Knock, knock.Who’s there?
This tea is really good.This tea is really good who?
This tea is really good and you should get it.
[Drinking this outside on the deck with the laptop. Delicious in every way.]
Knock, knock.Who’s there?
This tea is really good.This tea is really good who?
This tea is really good and you should get it.
[Drinking this outside on the deck with the laptop. Delicious in every way.]
On a completely unrelated note, don’t think that I haven’t noticed you Steepster guys being all sneaky-like and making little changes to the site. The tasting notes, the cute little cup graphic, among others. I like it, I love it, I want some more of it.
And now, a question.
What’s better than watching Castle on the couch with a down blanket?
You probably know the answer, but: watching Castle on the couch with a down blanket and a REALLY GOOD CUP OF TEA.
I’m sipping on my second cup of the roasted [as opposed to steamed] version of this tea and I can already tell that this is going to be a solid green tea standby for me.
The roasted part of this tea’s name probably has more to do with the processing than the taste, but I am getting a really nutty flavor in this tea. [I almost typed “I am tasting nuts” and then I stopped myself. …And then I wrote it anyway because I think it’s funny.] Though, actually, when I read the description is does say “nutty and roasted,” so that’s one check mark in the not-crazy-box for today.
To break it down a little further, the tea has some sweet notes to it, so it reads more like an almond or a filbert or something. I like it. On the first cup, it is this roasted nut flavor that dominates, with a hint of vegetal-ity. In fact, when I smelled it before diving in, I looked at it and was like, “…Genmai cha?” But the toasted component in this leans more towards your elephant treats than your breakfast cereals. There’s also a little bit of saltiness, which seems to come and go.
In the second cup, the sweetness becomes more pronounced with the other players singing backup. It reminds me of sweet white corn, or…goji berries without the tang. It’s an interesting tea. I’m looking forward to getting to know it better.
When I was little and would get really sick with anything that left me pale and without an appetite, Jello and ramen noodles were staples in our house. Occasionally, these illnesses would arrive during the colder months, like they do. When they did my mom would occasionally make Jello, but instead of refrigerating all of it to make it wiggly, she’d leave it part of it warm and serve it to me in a little cup.
This tea isn’t as brightly hued as Jello is, nor is it as sweet. The Rooibos is definitely the main flavor I get out of this, but when I swish it around in my month, I get a little bit of that orange Jello flavor on the tip of my tongue. It also lingers in the aftertaste in a pleasant way.
The chamomile is extremely subtle. Subtle enough that it won’t be a deciding factor as to whether I want to drink this tea or not on a given day, which is how I like it.
I’m actually surprised that I enjoy this tea as much as I do because when I opened the tin and smelled it my first thought was, “Oh, Paul Rudd. Why are you so cute?” because I have I Love You, Man running in the background [Sleappin’ da byaaayss, mon!]. But my second thought was, “AHHHH, VICKS VAPOR RUB!”
However, in a surprising turn of events, I quite like it. And I’m a Pisces, so it all seems very fitting. I’ve got a running list on a post-it that I have stuck to my monitor for the next order I’m going to put through for Adagio, and this one just got added to it riiiiight…now.
The picture doesn’t lie; this tea looks like a Crayola box. There’s certainly a lot for the eyes to feast upon. And it brews into…well, they call it ruby. I don’t think it’s quite that rich in hue, I’d call it more of a dusty rose. But I’m probably splitting hairs at this point.
The smell is just about as loud as the color. It reminds me of Blow Pops. Or bubblegum. Specifically one of those old school brands like Bubble Yum or Fruit Stripe Gum [who remembers that?]. The kind of gum that loses its flavor 5 minutes later. It is fruity. I mean, it is FROO-TEA. This tea is SO fruity… [HOW FRUITY IS IT?] This tea is SO fruity that it belongs at a male burlesque show. In fact, if teas were people I think that Plum Berry would be a drag queen.
And a rather fabulous one at that.
The smell is somewhat dampened [no pun intended] when the tea is wet. The actual liquid smells like something very specific that I can’t put my finger on, but it isn’t fruit. I’ll think of it in a week.
The tartness of the hibiscus is quite obvious, but I don’t mind that flavor, so I’m enjoying it so far. However, they list an entire encyclopedia of ingredients on the bag and . [I mean, schizandra berries? Are those for real? They sound like something Neil Gaiman would make up. Do unicorns eat them?] I’m somewhat disappointed that I can’t pick them out, but the aftertaste is rather hectic – there’s a lot going on. Once the novelty of this wears off, perhaps I’ll be able to separate the flavors more easily. Or perhaps once it cools.
