477 Tasting Notes
I put together a sachet of this to take to work today, so that i could use my kettle and not make a mess with strainers and leaves and other tea-related debris. Anyway, I had it plain, and it was actually quite decent given that my expectations were fairly low. There isn’t anything complicated about this tea at all: it’s a lot of cinnamon with some apple lurking underneath, and it was comforting and warming on a day when my office felt as though it might as well be outside. I think I might leave the bag in for even longer next time, since I don’t think there’s much of a risk of over-steeping this one.
Ok, only an hour and twenty minutes to go until I go home. But who’s counting?
So the truth of the matter is that for some reason or other, my beloved grandma’s pumpkin pie (aka auntie’s pumpkin pie) is just not cutting it this year. I have a strong suspicion it’s a change in the tea base, but regardless, the pumpkin pie tea of my dreams is no longer available to me. And so the quest begins (continues?), and I picked up 25 g of this last night to experiment with. i also picked up:
-the new curve travel mug, which i have been lusting after so hard i can’t even explain the lengths i went to or you might think i was verging on criminal;
-A tin of silk dragon jasmine (the tins were buy two get one free, and my friend wanted two and I got the third);
-Two pumpkin chai chocolate bars (and two for the same friend so as to balance the tea tin expense);
- 25 g of spiced pumpkin;
- 25 g of spiced apple
And the free honey crisp apple candle that I no doubt qualified for with my magnanimous order. So yeah, I’m pretty happy at the moment. I’ll review the curve travel mug after I’ve had a chance to use it a few times. But so far, it might have led me to believe in god again haha.
Ok so I brewed this up this morning to have with breakfast. Mr. keychange and I make it a point to have breakfast together every Friday, and that makes me so happy. Anyway, I brewed this up for five minutes, added in some rock sugar and cream, and went about drinking it. Honestly, I keep wanting to love this tea as much as so many other people do, but it’s just, I don’t know, so lackluster. Muted pumpkin that’s not objectionable, but so, so not memorable. I could use way more in the way of spice, and I don’t know if I could taste the base at all. Maybe I’ll try it completely without additions at some point, but I don’t tend to like any of my black teas that way, so we’ll see. Anyway, I’m still going to try to coax magic out of these leaves, because otherwise what do i do?
And oh my sweet dear god it’s Friday. There needs to be a drug called “it’s Friday”. It would sell like hotcakes. Or whatever else sells fast. Ipads? I don’t know.
Yeah so I screwed this one up really badly this morning. I hate that about making tea, honestly. I love that you can tinker with the parameters, but that also leads to brewing disastrous cups of tea when you really never meant to. And “but at least you learned something” doesn’t work here, because now I only have enough left for one more cup. And anyway, I didn’t screw it up because i was being creative; I was just distracted and careless and put in too much sugar and it just sucked. Oh well, one cup’s worth left and then I think about putting a milk oolong into my cupboard at some point.
Happy it’s almost Friday!
Holy shit. Last night, i was craving this tea, but I have a no caffeine after 3:00 rule, so I thought I’d wait until this morning. And oh my god, it was perfect. 1.5 tsp of leaf, used a generous amount of cream, two tsp of sugar, and brewed for four minutes. And I was blown away by how well this tea took the cream in particular. Both the grapefruit and bergamot were prominent, and the cream just amplified the latte-like thickness and comfort, but the zing of the grapefruit was not muted which was mind-blowing. I really hope this tea keeps well. I’m still on the hunt for the best tins in which to store tea. My ideal would be a tin where you can’t smell the tea from the outside, no matter how hard you try.
I know you guys know what it’s like to brew a perfect cup of something. Doesn’t always happen, but when it does, boy do you know it.
Another tea sample that i acquired at Saturday’s tea meet, this one via the lovely sil.
I read her tasting note about it and saw that she wasn’t getting as much flavour as she wanted with a shorter steep, so I opted for a full five minutes, because the smell of this tea is divine. You can smell the vanilla and caramel, and something about it just smells so high quality for lack of a better term. To the point where it’s verging on something else, although i can’t quite put my finger on it. Candied pralines, maybe? Anyway, it definitely smells like a French bakery. Unfortunately, the scent doesn’t really persevere into the flavour, or rather it’s much more delicate and significantly muted. That said, it was still a delightfully delicious cup, and I have plans to finish off the sample in a larger mug. French teas can be quite overwhelmable in my experience, so sometimes they do require a bit of tinkering.
