Then i heard it. The sweet, low rumble of a truck. Oh let it be him!
And I stood in the vestibule of our building, one hand hovering over the door knob in case he did ring the bell and want a signature, and the other poised just above my mail box slot, ready to either get my package or that sneaky slip saying they tried to deliver it but I wasn’t there (because yes, yes I was there!). Sure enough, this huge box comes sliding through, and like a good delivering doctor, I wrapped my hands around that precious baby and pulled it into my arms! I think the UPS guy must have been a little weirded out by the fact that he literally fed the package through the mailbox only to have it yanked clear out of his hands, but whatever. Package is mine now, baby! oh yeah!
I haven’t opened it yet. I want to savour this moment. Make it last. Think of a really, really good time to open it.
Please, please reply and tell me you’re this crazy, too? Maybe? Just a little?