155 Tasting Notes

100

Remember that job I interviewed for last week? Got it! Aww yeahhhhh. Alternate weekends at the IWM, here I come!

(Here’s hoping something with an actually sustainable number of hours actually pops up soon though, I can’t live on alternate weekends. I’m scarily poor.)

Tea, though. Tea is good. And while I’m not big on most white teas on their own, I do enjoy a good white tea with the right kind of stuff. Yay, white tea and stuff! First of all, they’re really not kidding when they say the TARDIS pouch is dimensionally transcendental – there’s definitely an extra ounce in there. Well played, Adagio! Secondly, once I’d opened the pouch, the first thing that hit me was a wave of clean and bright peppermint. On closer inspection, I found the fragrance to be underscored by the presence of subtle, soft blueberry. The taste is light and clean: there’s a sort of floral delicacy that sits behind the mint, and a quiet blueberry sweetness that follows. Because it’s so delicate, this is the kind of blend that even an unstoppable sweet tooth like me can enjoy with or without sugar, though I do find that a little sweetening teases out the blueberry flavour just a little bit more. It’s beautiful warm, but also an excellent candidate for drinking on ice. Clean and comforting, and just makes me feel all happy inside, like the familiar hum of the TARDIS console room itself, the hatstand by the door, the incomprehensible collection of buttons and lights and levers, and that bit that goes ‘vworp vworp’ and moves up and down to tell you you’re currently travelling through time and/or space. Tastes like home.

I am a big dork.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
carol who

Sami you do such a great job describing the tea that I feel as if I am there with you drinking the tea. I did finally get some of the DW teas from the Adagio sale, so I won’t harass you anymore about your huge varieties of DW. I haven’t tried any of them yet. I’m waiting for the perfect time when I can really sit and enjoy them. I don’t want to just throw them in a tumbler and go. :D Oh BTW, congratulations on the job!

K S

Congrats – hoping it turns into more hours and less poor!

Cavocorax

I love that the tardis teas have bonus tea!
Also congrats on the job! Fingers crossed that something else turns up, but maybe it’ll lead to something steadier?

Sami Kelsh

Thanks guys! :3

(Doctor Who tea is the best kind of tea)

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80

I made this to go with my early evening meal of strawberries (impulse clearance purchase at Tesco, and they are GORGEOUS) and rhubarb yoghurt (which I overbought because it was on multibuy special and I don’t mind at all because it’s my favourite, and turns out it’s Gentleman’s too – good Gosh, we’re nauseatingly cute) and it seemed fitting that my tea should be strawberry lemonade with such a meal.

This is also the last of my new Bluebird teas, so it’ll be a while before I get to try another Bluebird flavour for the first time.

And I have to say that this is probably my least favourite of the teas I’ve had from them. That’s not to say it isn’t good by any means, but just a bit less exciting, I suppose. There’s something in the flavour that almost reminds me of tart apples, and the more I think of it in that way and the less I look for full-on fresh strawberry flavour, the more I like it, actually. I’m bumping the rating up a bit before I post this because of that, come to think of it.

It’s got a bit of a jammyness and a tart finish that befits a tea with lemonade in the name; indeed, it’s tart enough that I feel the need to offset it with a bit of sugar, though that’s not unusual for me and my ravenous sweet tooth anyway. There’s definitely a presence of hibiscus, which is something I dig. I’m like 2/3 of the way through this cup of tea and I’ve decided I like it. Yep.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
yyz

Mmmm strawberries…I had the pleasure of living within walking distance of the strawberry fields the summer I lived outside of Dublin. They are still the best commercially produced strawberries I remember having.. It’s neat how teas change as you drink down the cup and cool. Sound like a nice meal.

Sami Kelsh

Oh man. There used to be a pick-your-own strawberry farm between my old house and my grandmother’s. I miss that. Beautiful, isn’t it? :)

yyz

The best :-)

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100

I am having such a pu erh day. Ohh baby. I also just finished baking a buttload of vegan muesli cookies for comedy night and I’m having emotional lady trouble and SO HELP ME IF ALL OF THE GUESTS AND PEOPLE ARE ON DIETS AND DON’T EAT THEM I WILL CRY because I bake for the same reason that comedians do comedy: for approval and love. Apparently the bank phoned me back in Canada and it’s probably because I’ve been avoiding looking at my account for like a month because I know I have no money and no job and I’m really scared. I need Leela strength.