It’s surprising to me, well, one that this gets steeped for this long. The only thing I steep for 6 minutes are pu-erhs, maybe the occasional herbal. But two, I’ve never had a white tea be this strong. I prefer my white teas to be more delicate – more of a pinky-up affair. I’d really call this an herbal more than anything else, but they say there are white tealeaves in it. Not sure what the point of it is, because anything from those leaves is surely put into a choke-hold by what I am coming to affectionately think of as the crunchberries.
One last thing that I’m really noticing about this tea is that it’s leaving me with a bit of a dry mouth. Is it tannins that do that? I’m not sure. Anyhow, it’s not unlike that sensation you get after drinking lemonade. I’m having to chase it with water, which I’m sure my bladder will be protesting later.
So, Plum Berry is sassy, a little sweet, and maybe just a touch overwhelming. Like a game of drag queen bingo, this isn’t something I want to visit every night, but it’s going to be fun every now and again.
You wake up to the sound of your alarm, and reach over to hit the snooze button. But you realize that your alarm clock is a blueberry. Confused, you sit up and reach to turn on the light, except that the light is a blueberry. You reach to pull back the duvet, only it has been replaced by a sheet of blueberries. Panicked, you run into the bathroom to look in the mirror, and…YOU ARE A GIANT BLUEBERRY.
Open the package and take a whiff, and it’s like every single entity in your realm of consciousness has been replaced by blueberries. The scent is strong, young Skywalker. Luckily, I like those little blue pellets, so this is an enjoyable experience for me.
The scent continues to waft up sweetly when the tea is brewing. The taste is a similar to the blueberries as well – slightly tart, but with an unmistakable sweetness [if you get good ones, that is]. The sweetness in this tea arrives in the finish and lingers in the aftertaste.
For me, the rooibos in this is almost unrecognizable. When I do taste it, it’s in the aftertaste, but it’s not strong.
I’m curious to try this iced.
So far so good, Rishi. You’re two for two. Can you keep it up? CHALLENGE EXTENDED.
When I got home, I was greeted by a package from Rishi on the doorstep. If only all things in life could be timed so perfectly.
I didn’t even bother to take my bags to my room. I dropped them in the kitchen, began to heat a kettle, and sliced open the box. I pretended to ponder over which package to open first, but it really wasn’t a choice. I had read too many favorable logs of this tea to not try it first.
Oh my god.
No, hang on, wait for it…
OH. MY. GOD.
Can we talk about the name for a second? When tea names use words that I am familiar with [unlike things like genmaicha or sencha which previously had no place in my scope of knowledge] they tend to conjure up images that the tea itself rarely lives up to.
I read something like Ancient Emerald Lily, and here’s what comes to mind. Trees that have been around longer than any people I know, which grow so high that you can’t see where they end. The unseen sun makes it presence known by rays of light which pierce through the foliage. Small particles of dust and earth shift and float aimlessly in and out of the columns of sunshine, swirling occasionally when swept into in an eddy of wind. The floor is littered with stones and roots. Moss blankets patches of ground, and the occasional flower, striking against the palette of greens, greys, and browns, stretches towards the light. The forest breathes and swells. Quiet sounds echo through consciousness.
My mother always told me that I had an overactive imagination.
But therein lies my problem. These are the things that I think about, and how can a tea compare? This is the closest that a tea has come to keeping pace with my brain when it goes into overdrive. The taste is clean and fresh, with a hint of something roasted or toasted or some other -oasted type adjective [the roasted aspect is also apparent in the scent]. It has a sweet finish. Not sweet like sugar, or sweet like honey. It’s a more subtle sweetness, like honeysuckle, or when you bite into a particularly excellent ear of corn.
The tea leaves themselves, wet or dry, do not portray any of the aforementioned qualities. To me, they smell mainly vegetal, with a sweetness that’s closer to brown sugar – very similar to most other green teas I’ve had. But the taste is rather singular. It almost reads like a white tea.
The description on the bag eludes to wild orchid and toasted chesnut. I don’t know what orchid is supposed to taste like [are they even edible?] and while I’ve seen many an orchid I’m not exactly sure what they smell like either. Nor have I ever had a chesnut, roasted over an open fire or otherwise, but if they’re anything like what I’m pulling out of this tea that’s going to have to change this season.
