1689 Tasting Notes
You ever had a tea that you weren’t sure how to review? Yeah, this one. Most of you know I am addicted to Earl Grey. It’s way beyond passion. And not just any old EG. I want Viking Earl Grey. When I’m done with the cup I want to see the path the barbarian cup has cleared.
Jasmine, I have learned to love much more recently. As long as it is scented and not flavored, I am open minded.
This tea smells like a bergamot bomb when you open the package, but once brewed it becomes a gentle lamb of a cup. The bergamot is the lightest background note. I am not sure how that is even possible. The jasmine is slightly easier to detect and is quite natural.
What the cup really is about is the blending of Chinese black in the form of possibly a Keemun from the light smokiness, or a Yunnan based on the smoothness, and the controlled bite of an Indian tea, accompanied by a pleasant Chinese green that is especially present in the aftertaste. To this add a soft kiss of citrus and an equally gentle touch floral that emerge during the sip and you have this tea.
Non tea stuff – Went to see dad last night. It was the first time since his knee replacement that he looked and acted like himself. He was sitting in a chair, smiling and joking. He was also bragging on the 10 steps he took earlier in the day. The nurses say the doctor has been in his room but he never bothered waking dad to talk to him. We still don’t know what is causing the leg blisters. Still taking it one day at a time but cautiously optimistic that he is over the worst.
I may have finally lost what little is left of my mind. While putting the bag in my cup I started singing “Sugar Cookie, you’re the one” to the tune of Rubber Ducky. So this may be followed with “they’re coming to take me away ha ha”, but I don’t care. So good. The yum is strong with this one! (Que Star Wars music).
Morning tea with a little sweetener accompanied by a sausage and cheese sandwich. My tea, that has been family so long I don’t care if others like it or not. This is Earl Grey to me. The Ceylon has a pleasant amount of bitter bite and the bergamot has a perfectly pungent aroma. Thank you very much.
Thanks to all who have offered well wishes and especially prayers for my dad. The nurse finally made the doctor order tests. It will take a few days to get results. In the meantime, I am trying to be properly angered without improper behavior. It may be just another day at work for the doctor but that is MY Dad in that bed. Mom said last night she tried to talk dad out of surgery during the holidays. He just wanted it over and done. Mom has a bad heart and I’m worried about the stress on her. I’m on a walker with an oxygen tank so there isn’t a lot I can do to help. Just trying to be there. Thanks again for the prayers.
Hmmm, a Stash tea I have never tried. Back a little more than half dozen years ago, Stash was as close to high quality tea as was available locally. Goes to show there really has been some progress around my little town.
This is a bagged tea. It is predominantly peppermint in taste. Maybe I catch a hint of the ginger or probably I just think I do because I know it is in there. Kind of the same with the white tea base – except I actually do taste tea, just not well enough to say it is a white tea. Nothing amazing but pleasant enough. Thank you Ashmanra for the retro cuppa.
Non tea stuff – my 85 year old dad had a knee replacement Tuesday before Christmas. Surgery went well. His knee looks good considering, but his leg looks scary. I didn’t want him to do this during the holiday as doctors and the regular crew are hard to locate. When we do corner them, they aren’t saying much. I think he has a major infection. It doesn’t seem to be in the incision at this point but below his knee to his ankle is really concerning.
Today I abused this tea on purpose. Over-leafed, over-heated, and over-steeped. I wanted to see what happens, you know, for science. As Adam Savage says, “Failure is always an option.” Prepared this way, the base behaves like a more typical Ceylon tea – with a hefty bite and bitterness. Normally I use abt 3 g for a normal mug (10 oz), and water at around 190-195 F, with a 3 minute max steep and it is always smooth and refined with a proper hit of Bergamot. Today was more like 5 g, full rolling boil, and at min a 4 minute steep. I drank all but next cup I’m going back to proper brewing.
Just read through my old reviews of this tea and still agree with every one of them. Smells intense. Not for smoke weenies. Taste is milder, layered, and sweet. I miss you The Persimmon Tree.