Leela is a force to be reckoned with. The tea leaves even look magnificent, so many different shapes and shades of brown make it somehow one of the most aesthetically pleasing blends I’ve seen. Their scent is rich: roasty, earthy, nutty, and subtly sweet. The flavour is earthy and smooth, the oolong blending beautifully with the depth of the pu erh and the mate bringing a sweet, nutty finish. If there ever was a recipe for strength and bravery, this is it.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec
carol who

Leela the tea sounds good; just like the character. Well, that is the point. ;D For once I’m not going to complain about you having all the DW teas. I finally got the mini-sampler packs of DW and Firefly teas that Adagio just had on sale. Yipee! Yipee! Yipee! Yipee! I can’t have any tonight because it looks like they all have caffeine :( But tomorrow will be an exciting and highly caffeinated day!

Sami Kelsh

Leela is joyous. As is Lou Jameson herself. I need to get a bag of this to her at some point ;)

Oh SAMPLERS. The little tins! If I had any justifiable reason to buy more tea, and an income…

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78

Well.

I am definitely not feeling skinny today, as I ate two plates of pancakes yesterday for dinner and another plate of pancakes today for brunch and I’m having lady troubles. So a tea full of things that are supposed to be really good for your tummy seems like a damn good idea.

And was I excited for a tea which combines pu’erh (which I love) and oolong (which I love) and ginger (which I love)? Heck yeah! The first thing I smell is ginger. And then some more ginger. And even more ginger. I lost count brewing it, so I’m guessing it was 3 minutes, but I could be estimating wrong because my stove heats really unevenly and I was trying not to burn my pancakes. I’m still getting mostly a big hit of sharp ginger in the cup, so I added a little milk, which tends to bring forward the pu’erh in blends. And it does! Now there’s a lovely earthy note beneath the ginger. I’m noticing sweet fennel notes as the tea cools as well, but it blends well with the other flavours. It tastes like it’s good for you, but in a really delicious way. Mmm, gingery.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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100

My favourite Cyberman voice is still the voice they had in The Tenth Planet, and later in the audio Spare Parts (which, if you haven’t listened to it, GO LISTEN TO IT. Like, I don’t care if you’ve never heard of Doctor Who. Go get Spare Parts. It’s really good.) Also, I’m drinking decaf this eve because I sort of have to try and be awake at normal times next week.

Mind you, I’m all discombobulated anyway because Gentleman’s on the other side of the world and texts to say good morning when I’m getting ready for bed, and wakes me up in the morning when he texts to say goodnight. It’s whack, but MAN am I glad we didn’t meet in the 90s, when we’d be racking up massive phone bills just to say we love each other every day.

God, we’re so gross. I love him. I’m like the opposite of a Cyberman. It’s like the people of Mondas all downloaded their feelings into me. I am a blob of emotions. I guess I should actually talk about the tea.

I don’t suppose Cybermen care about things like tea. This is an awful shame because this is a wonderfully luscious cuppa. The scent is very Earl Grey-forward: I was hit immediately with an invasion of powerful bergamot, but it was followed at the very end by just a suggestion of something sweet. It is balanced and mellowed when brewed, the blueberry’s sweet presence underscoring the brisk Earl Grey. The lemon cloud contributes more gentle sweet softness than flavour. plus, that little bit of gold in there will keep the Cybermen at bay. It’s perfect with two spoonfuls of sugar, and just the sort of thing to wind down with after a long day of invading Earth.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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90

I have yet to find a Bluebird tea that I don’t love, dammit! YOU GUYS, I CAN’T AFFORD TO KEEP BUYING TEA BUT THEY KEEP BEING SO GOOD AND I WANT THEM ALL

Seriously, this is gorgeous. The scent starts with refreshing spearmint, but stick with it for a few moments and the florals float in like a diaphanous blanket of joy. The slightly sweet, fruit-floral flavours dominate in the cup, with a light finish of mint. It’s amazing how much jasmine there is in here without it tasting cloying or like perfume. It’s light and lovely, and the white tea is delicate and beautiful. This is a nice Sunday morning.