In a sentence – Rishi Tea Win.
Columbus Day at my school coincides with an additional teacher work day, and so I’ve found myself with an extra long weekend. [WIN.]
USUALLY, I find myself confined to my desk. Don’t get me wrong, I love my room, but spending extended amounts of time anywhere can become tiring and make me more than a little crazy. So, when my friend called and said she was heading up to her family’s beach house this weekend and, “Would you like to come?” I don’t think I even let her finish the sentence.
This morning, I found myself on the deck, with a blanket and a nice hot cup of this deliciousness. Some people like to unwind by going out to bars and clubs and getting wasted. This is my gin and tonic. And I don’t have to deal with the hangover. A nice bonus.
One of the first things I did when I last was in San Francisco was make a beeline to Samovar. Their Blood Orange Pu-erh was the first tea that I tried there. I spent a good hour or so at the counter, sipping this tea and losing myself in the surreal debauchery that is Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk. [GREAT read, by the way.]
When I got back home, I wanted to get a tin of that tea because I had enjoyed it so much, but it wasn’t for sale online. Months later, when it became available, I snatched it up.
It’s always been funny to me, that the sense of smell is more closely tied into memory than anything else because I most often associate music with memories. However, when I smell something that my brain has tethered to a remembrance, it always come back super vividly. For me, the purchase of this tea didn’t just arrive with something fantastic to drink, it arrived with a quick way to transport myself 2500-odd miles to the opposite side of the country. All it takes is a whiff of this to whisk myself back to that counter, book in hand, stress dissipated, in the midst of some pretty perfect weather. [I also spent each and every morning that week on my brother’s deck, reading in a chair, and brewing cup after cup of tea until I felt like getting up and actually doing something. Even I’M jealous, and I’m the one who did that. Man, what I wouldn’t give right now to be past me.]
Needless to say, I pull this one out when the stress levels are reaching critical.
Of course, I couldn’t fully enjoy this tea if I didn’t like how it tastes, but I’m happy to be able to say that this is one of the teas that eased me into pu-erh, and I continue to enjoy it immensely. It’s definitely a pu-erh, meaning that you get the same soil-like scent and taste that comes with the territory [I like it, but it’s not for everyone]. The ginger adds a spiciness and warmth, and the blood orange gives it a slight edge. The overall effect is a little stronger than most teas [you might have been able to guess that due to the flavors involved], but it makes the earthiness of the tea not quite so overwhelming. I’ve brewed this for a few friends who are looking to try a pu-erh out, with good results.
I have a feeling that this is going to be an EXCELLENT winter tea.
My, y’all are prolific. It took me a good chunk of day to catch up with your lovely words. [I say that as if it weren’t obvious by the fact that I probably now compose the entirety of anyone who is following me’s main column.] I M IN UR TIMELINE, ATTAKIN UR UPDAYTZ.
In the interest of newness, I’ve decided to log a tea that I didn’t drink today, but haven’t said anything about yet. Nocturnal Bliss is both an ideally nocturnal tea as well as blissful. If you don’t like Rooibos [like I know at least a couple of you do not] then you probably aren’t going to like this either because…uh, this is a Rooibos-based tea. But for those of you who DO enjoy a little red tea, you might have an appreciation for this one.
The lemon flavor is a little strong in this one [and in that aspect almost reminds of Earl Grey, in a strange way], notably in the aftertaste. If you breathe in after taking a sip you really get a hit of it. I wouldn’t call the tea sour by any means, but it is definitely present and would like you to know it. The corn flowers are pretty to look at, but I’m not sure what they add in terms of flavor. The stevia I can taste as well. [That is, I think I can – I’m not 100% sure what stevia tastes like but I think I’ve had it in other teas before and I’m pretty sure I tasted what I think stevia is in this tea. I am too tired to check that last sentence to make sure it makes sense.]
The final verdict is that I enjoy this one, but not as much as I like Ocean of Wisdom, so once I’m done it’s gonna be nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey, you know what to this one. Definitely worth a try if those flavors appeal to you though. I have yet to be disappointed by a Samovar tea.
You might think it would be weird to drink a big cup of steaming popcorn.
But you’d be wrong.
Dear Pumpkin Spice,
I wanted to like you. Really, I truly did. I know that you might not want to hear that right now, but please hear me out.
