3551 Tasting Notes
So, tried something slightly different!
I whisked my normal amount of this in a mix of 50/50 Bailey’s Irish Cream and milk. It was interesting ‘cause there was that alcoholic taste to it (not a “burning” but just that strong flavour) that was distracting, but at the same time the Irish Cream flavour really complimented the creamy strawberry. I don’t know if I’d recreate this combo, but it was nice enough.
The fam jam and I just finished a really fun game of Dread.
For anyone who’s never heard of it or played it before it’s a horror style RPing game that relies on pulls from a Jenga tower instead of dice rolls to accomplish tasks. It’s interesting because it can be cooperative (the players against the DM) but ultimately the game ends when everyone but one person has died. You die when you knock the tower over. It gets increasingly more intense as the game progresses because the risk of knocking the tower over increases.
This was the tea I drank while DMing; I’m not a green tea person but I was surprisingly really craving one today. I don’t know if I’ve actually ever had a green tea from Korea before though? It was interesting to me though because I thought the flavour had aspects I’d typically associate with Chinese greens (a smoky note) and a flavour I’d also associate strongly with Japanese greens, like the strong marine/seaweed notes. Quite strange, and enjoyable! Other than having a mix of both flavour notes which was nice, I thought that this was a little too astringent though and for me that really detracted from the experience.
But positive overall.
Merry Christmas… Again!
I’m currently celebrating Christmas number two of three right now. The first was the Christmas with my Dad and the third will be the one in January with my Aunt and Grandma. This one’s with my mom, and it began at the ungodly hour of six AM with my little sister jumping on my bed to wake me up.
So far, the day has consisted of banana waffles, a few Fuzzy Navels (if I’m getting up at 6AM I’m damn well pouring myself a drink; I don’t care what time it is), and openings presents! Adding to my haul from my Dad’s and what I opened last night, I got three different table top games that I had asked for: Tsuro, Dixit, and Once Upon A Time as well as an expansion pack for Once Upon a Time. We’ve already played all three and the group favourite appears to be Tsuro.
I haven’t had much tea yet today; but I made sure to start my day off right with a hot cuppa of this one before mixing my first Fuzzy Navel. In fact, I’m gonna ‘credit’ this tea with inspiring the fuzzy navels: the yummy peach notes really put me in the mood for some Schnapps. Also, beginning your day with Earl Grey (even an unconventional one such as this one) just feels right. EG is definitely a morning tea.
Well, I’m home from my Dad’s now which means two things:
1. I have access to my full tea stash now and not just the stuff I brought with which is a relief because I’m still fairly sick and I wanted to have access to my normal sick teas again, such as this one. I actually brewed a large mug last night but forgot I was steeping it and it came out SO INCREDIBLY TART. Maybe the most tart this has ever tasted? It wasn’t a pleasant cuppa…
2. It’s time to celebrate Christmas number two with my Mom and sister (and brother). The joys of divorced parents! Two of everything, right? We kicked off the Christmas festivities last night with a fondue because that’s one of our traditions with mom. Except, I was still feeling sick so instead of having any of the chocolate I just ate a whole bunch of the fruit. Then we opened one Christmas gift early: I got a super cute Harry Potter infinity scarf with all of the house crests on it.
After that, bed time because I was so exhausted even though it was only 10PM…
Starting off boxing day with a yummy cup of tea and some breakfast wraps; eggs, cheddar, hashbrowns, and Asian pears all rolled up in one yummy crepe! Now that I have a better feel for what this tea tastes like I can say I’m enjoying it a lot more. I taste the rosemary and Pu’erh base in particular which is an interesting flavour juxtaposition. I wouldn’t think that they’d work together but they actually do in a wonderful way. The juniper comes through in the front of the sip and the finish but less so in the body; that’s more reserved for the herbs/spices.
Anyone do any Boxing Day shopping yet? I’ve placed orders with Teavana and Red Leaf Tea thus far; should Bluebird miraculously restock Cola & Lime Guayusa I’ll be ordering with them as well but apart from that I think I’m done for the year. I nabbed a tea cook book from Teavana; even with the shipping the cost of the book w. their sale was cheaper than it would have been at the regular price. I’m excited for more inspiration to put the skills I learned in my last Sommelier class to work. No sale from RLT, just needed more matcha. I went with Apple, Grape, Bubble Gum, and Butternut Pie! I’ve only tried one of those (bubble gum) but I’m really excited for the others. In particular, I think Grape will be good!
And this finishes off the day’s tea! I have to say, I’m sad to see it go. This last cup was tasty; caramel chamomile but with a slight apple/tangy after taste! It was better/smoother than it sounds and now I’m sleepy. I’m still kinda sick but have to say I currently feel better than when I woke up this morning so that’s a plus.
We finished off the holiday by watching Olive The Other Reindeer, which is a family tradition. I can’t remember how that tradition started but it’s my favourite one. That movie is so underrated and if you’ve never seen it I highly recommend that you do. I’m pretty sure you can find it online on Youtube.
We also played a cool game called Disaster Looms! I’d call it a combination of Settlers of Catan, Monopoly, and Risk. If my Dad didn’t already own it, I’d buy it for myself. It took like three hours but was SO fun. And I love the strategy aspect of it.
