317 Tasting Notes
Noms. I steeped a cup of this this morning, only to forget it as I was running out of the door. At least I forgot it in favor of my phone, ID and keys, as my dorm has a physical lock this year and not a keypad.
So I came home and made another cup. It’s kind of a standard, solid black tea, only the cinnamon in it gives it something new! That’s the best part of it. I don’t often find cinnamon in teas other than in chais, and usually they’re too spicy for me to enjoy without a lot of milk. But this is very well-balanced.
And I’m kind of dipping Nilla wafers into it, so that’s fun too.
I’m taking advantage of the fact that my roommate is in class to write my essay on Yeats – I’m SO excited to be starting my creative writing class off with some of the best Yeats (or at least some of my favorites), only I fangirl a bit too much over him. I was having trouble not squealing last night. He’s just SO GOOD. And Irish lit is one of my specialties. But oh my goodness. Good tea, good poet, happy Shell.
The first time I had this, I was underwhelmed by the comparison to Teavivre’s.
This one is better brewed Western-style, I think.
And as I’m sitting here printing out literally hundreds of papers for my Creative Writing class (no text, just 20 odd PDFs of poems and stories that we have to print out) I figured it was a good time to give this one another go.
Steeped with water a little bit hotter than Teavana recommends – I used just-off-boiling instead of 195. But it’s still good. It’s rich and thick, and it’s not overly astringent the way it was the first time I had it. It reminds me a bit of late winter, when the leaves have all fallen off he trees and the sky is dark and grey – it feel s like it would fit in there pretty well. Good tea.
Woohoo, I like this one. Maybe I’m also in a super good mood. Both of those are true.
I’m sitting here, and I’m supposed to be doing photo work, but instead I’m chairdancing to uptempo Billy Joel.
But a really good cup! Dark and malty without being too strong. It tastes authentic to me. Ireland was where I first started drinking tea seriously, and I know I’ll get back there one day. But for now I feel like I’m sitting in a tiny little pub in Doolin, a tiny little drop of a town that has as many pubs as houses and is basically comprised of farms and cows and sheep. (bo and caora in Irish!)
Thanks to Kiaharii for this! It got here a wee bit late, but safe and sound, and due to my mistake, not hers! :)
I worked a 13 hour day yesterday because one of our cashiers called out, and I’m the best cashier in the store. (And I’m not bragging – all of my managers and every competent – read adult – employee in the store have told me this. I’m the only one apart from Liz, our Customer Service Lead who’s allowed to train newbies)
Came home exhausted, spent the rest of the night curled up on the couch cradling a cup of tea and sobbing about all the things I was supposed to do but couldn’t.
And then I was in work today to buy school supplies, and my boss talks me into working today too. It’s the height of Back to School and the cashier they had scheduled is painfully slow at the best of times, never mind during BTS. So after she got me in, she actually texted him and said not to bother coming in because she’s got me.
I’m gonna miss this store.
But there are holes worn in my working shoes and I can feel my arches collapsing where I stand.
So I was very excited to come hone and see this on the table.
I went for the TARDIS because I’ve heard fantastic things about it and also I wanted a fruity something tonight, not anything serious.
It’s good. The ratio of the blackberry to the black tea is good, although there’s a little too much bergamot for me. It’s not me steeping it wrong, since I steeped it at 2 minutes with 180deg water (the latter part by accident). No milk or sugar, but I don’t think this should need it. I didn’t taste much of the vanilla and found myself wishing that it was an EGC base instead of a straight EG.
Still, it’s really good. The blackberry is just right. A satisfying cuppa after work!
I got this in the 12oz size because it was all they had at Crate & Barrel, aside from the 2.5oz espresso size, and that was a bit small for what I wanted it for.
This is perfect. The outer wall gets warm but not hot, which is great because I don’t like drinking out of vessels where the heat retention is so good that the outside can get cold while the inside is so hot. It’s a more sensory experience this way.