When I was mildly disappointed with the first cup, I did not shun you. I tried you again the next day. When that cup, too, left me crestfallen, I was not deterred.
I know what you’re thinking, but don’t you DARE pretend that I didn’t put effort into trying to fix this. I experimented. I changed your steep time. I changed your water temperature. I changed the amount of you that I put in…you. I sat by your bed and read you Harry Potter, and I even held your hair back on that one night we decided to take shots every time those girls on The Hills did something that made us want to lose our faith in humanity. And still, after everything that we’ve been through, things just never felt right.
You were just so bitter. I could never understand it. You looked so good on paper, and I’d be lying if I said your scent wasn’t slightly intoxicating, but being in your company simply wasn’t enjoyable.
I think that the night I knew it was over was when I broke down and tried you with cream and sugar, and I got no pumpkin flavor and could only taste the sugar. With all due respect to your parents, why would they name you Pumpkin when there is no pumpkin to be had? Are you related to the Scented-Bitter-Waters who live up north?
And now, we must part ways. I’m sorry, Spice. Please believe me when I say that I wanted this to work.
P.S. You wouldn’t happen to have any friends who taste a lot better than you do, would you?
After last time’s what I consider to be failed experiment, I went and read up on what other people were doing who made this tea. In a twist of irony, it turns out that I did need more balls. At the suggestion of several people [though I believe most vehemently @cofftea] I put in a whopping 5 for my cup today and was pleasantly surprised.
The enjoyment I got on this go round was vastly improved. I got a lot more of that cocoa aspect from it [and by cocoa I do mean like the unprocessed, unsweetened stuff, not a Swiss Miss packet with the mini marshmallows].
It reminds me of when I was younger, and my mom would be baking something with unsweetened chocolate and I would beg her for a piece. She’d always say, “No,” [or sometimes “NO! GO AWAY!”] but then one day [either I was being notably obnoxious or she just wanted a laugh] she broke me off a small chunk. And would you believe it, she made ME clean up the chocolate that I promptly spit on the floor. THE NERVE.
Now that I’m older, and I like to think that my tastes have matured a bit, I have developed more of a liking for that dark, bitter chocolate. [Not to be confused with unsweetened baking chocolate, which remains nasty raw, in my opinion.] You know, the kind of thing that the fancy chocolatiers carry and come from various places in South America. [Scharffen Berger cocoa nibs are WHERE IT’S AT, by the way.]
With all this talk about chocolate, you’d think I’d be ready to jump into bed with this tea, but I think I need it to hint at sweetness, and I’m not getting any of that. This is a problem I often have with black tea, which again is ironic because I used to be ALL ABOUT coffee and black tea is most reminiscent of that flavor profile for me. It’s just too bitter for my tastes, I think. I need to put additives in it to really enjoy it, and I don’t like putting things in my tea for whatever reason. Call it a quirk. Black teas also occasionally upset my stomach, and though I know you’re DYING to hear more about that particular experience I’m not going to indulge you with the unpleasant details involved.
I can see myself enjoying Black Dragon Pearls when in a specific mood, and I think this might be something I’ll seek out once winter roars into gear, so I’ll likely be saving it for then. Maybe I’d like it more if I combined it with something a little sweeter. [If you have suggestions, please, leave them.] Or perhaps I’ll go against my ever-so-stringent belief system and try this with a little caramel in it, because that could just be the clincher that results in a re-order. And if nothing else, Jeebus knows I need to be spending more money. WE SHALL SEE.
I got this as a sample and decided to give it a soak tonight. First off, I almost want to buy this for the sole purpose of being able to yell SERENITY NOW! whenever someone asks me what I’m drinking. And while we’re on the thread of non-practical reasons to like this tea, it also reminds me of my most favorite canceled television show ever, Firefly.
As for the tea itself, I’m officially impressed. The concept of a Tea Sommelier is pretty cool, but with the way that this tea come together it makes me think that the people at Tavalon have someone over there whose work is more akin to that of a mixologist. I could easily pull out every single one of the components they listed in the description of that tea, and they unfolded very nicely. The chamomile, the vanilla, and the rooibos give it warmth, the lemongrass adds a brightness, and the peppermint leaves you feeling clean at the finish. The combination of it all, at points, reminds me ever-so-vaguely of Red Vines [who, for those unfamiliar, makes the best red licorice in the world and would stab the heck out of Twizzlers in a knife fight]. The tea is not sweet, but the aftertaste makes you think that it is.