Okay, I just looked at the clock and it’s afternoon, and I’m not dressed yet. Let’s call it morfternoon. This is a nice tea for a Sunday morfternoon.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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100

It’s windy and grim outside and I’ve been bingewatching The Office all day and I’m going to go to sleep weirdly early and I have to get up and write all day tomorrow if I’m going to get this short story done ahead of the deadline.

I genuinely believe that if I get this story done, it’s the kind of pretentious and weird drivel that will find itself on at least one women in fiction 101 syllabus. And that’s a good 60 or so students who will have to buy my story. YESSSSSSSSS.

It really is impossible not to love Jo Grant. This tea is sweet, spirited, and warm, just like Jo herself. The fragrance of the leaves begins with sweet, juicy apple, soon joined by cinnamon and spice. In the cup, it really does smell like a gently spiced apple crumble. It holds a natural hint of sweetness on its own, but stands up beautifully to a spoonful or two of sugar as well. The apple and spice are perfectly balanced. The texture is crisp and juicy, with vibrant, slightly buzzy notes of cinnamon and ginger. A very loveable tea, and just the thing when you could use a warm hug of sunshine on a dreary day.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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67

Well. I remember when rooibos was an exciting new thing in Canada, and I drank the living daylights out of President’s Choice vanilla rooibos and I think I sort of burnt myself out of it, really. So every once in a while now, I’ll decide to give it another go, and remember the things I’m not really fond of about it.

I’m not even actually sure why I bought an entire box of this tea. I think I might have been sick and taking a LOT of Actifed at the time and wanted something that wouldn’t make me feel like I was swallowing corrosive household cleaning products that I could fall asleep to, but why didn’t I just get a thing of chamomile? I might have been at the Tesco Express that’s open until 11 on Sunday but has a pitifully small selection of tea, and I knew this would be tolerable.

That might be it. I don’t know.

But my point is, I was going to drink a cup of fennel tea the other night, which is definitely not my favourite thing to drink straight, and I decided to see how the flavour would improve if I chucked in a bag of this as well, and drank it with a little squizzle of honey.

And it actually somehow seemed to cancel out the things I don’t like about these teas and turn the whole thing into something a bit sweet and oddly fruity and actually pretty good. Wowzers.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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88
drank MojiTEA by Bluebird Tea Co.
155 tasting notes

I admit I was wary of this tea because I don’t actually like mojitos at all.

Turns out it must be the booze in them I’m not fond of! This tea, by contrast is delightful. The mint is refreshing and lovely alongside the perfumed citrus of the lime and lemongrass, with some little background notes of soft honey.

And it turns out that dried limes look really cool. This is a good start to the day. At 3 in the afternoon. Whoops.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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100

Sarah Jane Smith is magnificent. The spice, especially clove and a little cinnamon, are the dominant scents in the bag. After brewing and liberal quantities of sugar and hot milk, the tea is warm, restorative, and comforting. The spices are neither overpowering or underwhelming, but instead lend a tangible heat, a lovely warming quality, backed by a gentle sweetness. And because of all the other things in it, you really can’t taste the rooibos distinctly, which suits me just fine. Works equally well when bracing yourself for adventure, or winding down after a long day.

I took myself to the mall to celebrate with a latte after my job interview today, and ended up buying myself a celebration dress and a thing of gummy bears. And then when I went to come home I discovered that the shuttle bus back to the tram station stops running 45 minutes before I got there. Because why would they do something logical like run as long as the tram is running, or until the mall closes? So I had to go back into the mall and take cash out of the bank because I had literally like 13p on me and then I had to break a tenner and ended up buying fishcakes and oven chips and a tin of tomatoes, but that didn’t quite make the right amount of change, so I had to stop at H&M and buy a pair of tights, and THEN I caught a bus home, which I had to pay an extra £2.20 for, not including the other £6 I spent making change for the bus. I’m too poor for this garbage. I’m glad I chose something beautiful and decaf because I’m going to go sleep for like 14 hours now. I really needed gently spicy warmness tonight.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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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.

Location

The Mancunian Wilderness

Website

http://samikelsh.com

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