303 Tasting Notes

100
drank Star Wars - BB-8 by AdagioTeas
303 tasting notes

Comfort tea time. Oh man, I am so sick. Currently sitting dizzily at my office debating whether it’s worth sticking it out to the end of the day, or calling it quits to go home and rest. I’m figuring the former, as I’d really rather take tomorrow as a sick day when someone else is in the office, as she’ll be there to cover anything urgent and I won’t be grossing her out being all sweaty and snotty. I wouldn’t be so concerned, were it not for the fact that I’m going away from next Wednesday for like a week, so I feel a certain duty to try not to leave a huge backlog before the plane’s even taken off.

My husband bought one of those BB-8 droids that we can drive around using an app on his phone. It’s ridiculous how much that chubby little droid makes my heart do backflips. Like, I say “who’s a good little droid?” in my puppy-voice, and BB-8’s like “beep beep beep beep!” and nods. BB-8 IS a good little droid.

So obviously I’d be remiss if my massive hoard of tea didn’t include something inspired by BB-8’s sweet personality. It’s a blend of black and fruit teas, with sprinkles and fluffy tufts of raspberry leaf, and it smells like a punnet of fresh sun-ripened raspberries kissed by the faintest sprinkle of cinnamon. It starts with the vanilla, quickly joined by raspberry with a juicy finish. It’s not unlike a raspberry jam sponge with a touch of cinnamon for warmth, or maybe a buttery linzer biscuit. And it’s decaf, so it won’t rattle the nerves of slightly anxious little droids. Or me, when I’m already twitching from the caffeine in the Day Nurse I’m taking to try and retain a semblance of human-ness.

ashmanra

My son has a BB-8. Adorable! And I hope you feel better soon!

Fjellrev

I freaking love BB-8 so much and have been so tempted to get the little Sphero mode—which I’m guessing is the one you have—but damn, it’s so expensive.

And now’s there’s a BB-8 tea. Gah!

Really hope you’ll be feeling better soon instead of it dragging out.

Sami Kelsh

We lucked out and my husband got a gift voucher from work for Christmas that was valid in a shop that was selling the BB-8s, as we’d never have afforded the lil’ munchkin at full price! SO CUTE.

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90
drank Strawberries and Cream by T2
303 tasting notes

TERRIBLE NEWS: I’ve had a sore throat for the last 3 days, and had to leave work early on Thursday. I must be coming down with the man flu my husband’s just getting over, so won’t be able to make reliable assessments on tea for a few days. Everything kind of tastes like I-feel-like-I’m-going-to-throw-up.

But this is still a good tea, and having it warm is nice even though I’d normally cold brew it. I ain’t got time for that. Mmm, strawberries.

Fjellrev

Noooooo, hope you’ll feel better soon!

Rosehips

Oh no! Feel better soon!

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86

It’s so weird in Oxford right now. Like, it’s grey and dreary and drizzly and blustery, but the temperature’s gone above 10, so I’m bundled up for the wet and wind, and end up sweltering by the time I get where I’m going. So weird. But at least I’m wearing my Star Trek: TNG cardigan (in science blue, but of course) and thus I feel fabulous.

These weird blustery days are calling for warming teas, so I went for one with bonfire in the name. It’s toasty and buttery and warm but not quite cooked apple, and it’s got a really pleasant character.

Fjellrev

I freaking love that you have one of those cardigans.

Sami Kelsh

I got one of the last ones in stock, I think! Honestly took ages trying to decide which colour uniform to wear. Which Starfleet colour are you?

Fjellrev

Although the blue is tempting symbolism-wise, I’d have to go with red! Someday, I’ll get a dress, something like this: http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/1c62/

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98
drank Aussie Wattle Breakfast by T2
303 tasting notes

Ughhhhhh.

Ok, so I got an email from my colleague basically chewing me out for not yet having entered a bunch of stuff into our new database, which I’d planned on catching up with today. Email’s from Friday afternoon, when I’m not in the office. GREAT. Spent most of today freaking out about how my team will think I’m incompetent and want to fire me and all that scary jazz and stress that OH MY GOD my perma-fatigued, brain-foggy, suddenly-overweight self does not need in my life.

Like, I’ve been working here for a few months now and I swear to Gosh I can’t afford to be fired from the university because it’s basically the only employer in town, and nobody’s paying me to write.

But this tea is one of my favourites. It’s all pleasantly almondy cinnamony warm Australian goodness.

Fjellrev

Oh no, I’m sure it will be ok. I wish they would be more empathetic. There are so many hours in a day to do everything you need to do.

Sami Kelsh

Right?! Oh well. It’s possible I might be sent to York on a training course in March, which I can then fold into the weekend and basically have the uni pay for my train fare to spend a few days with friends in a beautiful city. It’s not all concerns and database poop… :p

Fjellrev

I hope the uni will follow through with that for you! Sounds like a nice chance to get out of where and switch gears for a while.

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90

So I’ve been prescribed an iron supplement for about a month now, and it’s seriously cramping my style inasmuch as I have to be really careful eating and drinking around it – for some stupid reason, tea inhibits its effectiveness, and so does dairy. TEA AND DAIRY ARE THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT FOOD GROUPS TO ME, WHYYYYYYYYYYYY

So as a result of this I’m trying to find herbals and rooibos teas I can drink early and late in the day that won’t interfere with my attempt to see whether the iron tablets will be enough to make me not a complete wreck. This one’s a no-brainer because a) it’s rhubarb, which is one of my favourite tastes; and b) it’s Bluebird, and their teas are reliably delicious. So this one went down a treat as always last night, all creamy rhubarby goodness in harmony with the taste I like about rooibos, and none of the sickly medicinal-ness that I don’t. Win!