I don’t really like grapefruit, or grapefruit juice (why am I starting off my tasting notes by saying that I pretty much never expect to like things? hmmm). Anyway, I read the rave reviews for this tea, and also suspected that grapefruit and bergamot would pair really well together, as they are both quite crisp flavours. That said, it’s possible that they could have been too contradictory, but I somehow doubted it. Anyway, omgsrsly picked up some of this for me and brought it to the meet on Saturday. I decided that it would probably be a nice, kick in the pants tea, and when I woke up this morning and it was dark out and I felt as though it was the middle of the night and I would have offered up my soul to the devil to get some more sleep, I knew it might fit the bill.
Brewed up a tsp of leaf in 8 oz. of water, and added in my normal amount of milk and sugar. I have been halving the amount of sugar in my tea lately for some inexplicable reason, but I figured I’d go with the full amount as I’d read about how tart the grapefruit can be here, and combined with the bergamot, I knew I’d be in for a mouthful. Anyway, steeped it for four minutes, and it was delicious. The grapefruit and bergamot work amazingly well together, and I wouldn’t really say one drastically out shown the other. I couldn’t get too much of the base, but I’m not surprised, as it’s quite strongly flavoured. The tea (as with most teas I drink) tasted better as it cooled, and the milk made it taste oh so creamy. I can see myself reaching for this tea for a variety of reasons: in the winter when I need a brisk pick-me-up in the mornings; as a comfort tea to cozy up to with a good book; as a spring tea to awaken my senses. It is a fairly straight-forward tea with little in the way of nuance or surprises, and that’s just fine by me. I will have absolutely no trouble finishing off this bag, and depending on how often I reach for it, it may become a staple. Too early to say yet, though.
So we brewed up a giant mug of this at sil’s place yesterday so that she, omgsrsly, kitenna, indigabloom and I could try it without committing to an entire cup. And I do believe this was courtesy of indigobloom, so thank you!
I do not really like lemon-flavoured things, and I’m a person who typically adds things to my tea. I’m also not even entirely sure I know how hogicha is different from other green teas, so I had my reservations when I began to sip it. But I was surprised at how much I liked it. The lemon wasn’t overwhelming which I instantly liked, but there was enough flavor to make me really think I would enjoy a cup of this without additions. I really hope this is reblended, because I’ll certainly be getting myself some if that’s the case.
It was so very lovely to meet up with people I’d been talking to for years. Everyone got along so well, and I only wish more of you were actually there. I can’t wait to do it again!
Also, everyone needs to know that in another lifetime, sil actually worked as an independent living skills specialist for blind people! I’ve recently purchased a bonavida variable temp kettle, and because Mr. Keychange is blind as well, when it arrived at my house, we kind of opened it and just marveled at how short and fat and cute it was, and how neat the spout looks. So I hauled it over to sil’s place, and we practiced memorizing
how many times buttons needed to be pressed, how to change things up, etc. But the real kicker was when we practiced pouring. We started with cold water so I could get used to the motions, but then sil was like “we’ve gotta up this game, biatch, i’ma fill this bitch up with water that we’ll boil now.” and off she went. Pretty soon, there was a kettle, each part of which was hotter than hell sitting in front of me. But we worked out a way to line it up and test to see if it was lined up properly, and then I began to pour. And holy mother of god it worked. Sil was great at policing my left hand, which wanted to creep up to feel the spout. She was like “uh uh uh! get that hand out of there! you won’t be able to use it when the kettle’s boiling hot!”. So very clever! Anyway, everyone just needed to know that. some people are just so naturally good at striking a balance between sensitivity and expectations of your potential and skill, and it’s just so wonderful to see. The vast majority of people I meet have wonderful intentions and want to be helpful, but few are that intuitive.
Can’t wait to see all of you guys again!
Backlog, as I had this yesterday morning.
I was part of simple loose leaf’s monthly subscription program for a few months last year, but then the tea sort of just started piling up and I felt overwhelmed. But the idea of a milk oolong has always entrigued me, mostly because I like my drinks to be milky, so I thought I’d give it a shot yesterday. The dry leaf smells “milky”, although it’s underpinned by what I imagine to be the hallmark roasted sort of nutty oolong smell. I brewed this for three minutes, which I think was on the longer end of the steeping instructions. The resulting brew retained the smell of the dry leaf, and it was even more intense if that’s possible. Tasting better and better as it cooled, I felt as though I was drinking a cup of hot, slightly nutty and deeply creamy milk, and I actually think it would go into the category of a comfort tea for me.
Now I want to try more amazing milk oolongs, because I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to get this exact one again. Any suggestions? I wasn’t a fan of the one from davids tea, if I remember correctly.
And thanks weet f*** it’s Friday.