I don’t hate chamomile, but I don’t love it either, so this isn’t something that I could drink on a regular basis. When I find myself in the mood for a little chamomile action, however, I can most definitely see this being a tea I would crave.
Sorry, but I’ve got to do it.
SERENITY NOW! SERENITY NOW! SERENITY NOW!
I spent yesterday in a hazy, yawn-y, groggy, unproductive fog. It was one of those days when you know you’ve got shit to do but you feel like you’re moving through molasses, and then you realize you’re in the middle of things you shouldn’t be doing…two hours later. One of those days when it feels like it should be rainy and depressing outside, but isn’t, so it frustrates you further.
I woke up this morning, was thinking of starting off the day with a white tea, and then thought, “NO! NOT AGAIN!” and decided today needed something a bit more hardcore. Ryokucha, I love you. And you look gorgeous in my new mug, if I do say so myself.
This is probably the first of Adagio’s teas that I can see myself re-ordering. After reading what other people have written, I was hesitant to try it because it sounded like it was going to be cloying and blech.
When I popped the lid off the smell punched me in the face. Not enough to draw blood, but enough to make me jerk my head back. Not to be deterred, I measured some out and poured the water over it. It’s at times like these that I am so, so glad that http://steep.it exists because it greatly reduces the chances of me oversteeping anything anymore.
One, I think that the color of this tea is gorgeous. It’s like a very, very pale shade of chartreuse. This may have been improved by the fact that I just got a new mug from Crate & Barrel and I LOVE IT [http://twitpic.com/k481j]. It really does work, too! Keeps the tea hot a good deal longer than my other ones do and I can pick it up without fear of burning myself. AND it’s so very pretty. Feed the birds, Bodum.
The tea itself was surprisingly lovely. I put in about a teaspoon for 8 oz. of water and steeped it for 2 minutes 45. This could probably go to 3 minutes, but I was very afraid of oversteeping it. The flavor was light, and the citrus taste subtle. I get a lemon scent from it, but the taste is more reminiscent of lime.
A lot of people have compared this to froot loops, but I never really ate a lot of froot loops so I can’t confirm or deny on that account. All in all, I found it extremely refreshing. I should also mention that I’m a huge fan of citrus, so if you don’t like it…PBBBBBTHHHT. I’m kidding, but you should obviously avoid this one.
Last night, after engaging in some shenanigans out at the local bar [some friends and I were replicating the “parkour” they were doing on The Office a few episodes ago, which for those who don’t know entails mainly of jumping on things, spinning around, and yelling “PARKOUR!”] some of us ended up back at someone’s house to watch a movie.
Fake parkour, as it turns out, is rather exhausting [I can’t even imagine what the real thing is like]. Especially when you end up on the floor because you are laughing too hard.
We are fans of hookah, so once that was going I broke out the tea. Tea and hookah, in my limited experience, can go very well together. [Tea and alcohol typically do not, so now may be a good time to add that I wasn’t imbibing that night as I was driving. This also likely catapults my previously mentioned behavior to a new level of ridiculousness. Or AWESOMENESS.]
Yes, yes, I often carry a tin or two of tea around with me. And a strainer. I like big butts [sorry, couldn’t resist – purses, I like big purses], so it’s really not too much of a stretch to throw a couple in there. A lot of my friends don’t drink loose tea, so it’s also allowed me to slowly introduce them to the wonderful world that most of us Steepsterians [Steepsterites?] live in.
If brewing tea in other people’s houses has taught me anything, it’s that it’s well, well worth it to try and control, as best you can, all four aspects of making tea. I cannot tell you how many times I, and I’m sure you, have run into information that advises you to control the time, temperature, amount of tea, and water type [I’ve gathered from the majority of people to use filtered, but not distilled]. This is easy enough to do at home, or perhaps work, but in other people’s homes it may not be so simple for any varying number of reasons. I know that when I started out making tea, I would pay attention to the time, then eventually the water temperature, but I didn’t think that filtered water would really make that huge of a difference. I tried it anyway, and it wasn’t until I made a cup at a friend’s house where I had to use tap water that I noticed there was a definite discrepancy in flavor. All I’m saying is: it’s important.
Tea is also something that I think is overwhelmingly more enjoyable when you have time to savor it and concentrate on the flavors. Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci kicking peoples faces in is not necessarily conducive to this kind of calming contemplation, but it is comforting to have a cup of something good in your hands when you’re watching something dark and kind of depressing.