(Also, feel free to recommend me your favourite rooibos/herbals, as I’mma have to increase my arsenal of them if this iron thing ends up being long-term. Help me, Steepster hive mind, you’re my only hope!)

Evol Ving Ness

I like African Nectar rooibos and Citrus Camomile from Mighty Leaf.

Evol Ving Ness

And yuck with these restrictions. Hope this passes quickly.

Sami Kelsh

Thanks muchly :)

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86

I had to drink something reliably scrummy to get the memory of last night’s pumpkin spice out of my taste buds.

This one is so good, though. I was so wary about the prospect of banana tea, and yet it’s SO GOOD! There’s no suggestion of that nasty banana artificial flavouring (barf) and it tastes instead like creamy banana chips baked into banana bread, that melds so nicely with the base. I love it with milk, to bring out the creaminess of the banana. I love it so much. How is this such a comforting taste, I don’t know, but it is. Oh man. Good.

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drank Pumpkin Spice by Adagio Teas
303 tasting notes

I can’t give this one a fair review because it’s my own damn fault I didn’t notice I’d added a sample of pumpkin spice rather than pu erh spice, which was adjacent to it on the alphabetical list.

I do not like pumpkin spice drinks. Believe me, I’ve tried. I love pumpkin in pie, in cheesecake, simply roasted with a drizzle of maple syrup and a sprinkle of sea salt. I have a recipe for pumpkin muffins that I’ve been making for 25 years. And I love spice: I have so many variations of chai that I love, and I’m always finding new ways to incorporate new spice blends into my baking and cooking. My five-spice gingerbread biscuits were a highlight of the Christmas season.

And I love when black teas have pumpkiny notes in and of themselves, but this doesn’t taste anything like that. I’m not sure what it tastes like. It doesn’t taste like pumpkin spice lattes, which I also hate, but I kind of also hate it.

Which makes me sad because there aren’t a lot of adagio’s flavours that I’m not keen on.

So I know I’m not selling it well, but if anybody wants an almost full sample sachet of pumpkin spice tea…

Fjellrev

Haha yeah, it’s hard to find a good pumpkin spice-flavoured beverage, it seems.

Sami Kelsh

For reals. I’m sticking with pumpkin muffins!

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100

I’m still not over the Star Wars. I don’t know if that’s evident by my, like, having gotten a buttload of Star Wars teas in. This is normal behaviour, isn’t it? I’m also holding out for my friend’s shop getting a backorder of the Pop vinyl figure of helmetless Poe Dameron, and if my finances weren’t utterly decimated for the forseeable future, I’d be tempted by the lego set with little Admiral Ackbar. He’s my favourite! NERDNERDNERD

As it is, I’m presently mainlining tea whilst I binge-listen the Arcade Fire Meets David Bowie EP for an essay I’ve been asked to write for a forthcoming book. There’s a lot of memories in this for me.

But first, tea. There are so many layers to this tea, it’s astounding. The dry leaves yield an intensely nutty, sweet buttery fragrance, with fresh strawberry following. As soon as it begins to brew, the perfume transforms into warm, spiced honey. The flavour is wrapped in luscious, bright strawberry, underscored by creamy, earthy notes of maple and buttery hazelnut, while hints of cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger add lingering warmth to the finish. And to my eternal delight, the coconut doesn’t really flavour it (as it just kills every other flavour for me when it does) but lends an extra creaminess to the texture instead. It’s as beautiful as Poe’s shining, tousled hair, as warm as the light in his eyes when he looks at Finn. Balanced, beautiful, and perfect.

__Morgana__

Whew. I thought it might taste like old, sandy flight jacket. ;-)

Sami Kelsh

Nah – it tastes more like the warm, fuzzy feeling you’d get if he told you to keep the old, sandy flight jacket because it suits you :p

__Morgana__

Nice. :-)

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100

Ok, so the week before Christmas, I finally gave up any attempt at looking like a serious-business professional, bleached the golden blonde ombre ends of my hair to the lightest they would go, and painted a whole bunch of pastel colours in. Tomorrow, I make an appointment for a haircut. I’m a little bit sad. I mean, I did do the mermaid hair knowing I was planning a cut anyway, so it didn’t matter if I damaged the ends or it looked a bit naff or whatever, but I’ve really grown attached to having violet and pink and blue and the-dye-just-won’t-take-to-these-chunks silvery blonde in my hair, that once I’m finished cosplaying brunettes at a Doctor Who convention in February, I may well put some bleached chunks back in.

I was ID’d for a bottle of cider at Christmas. I’m over 30. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

I’ve been drinking a lot more heavy, full-bodied teas lately, so made a change and went for something brisk and light this time. I like it because it’s not as full-on EG as some, but rather dry and slightly peachy. I don’t know why artichoke tea tastes like crunchy peaches to me, but it super does. I like it better than a lot of actual peach-flavoured things, really. It’s the sort of peach that plays really well with the green tea in this blend.

Fjellrev

Getting ID’d is a good thing!

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Bio

My Time Lord name is the Brewmaster. Currently working on People Of Who, an exhibition of portraits of the people who made Doctor Who happen. Professional dilettante. Literary enthusiast, frustrated sometime writer. Knitter of things.

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Probably a small grey sofa in Oxford

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http://samikelsh.com

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