348 Tasting Notes
Oh god. Something went fifty shades of wrong with this tea, and I imagine it was me, because what I brewed up could not have been enjoyable to anyone, not even one of those pretentious people who insist they like something that is highly improbable. But omg. So, so gross.
The dry leaf smells exactly like the smelly grape markers we used to play with as children. I wanted so much for that to transfer into the taste, but alas that was not to be. I couldn’t resist putting a touch of cream in the cup before starting, although perhaps that’s what ruined it? anyway, I brewed it for three minutes, and it was very bitter and tasted as though i was drinking liquid grass. A bit of rock sugar didn’t help, either. What am I doing wrong? how could something that smells this good taste this bad? I could not finish my cup—most of it went down the drain. I need to revisit it tomorrow, I think.
I’m packaging some of this to send off to sil, and figured I might as well try it myself. I actually got this at the Balzac’s cafe (guffaw guffaw balzacs omg), and it came in the most adorable tin with a really tight lid and this vacuum sealed under-lid thing. Wow that was articulate.
Anyway, the dry leaf smells quite strongly of ginger and cloves, and you know instantly that it’s a fairly spicy tea. You’re encouraged to add milk and sugar to this, which I took liberties to do.
The spice profile definitely holds true for the taste as well. It’s a chai that’s heavier on the cloves and ginger, with sweet cinnamon and a hearty dose of pepper rounding out the sip and warming your throat. In fact, I can imagine this being a really good “sick” tea, because of the throat-warming effect and also the ginger. This is no delicate, sweet cinnamon chai, and as such, might not appeal to those who avoid spicy chais, but for chai-lovers, I think it should definitely be on the to-try list. And given that I don’t currently have a chai in my collection, I don’t feel at all bad adding what I consider to be generally a ‘winter’ tea to it.
Having this the first time today put me in a really good mood and I may have been a bit too optimistic about spring being around the corner, because I got dressed and headed out for a rather long walk to David’s tea. I teetered pretty much all the way there, especially because I seem to have like the worst balance ever as soon as a hint of slush or ice appears, and of course Mr. keychange just breezed right along no problem, so looks like it’s just me who turns into a ninety year old when there’s snow and ice. But seriously, people should really be clearing the sidewalks in front of their driveway if they’re able to. Thank heavens I have the most patient, attentive guide dog in the world. He would slow down before any icy patch, and then carefully guide me over it, pausing every time I hesitated in case I needed to right my balance or flail, before tentatively resuming along, then picking up speed again once the coast was clear. I trust him with my life.
After a dinner of British fare, we headed to the movies where we watched Philomena, which was absolutely fantastic. Judi dench is out of this world, and I really need to see more movies with her in it.
Came home and decided to have another cup. This one brewed slightly weaker than that from this afternoon, although there was a touch more water. Still delectable though, and I’ll likely be round to DT for a tin in the reasonably near future. I was talking to one of the SAs at DT about how annoying it is to become really fond of a seasonal tea that you may never see again, and his answer was: “Yeah, I hear you. What I do is drink that tea again and again and then horde it, and by the time it’s on its way out, I may even be sick of it.” which I actually thought made sense LOL.
Oh my god oh my god. I don’t know why I waited so long to try this tea (and by “so long” I mean that I actually purchased this on Wednesday evening). I would give it a rating of 100, but I don’t want to do that just yet because I know it’s probably also a bit of first-sip excitement. But guys, this tea.
The dry leaf scent is intoxicating, although you can definitely sniff out the candied pineapple, and that might be a touch off-putting for some in its strength. I brewed it for five minutes, through caution to the wind, and actually decided to sip it straight because I was feeling all badass today, and you know how it rolls.
And omg. I don’t even know if I can break it down. I tasted blueberry, pineapple (although not so distinctly), and just, I don’t know. I tasted a beach and distant shores; I tasted lying in one of those uncomfortable plastic chairs on the beach that you try to make comfortable by heaping towels on it, soaking up the sun and feeling sand sift through your fingers. It tasted all things exotic. it tasted like giddy, first-date excitement when you’re young and have butterflies of hope and anticipation.
Oh god, I need to shut up. But I already feel as though i want a tin of this.
(and don’t worry sil, I’m still sending you this!)
But seriously. I, even I had it with no additions. And that’s huuuuge.
Oh, and a note to the people worried about the lemongrass: worry not, my child. It provides but the faintest whisper of a distant tartness, but it’s almost undetectable in the true sense.
Just get this. Just try it!
You know those mornings when your significant other (or something/someone else) has to pretty much force you out of bed because you’re convinced that you’re being rudely awakened in the middle of the night, and even if someone tells you your house is burning down, all you can manage is an “well then it must be my time, peace out” before rolling back over?
This was one of those mornings. I fell asleep instantly last night, and don’t remember even rolling over at night or anything. It was lovely. But waking up sucked. I bet a fire would suck worse though.