Yesterday was the last of the Christmas music for another 11 months. Christmas music is brutal for a guitar and bass. I noticed even our professional level drummer was having a hard time making 12/8 timing fun.
Finished off this week, just me on guitar and one singer. She has an awesome voice. We did El Shaddai. It isn’t a Christmas song really, but fit the moment. I played fingerpick style. Our bass player is a much better guitarist than me, but when I finished, he looked at me and said that was an awesome job. Meant a lot coming from him.
Back to this tea – my wife hates it when I brew it. She can’t stand all that wonderful smoky aroma that fills the house. Mmmmm.
Today is another mandatory sip what I really want tea day. I think I may have reached near saturation point on try every tea. So this one has been a favorite for a few years now. Of course the Persimmon Tree is currently on hiatus with no clue if or when they will be back. So I have been holding this one back. Can’t even explain why I love this. I think it is because it is so unusual. It isn’t really a floral tea, even if it is, and the green base has such a strong presence that I find comforting. I have two ounces and then I have to find a new source. I think What-Cha has this or a very similar tea.
Taking a break. I have been working on putting together Christmas chord sheets and learning to play carols since before Thanksgiving. Then in my free time I have my, much neglected of late, tea blog, and several forums I frequent, along with my Kerbal Space Adventures game to which I’m addicted. Somewhere in there, needs to be some tea, just for the pure enjoyment, time.
I finally set everything aside and dug into the mountain of tea until I found Zombie Pearls. I love this stuff. With the first steep, the little bug shaped pearls barely open. This always tastes crisp and clean. Today while this was steeping I grabbed a big spoon of peanut butter. As I was enjoying it, I thought I might be ruining the tea I desperately needed. Instead I accidentally stumbled upon the most perfect pairing, at least to my uncultured taste buds. The cucumber and other white tea notes rose above the peanut butter and really shined through.
If you haven’t experienced this tea type I highly recommend it – and peanut butter (in my case Great Value brand with the red lid). Yum!
As you may or may not be aware, I battle with respiratory issues. Well, during Thanksgiving my niece had a scented candle burning. It was a light cinnamon something and quite pleasant. Until I got up the next morning. I had a major flare up. Fought it with lots of drugs and anti-biotics. Was feeling pretty good until yesterday. We plugged in a couple air freshener night lights, and a few hours later I could feel it clogging up the lungs. So back on the drugs. I am telling you this so as you gather with family this holiday season that you might think twice before lighting that candle or setting out that potpourri if one of your guests has a weakened system or has asthma.
Anyway, this tea – from a bag. Smells pretty inviting. I have no idea what an actual mango smells like (I’ve led such a sheltered culinary life). This reminds me of peaches but more prickly and with some tartness. If that’s mango, then nailed it. Don’t read the list of ingredients or you’ll just go eeeewwww. OK I’ll tell you – hibiscus, rosehips, and chamomile are in there as well as stevia. (All together now – eeeewwww) The however is that it works here. What I taste is that sweet fruity tartness. It is actually pretty enjoyable. My only complaint is the bitterness in the aftertaste from the stevia. On the other hand, I think it is there to complete the tartness/sweet of the fruit flavor. I would like to try it without the stevia and see for myself if it is necessary.
A new to me company even if they have been around for years. Their website (tea-and-coffee.com) has some 700! different blends. This one smells so calming. I could set this out in a dish and just enjoy the aroma… or I could drink it.
The taste is more subtle than the scent suggested. Based on the ingredients, I was a little concerned it would be a big chai like smack to the senses. Nope. Just like the aroma, this is mainly a pleasant orange tasting tea with the spices filling out the flavor rather than trying to steal the stage.
The flavor kind of goes orange, cinnamon and clove, cardamom, then drifts into the slightest heat from the pink peppercorn. So subtle but a nice touch. It has a sweet lingering aftertaste.
I added sweetener and though it wasn’t needed, it took sweetening in stride. This is a pleasantly cozy cup.