It feels very delicate, especially empty, like an egg that’s been blown out. I feel as though I’m holding a shell. It’s such a strange feeling. It’s no more strong when tea is in it then when tea is not; yet it feel much sturdier when full. It’s very light. But it’s shaped perfectly for a hand size, and it’s beautiful. The rim isn’t too wide or too thin. Fantastic mug.
Thanks so much to The Tea Merchant for the sample of this!
Yesterday, my friend came over about an hour early to prep for our tea party together. While she was there, I got two packages of tea! One I had expected – the tins from Epi to photograph (beautiful tins, by the way) and this one came as a total surprise.
Ariana was a bit surprised that I wasn’t more surprised… tea just shows up every once in awhile. What can I say, except that I love it!
We have a friend who’s… not a hippy, that’s the wrong word, but who’s very open to other cultures. That in itself is a poor description. He’s a wonderful guy, and he just loves learning as much as he can. To the last tea party Ariana and I hosted, he wore a full Scottish kilt, including a “ceremonial knife-shaped object,” as he called it. I called it a knife, but, you know, semantics.
He calls about a half hour before the tea party’s scheduled to start, inquiring about the dress code. I tell him to wear “Whatever you’re most comfortable in.”
He shows up about twenty minutes late… in full Japanese regalia. He had a kimono tucked into a pair of (very billowy) pants which I think were called hikama. Continuing the trend, he brought a “ceremonial sword-shaped object.” I called it a sword. It was really cool to watch him sheath and unsheath it – I had no idea there was so much tradition and skill and art housed in just that one simple movement!
I hadn’t thought up a tea plan for this party – I figured we’d just drink whatever I felt like! Ha. We started with a Chinese black, and then, in honor of Cam, I broke out this sencha which had just arrived.
It might be the largest sample size I’ve ever received. I didn’t know how big our teapot was, so I followed the British rule of “one teaspoon per person plus one for the pot” which might not be totally accurate, but it worked out fine. And there’s still what I would call a typical sample-size of tea left in the pouch. Fantastic! I get to brew it now, and then sit down with it later.
The instructions on the package say 3-4 minutes. Without a temperature guide, and never having tasted this tea before, I went on the conservative side. It took me a little while to like sencha, because I had to figure out how to brew it right. I didn’t want to be hosting a tea party and feeding my guests tea that I liked but they didn’t! So I went for ~175F for 2 minutes.
Even with not so specific steeping parameters, it’s still pretty good. The liquor is bright, bright green – Kate compared it to “hot Powerade,” and Cam called it “buttergrass water.”
It’s a very bright tasting tea. It’s vegetal, but not heavy like that flavor profile can be. It’s sort of like lettuce and – I’m blanking on the name, but it’s a little weed that looks like clover, only it’s heart-shaped, and you can eat them. There’s a little bit of buttery sweetness at supporting the flavor.
I’m going to rate this now because even the way I brewed it, I still really really liked it, and I can’t wait to sit down and try it for real!
This is so much better than I’d ever dreamed. I think it’s the fastest I’ve ever finished a tea. I bought three ounces about a week or two ago, and it’s almost gone. I know I’ve been swapping and sharing, but still! I can’t decide if I want more of this or if I want to try some new ones. Probably an order of both :)
Decupboarding this now because I’ve only got about a teaspoon left, so if I don’t do it now, I’ll forget to :)
Last night I coldbrewed this in the fridge. I don’t think I’ve ever done that with an EG before. This one has a history of tasting artificial to me, but I figured why not, what the hey.
It’s really good coldbrewed. I did about 18 hours, I think, about 3tsp for maybe 24oz of water.
The liquor is a really pale, light gold. It’s strikingly beautiful for a black tea, and not at all what I expect an Earl Grey to be. I have to save the rest of this pitcher – I want to take photos tomorrow. (In other news, my photographic lightbox came in, along with a couple studio lights. I’m so excited to start playing with them!)
But yeah. Actually a really good tea like this. I wouldn’t buy it again, but I’m glad I figured out how to drink it (although how come I always figure out how to make it good just as I’m running out? Not fair.).
The more I drink this, the more I like it. I’m putting this on the shopping list!