Anyway, all comfort teas today, even though I’m in a good mood because it’s Friday and I might hit up a Balzac’s (yeah, what a name eh?) cafe to get some Mariage frères tea this evening!
I had the Queen for breakfast, but figured there’s not much more I can say about her that hasn’t already been said. Now I’m sipping this out of my timolino and it’s bringing me lots and lots of pleasure. If you’re looking for a strongly flavoured sweet cinnamon tea that will perform miracles under pretty much any steeping parameter, I’d strongly encourage you to give this one a go. And even I can take it with minimal additions, which is saying something.
-one spring tea sampler set
-one matte white Nordic mug with shellfish and pale green interior.
-I can’t believe that was all. I just can’t. I saw and fell in love with the lime green timolino, and think it will be mine very very soon, just not yet.
I also saw their new travel mug, which is said to be leak-proof. It seemed nice, although for some reason I wasn’t crazy about its esthetics, or maybe it was just the way it felt in my hand. It’s a rubberized textured type of metal, and it just feels wide and clunky, and I’m not sure how I feel about the handle on the lid yet.
But yeah, this tea, sorry!
I got it to go as a soy latte with agave. This tastes pretty comparable to what a peaches and cream flavoured oatmeal tastes like, minus the grainy taste of oats. The peach is a soft, rounded peach as opposed to the fresh juicy variety, and is not even remotely tart or tangy, although this could be due to the vanilla, which gives more of a cream note than a distinctly vanilla one. I also didn’t get any apple at all, which whatever, fine by me.
This is a solid tea, and makes a fine latte. I’m pretty excited to play around with the sample I have!
So before going to bed last night, I downed a few Advil in an attempt to at least dull my joint pain. Woke up in the middle of the night (but uncomfortably close to morning) and realized that my joints actually do feel a bit better if I dare say so myself, but I had, like, raging cramps. And I was very wtfy about the whole thing because seriously? cramps? who gets cramps at my age? (I’m 28). And as I lay there remembering my teen-aged years, I felt so juvenile. Like I didn’t want to go into work only to sit in my office doubled over and have my boss ask what the matter was and have to tell her I have cramps of all things! anyway, after a cup of this tea, I’m actually feeling a bit better. Moving around a bit helped, plus this tea is quite gentle and unobtrusive at the best of times, and despite overzealously getting like 200 g of it back in November, I’m kind of glad I had it. We complain about it from time to time, but it’s just so wonderful to have a real tea collection isn’t it? And it’s funny how intrinsically bound up with memory it all is—as I was sipping my tea, I remembered the first time I had it. I was in Ottawa, and had just finished my last licensing exam, and it felt so wonderful to sit in the warm, cozy teahouse with my best friend and drink lots of tea with breakfast.
No breakfast for me this morning though—just this tea. Now off to go to work. David’s tea after work today!!
So far, bringing the mini keurig into work to use for hot water has been a sort of success. Sort of because it’s a bit finicky to operate, but given that there are only two buttons, I feel I can handle it.
It’s never quite the same when you’re brewing away from home, but I suppose that’s to be expected. The flavour, given that I was using a tea filter, was a bit muted, but still creamy and delicious. Certainly helps me get through the morning when I’m pretty much the only one here. tea can really find your sore spots and massage them just so. And now, because i’ve disposed of said filter into the wastebasket in my office, all I can smell is blueberry and I’m loving it.
When I’m feeling under the weather or otherwise particularly sorry for myself, I reach for what I call “the big guns”, and this tea is one of them. As I tossed in my sleep last night, I realized in that semi-conscious way that you do that my knees were hurting. I woke up this morning and my knees were indeed hurting, along with my elbows and fingers. And as is typical for pretty much everyone I know with any medical issue whatsoever, no one knows what’s wrong because “it all looks fine”. Oh ok then, I’ll just eff off and admit that i’m making the whole thing up. Need some drama in my life, ya know? things get a bit dull without joint pain.
Haha sorry. I feel I complain far more than is appropriate in tasting notes. This tea was as delicious as always, and made me feel as though I was drinking a liquefied funnel cake drizzled in confectioners’ sugar. Add strawberry and you really would have the entire funnel cake experience. And although I might go so far as to say this tea doesn’t “need” guar, I always add some (along with some cream) to really emphasize the tea’s natural and unique sweetness (seriously, I’ve never tasted a sweet tea with this type of sweetness—must be the leaf hoppers!)
Cue the sense of dread that just courses through you (or otherwise sits in your stomach) when you see the work week stretching out before you, accented with awful, awful weather. Sometimes it feels like tea is the only thing that can cheer me up on a Monday morning. After having this cup turn into a disaster of epic proportions on Saturday, it was lovely to have a perfectly creamy vanillay cup this morning. I am also taking my mini keurig into work today, and i’m hoping i’ll actually use it to enjoy tea in the afternoon, but it’s starting to feel complicated, and I might not. I hope I do though!