169 Tasting Notes
Guess what I’ve been doing today? If you guessed filling out job applications, writing cover letters, and emailing my CV, you’d be correct! Spot-on! Somebody put me out of my misery!
I also registered for next year’s Gallifrey One convention in LA. It sold out in just under 2 weeks last year; this time, it sold out in 75 minutes. Glad I decided to put off picking up groceries until after tickets went on sale. What a relief! That was a stressful experience, to say the least.
I’m still holding out hope that one of these years, I’ll be invited as a guest. What are the chances you might be invited as a guest if you’ve already bought a ticket? Maybe I could use the ticket for a plus-one and bring somebody who couldn’t get one. Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself because unless you’re one of a handful of people who’ve written for Big Finish, nobody knows me because of Who yet. I intend to correct this.
Oh yeah, and I’m drinking Susan Foreman blend tea.
Susan, like the early seasons of Doctor Who is definitely worth getting to know. Opening the bag, I am met with the light and perfumed sweet-tart fragrance of bergamot and red berries. As befits a green tea, the flavour is delicate and balanced, without a trace of bitterness or astringency. Whereas raspberry black tea tends to have a bit of weight and that tannic undertone, there’s none of that here. The hint of vanilla softens the tartness of the raspberry and citrus, and it’s all just rather nuanced in a very agreeable way. An understated and very pleasant blend, delightful at any temperature.
Man, I can’t believe I’m contemplating (employment permitting) a move down south. I’ve become really attached to Manchester, and the friends I’ve made here, and baking cakes for XS Malarkey, but I think I’d like Oxford too. Plus, it’s within easier (and cheaper) distance from London, which could be useful.
I just woke up craving Mambo today. I haven’t had it in over a month, and man, it just makes me feel good. It’s got enough character to keep me interested, but it’s really smooth and I’m getting lots of the sort of stone fruit notes and minerals today. Mmmm.
I wish I was as cool as Ace McShane. She gets stuff done. I accidentally took a nap this afternoon when I fell asleep by mistake in the middle of a job application form. Blerg. That would never have happene to Ace McShane. She’s fierce.
Aaaaaand, BOOOOOOOOOOOOM! The scent of Ace blend is like an explosive blast of sweet, nutty caramel, with a trace of smoky green lurking in the background, and a surprisingly buttery, lingering finish. It’s a bit of a flavour bomb when brewed, too. in spite of this, though, it still never fails to taste like tea, accented by caramel, with rich hazelnut following at the end. I think it’s the gunpowder that mainly serves to keep the sweet flavours in the tea from veering into cloying territory and lend a fascinating complexity. Seriously, I’m fascinated by this tea: it’s dark and bright, rich and sweet. It’s fierce, and absolutely delicious.
I forgot I owned this one again.
I’m glad I remembered. There are serious high winds out there, and it’s cozy and has that nice leafiness. I’m having one of those days where I’m trying really hard not to nap and I should really be doing art and finishing job applications. Blech.
Oh hey guys, which Doctor Who character should I paint first?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.