513 Tasting Notes
I was awakened several times during the night by very loud, very powerful claps of thunder. I imagined it shaking the very sky. The previously slightly heavy air had lost its humidity, and a crisp and cool rain-drenched breeze came through my window. Sometimes, when I wake up briefly in the middle of the night, I find that my sense of smell is heightened—I’ll get very strong whiffs of whatever perfume I had on that day, or smell any lingering scent of shampoo that may still be clinging to my hair. But last night all I smelled was a rain-soaked earth, and it was perfect. I checked the time and it was only 3:15 or so, and I snuggled happily under the covers for more sleep. I can’t describe how awesome that moment felt.
Anyway, it continued to pour all night and there were no signs of the rain letting up when I got up for work this morning. I knew I wanted a comfort tea, because comfort teas work so well with rainy weather. I chose this one and loved it as usual, although I was having it with a bagel and cream cheese, and I found that the cream cheese and this tea were sort of competing for my attention instead of complimenting one another (but caramel and cream cheese don’t exactly strike me as a perfect combination anyway), so although it was amazing amazing amazing, I should have probably gone with wild mountain black this morning. Although come to think of it, that tea demands my attention too, so…
Anyway, I also brewed up some David’s vanilla orchid oolong in my timolino for work, and I’m wondering what I’ll think of it. I’m kind of wishing I’d taken some cantaloupe and cream instead. LOL maybe today is one of those days where I keep wishing I’d had a different tea from the one I chose. Nevertheless, this was an excellent choice either way.
Oh wow, the steeping gods were watching over me this morning, because somehow I brewed a perfect mug of this for my timolino this morning. I used one of David’s perfect teaspoons, along with one of teavana’s perfect teaspoons for 12 oz of water (I often find I need to overleaf many of dt’s teas). Anyway, added in a generous amount of cream and sugar and the result was a perfectly balanced, creamy, smooth ginger bread cookie. I’m a girl who can’t stand to be even marginally cold, and I find that this tea makes me long for a wintery, blustery day just so that the tea can shine even brighter. I actually think I may get a full tin of this next time I’m at David’s!
In other news, my eyes are insisting on being closed, and try as I might, I can’t concentrate for jack at work this afternoon. I’m on the verge of listing to one side in sleep, and of course this means that each minute is five years long, and I fear I’ll never ever get to go home. Somehow the mornings seem to fly by, and the afternoon slows to a nearly backwards crawl. I have no idea how people who stay chipper all day manage it, I just have no idea.
So so so so sleepy. I want a nap!
Oh, and I still have that idiotic canker I wrote about earlier. It means that everything hurts and also that I’m not trying any new tea until it’s gone.
So I used the last of my sample (which came in an adorable tiny square tin, by the way) this morning, and am sad to have tasted the last of it for what I think will be a while. I don’t know why art of tea’s shipping rates are particularly obnoxious, especially since I order tea from the states from other companies and don’t seem to encounter the same problem. Anyway, this is definitely one I’m going to want to restock. Make no mistake: this is a no-nonsense, bold breakfast tea that you could heartily drink while you’re in a bitchy mood, getting ready for a day of annoyance, or pretty much for any other reason. I know I’ve described the texture as being woody or apple-like, and that still holds true. There’s also a dryness about the tea that is very pleasing on the tongue and which also makes it easy to swallow. I may just end up biting the proverbial bullet and ordering a full tin of this, because it’s just very staple-worthy. I steeped it for the max recommendation of five minutes this morning, and dare I say that was as strong as I could handle it. Strong, but perfectly so. Any stronger and it just may, may have tipped slightly into bitterdom and we can’t have that, oh no we can’t.
Here’s a question for you guys. For teas that you identify are going to be staples in your cupboard, how much do you typically buy at a time to ensure regular, guilt-free usage?
So I’ve had a canker for the last few days, and it’s right on the right edge of my tongue and it’s driving me insane. I can’t enjoy food, and drinking any liquid just intensifies the pain because obviously liquid isn’t easily contained to one side of my mouth. Well, I suppose I could always use a straw, but a) I don’t have any; and b) I don’t really feel like it.
To top that off, I submitted something that I wasn’t very confident about to my boss before leaving work yesterday, and it was on my mind all evening. So much so that it kept me up at night, and I kept waking with a start every hour or so, thinking about it stupidly even though it actually isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things (well, hopefully not, anyway). When i woke up this morning, I knew I needed a comforting tea, and so I reached for this one. I’m proud to say that it brewed perfectly both times I had it: once as my morning cup with my brewing basket, and then again in my timolino (not a second steep though, a fresh bunch of leaves). I really think this tea shines for me with cream and rock sugar, so I added in reasonably liberal amounts of both. I also steeped in my timolino for about seven minutes, which insured that the flavour was strong the way I like it. I think this is going to be a winter staple, because it has with it a very warming and comforting quality.
Can I just say how happy I am that I bring tea to work? It’s one little way to ensure that no matter what else happens, there’ll always be at least a little happiness with me at work that doesn’t really depend on anything else.
Ok, that’s enough from me. Back to work I go.
And hey! the weekend coming up is closer than the one we left behind now! wooo!