I still consider myself to be new to the tea game. Now that Steepster has me reading all of your wonderfulness, I find myself googling things [or binging things – I’m an equal-opportunity search engine user] on a consistent basis. If a year ago, someone had asked me if I liked Ceylon, I would have said, “Is that like a robot?” And if someone had asked me if I wanted to try some Black Dragon Pearls, I would have said, “What is that? Dragon testicles?”
BECAUSE I’M CLASSY.
But really. These balls are huge. [Snicker, snicker.] Maybe I just haven’t had a lot of “pearl” tea, but these seem exceedingly large to me. Is that how Black Dragon Pearls are done traditionally? I am enclosing a picture for reference. [There’s a rotate button on the top right. I can’t get it to turn on my phone.] My wallet is not for reference, I just think it’s funny.
The taste of the tea wasn’t nearly as impressive as the size of its balls [okay, okay, I’m done]. If I say that it had taste but was rather flavorless, would that make sense? Maybe I didn’t let it sit long enough, but I found the whole experience to be relatively bland. The cocoa was a lot more apparent on the nose than the tongue, but I did get a couple of glimpses of it towards the very end after it had cooled considerably.
Additionally, any tea that I can watch unfurl is always enjoyable for me because I’m easily entertained. I’m on the edge of giving this a thumbs up, but it’s not quite there. Maybe it’ll grow on me. Or maybe I just need more balls.
That’s what she said.
Thomas, we need to talk.
I like you. It’s just that…well, it’s not you. It’s me. I’ve been talking to your pal Jackee, see, and…I’m sorry. I think you knew this was coming, right?
Ok, but in all seriousness, the description of this tea [besides being clever and chuckle-worthy] contains a warning that I should have paid more attention to – do not oversteep this tea. And by oversteep, I don’t just mean let it sit there for too long, I also mean that if you have a tendency to put more tea in the cup and steep for shorter times like I do, DO NOT FORGET THAT YOU DO THIS.
Oversteeping this tea results in something not unlike a right hook to the uvula, and while I’m sure my face was HILARIOUS when I took a sip, it also scared me off from trying this again until today.
This tea is good – a little darker in taste with a bit more bitterness than the teas I tend to gravitate toward, but complex and something I would like to spend a little more time with to try to parse the flavors out of it. It’s kind of earthy, though not in the same way that pu-erh is, and for me it begins to hint at raisins once I’ve let it sit long enough.
Still, in a battle of dukes I’d have to give the first few rounds to Jackee Muntz thus far.
As an aside, now that I’ve had the privilege of peeking at the wondrous bounties that Andrews & Dunham has to offer, I desperately want them to bring back Series 1 so that I can get my hands on some tins.
Also, though not really related, while I’d like to be able to claim that their theme on this series conjures up images for me of something not ridiculous, I found myself going back to a website I haven’t been to in years.
That’s right. The Homestar Runner. IT’S DOT COM!
The hours that I have been putting into school have meant that the original quantity of time that I put into previous activities has dwindled. Important things, like playing video games and watching TV and making fun of strangers in public situations [because, apparently, I’m an adolescent male] have been flung to the wayside like monkeys fling poo.
Okay, so I don’t really make fun of strangers.
OKAY, so I only do it on alternate Thursdays.
Among the other things that I don’t have time for anymore is normal social interaction on a regular basis. I’ve discovered, perhaps unsettlingly, that I have begun to compensate for this by talking to myself. [This might not be something that I should readily admit publicly, but I feel like if you all aren’t already judging me somewhat then you haven’t been paying attention and this might not faze you.]
So, I’m sitting here, reading my Calculus book like a good girl and I’m comprehending what’s going on. [This is a big deal.] Everything’s great, I’m jamming out to the dulcet tones of Yo-Yo Ma [because I can’t listen to music with words when I have to read something that requires real concentration], and then I turn the page and WHAT IN THE NAME OF SATAN’S UNDERWEAR IS THAT SUPPOSED TO BE? That isn’t math, that’s forgotten language of the people of Atlantis. The book is telling me that, “Now, we’re going to blah blah blah,” and I whine at it.
I whine to my book out loud. The words, “But I don’t WANNA,” may have actually been uttered, which is disturbing in and of itself because it was said in seriousness. This was compounded, however, by the fact that I said it to no one except the inanimate object sitting in front of me [that I have affectionately nicknamed Stalin Baby]. Half a second later I’m like, “Whoa,” and push my chair back.