Last interesting thing to note for the day, one of my Christmas gifts (the one from my brother) was certainly a gag gift worth sharing with everyone. What did he buy me? 100g of this super fancy caramel flavoured coffee. YUCK. I don’t touch the stuff! I had a very tough time trying to pretend to be thankful. Ultimately, I gave it to my Step Mom. It might as well go to someone who’ll drink it.
EDIT: Yes you can, here it is…
So, what was everyone’s Christmas/holiday haul?
I’m certainly sure I wasn’t the only one who had tea related things under the Christmas tree! Like I’ve already said, I got $75 towards a Camellia Sinensis order and my Secret Santa at work got me a $15 DAVIDsTEA gift card and a Spiderman mug. Though I still have one more Christmas to celebrate before I’ll know my full Christmas haul.
Anyway; I grabbed this tea last week from Cuppa’T. It was something I 100% didn’t expect to grab or even know was carried by them but couldn’t resist once I’d seen it. Everything Great Gatsby related pulls me in; I’m such a fan of the book and movie! In all honesty, the ingredients didn’t appeal to me at all but just the idea of seeing how the flavour profile would play into how I view the novel had my literary side nerding out so badly!
Ultimately, I want to try this one hot because I just get the feeling that’s how it’ll be best enjoyed but thus far I’ve only had it cold brewed because that’s just what was the easiest way for me to drink it as soon as possible; and I wanted to try it as soon as possible. The flavour is very sweet and in an odd way quite juice like which is surprising given the amount of ingredients in this blend which aren’t fruit. I wouldn’t say the sweetness is overpowering.
Actually, I’d say the richness of the flavour notes nicely parallels the richness and opulence of not only Jay Gatsby but the whole era in which The Great Gatsby is set so that’s a nice tie in with the name of the tea right off the bat. The dominant flavour notes here are: cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa, sweet apple, and coffee. Moving outside of the setting in which Great Gatsby takes place and onto how this reminds me of the characters I have to say that the one character that this reminds me of in particular is Owl Eyes!
That’s surprising for me because I’ve always pictured that if Owl Eyes was a tea drinker
yes, this is something I’ve thought about before he’d drink Lapsang Souchong because Owl Eyes is in a way meant to be the embodiment of the all seeing eyes that look over The Valley of Ashes. And I still think that’s what he’d drink were he a real person, these flavours just seem to capture the nature of his personality. Also, moving back to setting, we see Owl Eyes in Gatsby’s library and I like to think that a library as elaborate as Gatsby’s would have not only the smell of books and parchment but something comparable to the warming spices and coffee I’m tasting in this blend!
I’m probably putting too much weight on what the thought process was behind this blend and symbolism between it and the characters/setting. However, I’m ultimately happy with the blend overall. This is one impulse purchase I don’t regret.
Thanks OMGsrsly (and I think MissB by proxy) for the tea!
This is the one tea I had set aside today specifically for today! That said, now that it’s steeped up and I’m actually drinking it I don’t like it a whole lot. There’s SO MUCH clove and normally that’d be a huge plus for me
especially when I’m sick but I’m finding that accompanying the strong clove is a lofty amount of bitterness and astringency.
But that certainly doesn’t make it any less festive!
This is such an interesting tea; any time you encounter a ‘savory’ tea with different kinds of unconventionally used herbs and spices, such as the rosemary and thyme in this blend, you know you’re going to be getting an outside of the box tea drinking experience. The dry leaf of this tea certainly has a very pungent aroma of thyme which is quite enticing. There’s also a slight earthiness which adds depth right off the bat, even before pouring any water!
The aroma of the brewed tea is surprisingly smooth with both a familiar, comforting aroma and air of exoticism. However, I just feel like once you begin drinking the tea it fails to deliver the level of flavour that you’d expect from all the wonderful aromas that have been experienced at this point. Not that it tastes bad! It’s just that I feel like this blend doesn’t quite commit to being either sweet OR savory. I taste a distinct flavour of thyme with hints of rosemary but not in the potency I expected or wanted. The sweetness comes from a hint of jammy flavour provided by the juniper berries; I’m missing the distinct pine flavour of the junipers though and that’s a slight disappointment too because I think that flavour note would have really sold the title for me. The whole thing is supported though by a very smooth, earthy base though and I’m REALLY loving that element of the blend.
And of course, like I said, it truly isn’t a BAD blend. On the whole, I actually find it really delicious – I’m just having to mildly adjust my expectations while drinking it. I absolutely recommend trying it if you get the chance. And for people who haven’t had savory teas before I think this would be a really good way to branch into that type of flavoured blend.
I’m loving reading through the discussion board thread of all the teas everyone started their Christmas with: it’s interesting seeing the teas everyone considers “fancy enough” to break out for the holidays or seeing how people are matching themes.
Personally, this is what I chose to start the day with. My reasoning is that I’ve always sort of low key felt like this tea in particular really matched the Christmas season. The flavour profile personally reminds me very much of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange and for me that’s definitely a holiday treat/tradition. I know there are other chocolate orange teas out there, but I’m choked to see this one go though. I really, really thoroughly enjoyed it!