Yup, I do love this tea. I used two teaspoons for 12 oz of water, threw in some milk and some rock sugar, and it’s as wonderful as I remember it being. The mint and chocolate blend together perfectly, and although I wish there was a touch less chocolate and a touch more vanilla, I honestly wouldn’t change much about it: the chocolate doesn’t really stand out and scream in your face. I’m sipping it in my timolino now, and I can see myself ordering more of this for the winter, as my sample package is nearly finished. It’s going to feel perfect during the winter months!
Yeah, so this tea didn’t really cut it for me, despite how delicious it smelled in the bag. I used a teaspoon and a bit for eight oz of water, added in a very small dash of cream and a few pieces of rock sugar. I could definitely taste a bit of tartness that was distantly reminiscent of apple, and couldn’t really detect the caramel or spice at all. Of course I’ll throw in the blurb about how it might not be the tea, it might be me, my bad brewing, bla bla bla, but yeah, just not ultimately inspired by this one. I don’t know what i was expecting, but it wasn’t this. I finished the cup—it’s not like it was horrible or anything. It just wasn’t anything special, and I just can’t find words to describe why. It just wasn’t. Wow, look at me being verbose.
Now, all of this pretty much doesn’t matter at the moment because my friend who travelled to the UK just e-mailed me to let me know that she picked up my Mariage Freres teas! The de Lune, and marco Polo! I can’t wait to get my hands and nose all over that package as soon as she gets back!
Well, I’ve never tried a Guayusa tea before, but I’ve been on the hunt for a good vanilla mint tea, so Stacy very generously included this as a sample with my last Butiki order.
When I inhaled the smell of the dry leaf, I got a mild combination of mint and vanilla. I leaned over to have myself a good sniff of this while it was brewing, however, and my stomach turned. There’s something about mint tea that, when it’s hot or brewing, just manages to turn my stomach. I have no idea why this is, as I really do enjoy mint in many other forms: ice cream, milk shakes, candy canes, etc.—but I plowed doggedly on anyway haha. Afraid I’d actually hurl, I took my first sip tentatively, and was pleasantly surprised. I could definitely detect the mint, although it isn’t that really intense mint that leaves your mouth cold and tingling. The vanilla was also present, which actually really helped to tip the mint out of the sickly category. See, I’m convinced it’s a type of mint that I don’t like—not all mint in tea entirely. Anyway, I steeped for six minutes and added in some rock sugar, and I don’t think I’d do anything differently if I were to play around with this tea again. I enjoyed my cup, especially because of the vanilla mint pairing, and might even request another sample of this with a future order.
As for the guayusa flavour itself, I can’t say I could really detect it per-se, as I wasn’t exactly sure what it was I was looking for. I really just mostly got a smooth, creamy vanilla, and maybe a slight hint of lavender, although honestly, if I didn’t know there was lavender in this tea, I wouldn’t have guessed as much—so lavender haters, you need not fear.
Glad I started my day with this!
This is a back log from yesterday. I was actually going to log it yesterday, but ended up chatting to a dear friend forever on the phone and then sipped wine the rest of the evening. So you know, priorities, guy.
Anyway, this tea is wonderful. I’ll start with that. I’m a huge creamcicle fan, so I’m always looking for an authentic creamcicle flavour. Although this does not taste exactly like a hot creamcicle, it doesn’t have to, it’s just that good anyway. There are two things about it that don’t put it outright into creamcicleism. The first being the spices, which are absolutely detectable (perhaps light cinnamon, although it seems as though there’s more than that). Second because it has a tea base, which is obviously lacking in a real creamcicle. all that said, it’s an absolutely perfect cup of tea for a cold winter’s night, and I’m so excited that I have more to take with me to work in my timolino. I used a heaping table spoon (like the kind from my kitchen drawer), and steeped for about four minutes (no black tea should be steeped for two minutes in my opinion). Wonderful, wonderful cup of tea. I added a bit of cream and rock sugar, and it was creamy and had lots of vanilla, and much of the citrus could be detected in the swallow. definitely delicious, and i’ll be ordering more for sure. Yum yum!
Hmmm, so in my timolino, I’m not nearly as big a fan. I think that this tea shines its brightest when the liquid is exposed to air, because in my travel mug, it kind of tastes as though the rose flavour was trapped inside and is, i don’t know, overshadowing any other element of the tea, including the tea base (although this could also be the rock sugar I added). And of course, I’ll always compare every floral up against my beloved rose violet calendula, which probably isn’t even fair because rvc is a multi-floral whereas this isn’t.
Thanks again, stacy, for this amazingly generous sample! I’m almost all out of it already!
Tried this one for the first time this morning. As I measured it into my brewing basket, I felt a bit skeptical about the very concept of a mint chocolate tea. Like, minty chocolate things are supposed to be found in hot chocolate, and we shouldn’t make tea taste like something it isn’t, etc.
But I was actually pleasantly surprised at how well the base blended with the minty chocolate flavours. The base black tea (whatever type it is) is certainly not robust—it’s rather light, and so people who prefer a stronger tea might want to let it steep even longer than the max five minutes recommended. Plus the recommendations are for a six oz cup, and I usually drink a minimum of eight oz in the morning, so I put in a little more. All in all, a fairly decent tea that i’ll be really happy to finish. Jury’s still out on whether or not I’ll be needing more, though.