There are only two things that I can do at this point. One is to go take a nap, but as I can’t be certain I’d actually wake up in time to get what I need to get done today I can’t do that. The other is to make me some Jasmine Pearl and subject you all to a long story about how my sanity is slipping away while I try to replace all of the oxygen in my body with the scent of this tea.
I guess this wasn’t so much about the tea as it was about me unloading on you all, but the tea is really good. Easily the best Jasmine I’ve had, ever. If I reach for it when I’m in this kind of state, that should be saying something.
All right. Woo-sah. I’m off to tackle Stalin Baby. Wish me luck.
This tea is good. Wait, let me rephrase that…this tea is DAMN FINE GOOD. I was excited when I got the oh-so-pretty package in the mail [A&D gets an A+ with a happy face sticker for their packaging scheme], but if I’m being honest part of me was afraid that this tea wasn’t going to live up to the hype I’d been frothing up in my brain.
That fear was not assuaged when I brewed a cup of Jackee Muntz and it smelled like the pages of an old book. [This may sound romantic, but those of you who have smelled this know that old book pages have a very distinctive smell you don’t necessarily want to associate with things you are about to ingest.]
Now, all of you likely know that the smell of the tea doesn’t necessarily have ANYTHING to do with how it tastes. Mercifully, this is the case for Sir Muntz, for he is smooth and absolutely delicious – like what I would imagine running into Nathan Fillion in a bar would be like.
I get a little burnt taste [not at all overwhelming, don’t be scurred] at first, but then the finish leaves you with a caramel taste in your mouth. It’s really quite amazing. I actually caught myself staring at the cup with my jaw hanging open for a few seconds after the first sip.
Let me put this all into perspective for you:
I am NOT a morning person. I wish I was, but I am most definitely not. If it weren’t for my actual will to live, people would have to pry me away from my duvet when the waking hour arrives.
Usually, I wake up with JUST enough time to get dressed, do the things I HAVE to do, and get where I need to be. Unless I HAVE to wake up, nothing and I mean NOTHING else seems more important than sleep when the alarm goes off.
Jackee Muntz is going to make me excited to get up tomorrow morning.
I might even find myself GETTING UP EARLY.
Hello, lover. I missed you while you were gone.
I can go from fatigued to bliss[fully fatigued] in 3 minutes and 30 seconds. And start waking up in about 5 more once the caffeine starts to work its juju. It’s a win-win situation, if you ask me.
I got a bunch of tea in from Samovar not too long ago, and a lot of it’s new. For those of you who read what I throw up here, you know that I like the words, so I’m going to be rolling out my thoughts on them slowly, even though I’ve tried…ehm…all of them already.
Before I say anything more, can I just say hats off to the Steepster monkeys who made all of this wonderfulness happen? Best update ever. Am I right?
Ok, so Wei Chi Cha. Or is it Wei Xi Cha? I’m not sure, but this tea is absolutely delightful. It’s like autumn in a cup. I’m always on the fence about whether to use ‘autumn’ or ‘fall’ because ‘autumn’ borders on snooty for me. I feel as though I should be wearing a tweed jacket with elbow patches. Fall seems much more casual comfortable, you know? It’s a little more hooded sweatshirt, which is how I roll. My quirky verbal prejudices aside, though, holy autumnal tea, Batman.
It smells like cider and cloves and cinnamon and dried leaves and log fires. I might be mistaken, but I think that this is a relatively new tea for Samovar, and when I read the description of it I had added it to my cart before I could realize that I’d clicked the button.
The taste of the tea is a little sour [I’ve been slowly discovering that just how sour is controlled greatly by the steep time – I recommend around 4 minutes, maybe 4 minutes 30, but play around with it.] The sourness dissipates once you’ve swallowed, though, and you get treated to this nice bit of sweetness that sinks into your tastebuds.
One thing that I’ve noticed is that the taste of this tea gets watered down quite quickly. If your cup is looking pinkish, you’re probably not going to get a ton of taste. You’re looking for something closer to a nice, light red hue. I haven’t had any luck beyond two cups, but there is a noticeable difference on the second steep.
All in all? A good tea. And it certainly is working well as a stand-in for me while I wait for the weather here to catch on to the fact that it’s officially fall. Right now it’s doing the best impression it can muster of a Louisiana swamp.
This was one of the first teas I got when I was getting into tea. That was…I don’t even know how many years ago. Since then I’ve bought this one a couple more times, but since I started drinking teas from other places like Adagio and Tea Forte and Samovar, I have become increasingly unimpressed with this one.
I got it because an employee at Teavana recommended it to me, and then she did that little wavy thing they do with the lid to waft the aroma into your face. Even to this day, I will tell you straight off that it smells like heaven.
It’s not that it tastes bad. It doesn’t. It just doesn’t…taste. At all. In a little experiment I let it sit for 6 minutes, and still? Nothing. Or at least not enough for me to enjoy the experience. I don’t feel like I should have to actively search my tea for flavor.
I hate to say it, but this is a big part of why it took me so long to really get into tea. I’d had some of the watered down stuff that they give you at restaurants from time to time, and the bagged stuff that isn’t exactly bursting with flavor, and then I decided to try some loose tea because I’d heard it was so much better. This one smelled a AMAZINGLY delicious, but the taste just didn’t live up to the hype [you know, in that it wasn’t present].
I figured that maybe all tea, even the “good stuff” just didn’t have much of a taste at all. Or that it was just too subtle for me to do anything other than smell it to appreciate it. [Obviously, this was before I tried Lapsang Souchong.] Now I know that this isn’t true, and so I can’t recommend this tea to anyone.
Since he said it better than I probably did in the above paragraphs, I leave you with a quote Uncle Iroh, one of my favorite characters from Avatar [yes, the cartoon – don’t judge, it’s phenomenal], “THIS IS NOTHING BUT HOT LEAF JUICE!”
Though, it may make for some nice potpourri.
For a while, I thought that oolongs weren’t [please pardon the pun] my cup of tea. I’d pretty much written them off in my mind as dirty spinach-y cousins of my tea repertoire who did unspeakable things with sheep and so no one talks about them.
I’m not sure why this is. It might be because the first steep of the oolongs I’ve tried tend to be pretty vegetal and I stopped paying attention after that. I probably also wasn’t steeping them in hot enough water or something equally silly, which speaks to how well I read directions sometimes.
Please, do not let what happened to me happened to you. Unless what happens to you is what ENDED up happening to me, because I drank this tea for an entire week.
An entire week. ALL WEEK LONG I DRANK THIS TEA. I woke up, started the day with a little Ryokucha or a matcha shake to prod my brain into waking up, and then I would drink this tea and do physics. Or drink this tea and do calculus. Or drink this tea and program. I would drink it in a box, and I would drink it with a fox. I would drink it in a house, and I would drink it with a mouse. I would drink it here and there and I WOULD DRINK IT EVERYWHERE. I drank this tea until I ran out of it yesterday, though tragically I just put an order through with Samovar so it’ll have to wait until next time.
In the same way that I was shocked when I tried Ryokucha for the first time, I was floored with how different this tea tasted from how I thought tea could ever taste. And my god, people, it EVOLVES [oh dear Zeus, I just had a flashback to my Pokemon playing days]. That isn’t just some shit they spin for the description to get you to buy the stuff. The taste shifts and matures and does all sorts of wonderful things between steeps so that you’re getting new flavors in every cup. And that little bit of magic is why this tea would last me for an entire afternoon, sometimes longer.
Before I get back to the taste, let me tell you first that I’ve heard/seen the phrase “mouth-feel” thrown around a few times as I get acclimated into the tea world, and I always snickered a bit. I mean, it’s water, right? I didn’t fully understand what they were referring to until I really gave this tea a chance. It DOES have texture. It’s…kind of silky, if that makes sense. It feels rich, almost luxurious. Perhaps you are accustomed to paying attention to this aspect of tea, but for someone who’s new to it…I guess you could say I’ve had a tea-piphany.
Samovar’s description of Four Seasons completely nails what is going on in this tea. I don’t always “get” the full array of what I could be experiencing when it comes to tea, but I was pleased to find myself able to pick out flavors from this one. The buttery component of it, especially, was something that surprised me. I bet this would taste sinfully good with a croissant.
In fact, and excuse me while I expose a little MORE geekiosity on you here, this tea is just about exactly what I thought butter beer would taste like.
Yes, I am referring to Harry Potter.
Former coffeeist, turned teaite. Lover of writing, reading, photography, and music. Traveler of life. Known to be ridiculous on occasion.
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