238 Tasting Notes

94

You know when you know it’s almost bedtime but there’s that thing you really wanted to get done before bed, so you start doing it, and before you know it, it’s the wee hours of the morning and you’re staring down your laptop while a progress bar advances at almost undetectably slow rate and you just want to sleep but you can’t?

That’s a good time for a cup of chocolate mint tea. This is another very comforting taste for me, and this one is just as a chocolate mint tea should be. The chocolate is warm and creamy and smooth, and the mint leaves a refreshing finish. Sometimes I get more mint, sometimes I get more chocolate, most of the time it sits in balance. I do love a good creamy minty tea. Mmm, good.

Big hugs to Sil for sharing this one!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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100

This was a tough day, this day, but I survived. I had a job interview this morning, and it seemed to go well, but it became clear not far into the interview that I am super not suited to this job at all, and while the staff there were really sweet and nice people, there’s no way I could do that job. As evidenced by the hour of shop-floor trial run they had me do, wherein I was very politely told off for attempting to help a customer slightly further than I was technically qualified to do. A valid point, to be sure, but asking me to interact with the customers while not actually allowing me to do anything other than say hello and ask if they need help – when I can’t actually help them myself – seems a bit pointless. Just means an hour’s worth of customers had to repeat their questions to two different shop assistants. I think they could tell I was feeling a bit not okay with it. As evidenced by the fact that I was meant to get a call by the end of the day to schedule a second interview, and I haven’t heard back from them. I don’t think I will. It’s a relief, to be honest. Gosh knows I need the money, but still. It would have been a BAD job for me.

To that end, major comfort tea is needed tonight.

This is one of those comfort teas I could drink forever and ever and never tire of. The sprinkles in the mix poke out here and there, providing little moments of colourful joy. The tea leaves themselves smell just like a chocolate orange. It tastes like a chocolate orange too, but so much more than that: the rich flavours are softened in brewing, flanked by complex, earthy background notes, soft tannins, and a subtly creamy texture that is brought out further with a little sugar and milk. A highly agreeable, comforting full-bodied tea, where all flavours sit in perfect balance. I’d rate it as a good choice as well for folks who want a Doctor Who fandom blend, but aren’t fond of Adagio’s black base, as the Mambo tea that forms the backbone of this blend is a VERY different beast to the standard Ceylon, and itself has prominent smooth cocoa and slightly peachy notes that are brought out and heightened here. A fitting tribute to an underrated, yet decidedly awesome Doctor.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
keychange

Ugh. Sorry about the bad experience that didn’t have to be bad if they didn’t put you in that awkward position. Better to learn that you and the job aren’t a good fit early on, though. And always glad you have tea!

carol who

At least the tea was good. :)

Sami Kelsh

The tea was glorious.

The interview was a shambles. Really nice people, but it was really clear that I don’t belong there. I don’t expect to hear back from them, but if I do, I can only agree that I’m not the right person for that job!

TheTeaFairy

Oh, sorry to hear about that :-(
Yay for good tea!

DeliriumsFrogs

I’m so sorry that you had to endure that ordeal today. :(
So glad you had The Doctor to cheer you up (and this one sure sounds delicious! mmmm.. chocolate orange….)

Sami Kelsh

Thanks guys! Turns out I’m not cut out for attempting to sell raspberry ketone pills to women who clearly don’t need to lose weight, but at least Dr. Who makes me so happy. Damn, it’s good tea.

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75

Good ol’ Rose. I do like her, you know. And this is nice and cozy. Light on the bergamot and lavender, and nicely raspberry. I like this raspberry in blends, it brings a sweet freshness you don’t get from a raspberry-flavoured black tea, that blends well with the subtle floral background notes here. I wish there was a little less of the ceylon texture in the background, but it’s a very comforting flavour.

Thanks again to the wonderful Sil for sending this my way!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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74
drank Earl Grey by Starbucks
238 tasting notes

I’m not a big fan of Earl Grey on its own, but ordered this with a shot of hazelnut syrup and it was nice! Kind of tasted like marshmallow.

BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, MY UK TELEVISION DEBUT IS CURRENTLY AIRING and you can also see it on youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HAYf_QJw2g

You can see my fat face from about 6 seconds in on the right. Lordy.

Memily

OMG EXCITING

keychange

omg! how exciting! I wish you were talking in it!

TheTeaFairy

Oh! You’re a star :-)

Sami Kelsh

Oh geez, I’m blushing!

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70

Wow, my head hurts. I should probably sleep. I have a million things to do (okay, a million CVs to email) tomorrow!

I probably wasn’t quite in the right mood for this one when I made it, as it’s a bit of a cold-weather tea for such a mild spring day, but it’s definitely pleasant. I also can’t say I got much distinctive cranberry flavour to it, but it’s definitely a nicely fruity chai, with emphasis on the cinnamon, clove, and a whisper of orange, and it’s warming and cozy with a little sugar.

(Though I still think I’d have liked Amy better if they’d made her an actual police officer instead of a kissogram.)

Big thanks to Sil for sharing!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

happy to share in doctor who fan blends anytime!

DeliriumsFrogs

I am SO with you on the kiossogram thing…..

Sami Kelsh

I do love the Doctor Who teas, Sil, thanks!

Glad it isn’t just me who wishes we’d seen Actual PC Amy instead of vague sex-related non-career!

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100

Catching up on some weekend backlog, as I spent most of the last few days alternately whinging at Gentleman about my lack of employment and, well, making googly eyes at Gentleman like the disgustingly cute couple we are.

If we were anyone else I’d be barfing at how schmoopy we are. It’s cloyingly gross.

Moving on. Not cloyingly gross is Vicki blend tea. Vicki’s lovely. I’d been on a real kick of both chestnut things and cardamom things, having had Nine tea shortly before this one, and making cardamom creme caramel for fancy late dessert when Gentleman came up from Oxford Friday night. I’ve done baked custards and flan and stuff before, but never a creme caramel, so I was chuffed to bits when I released the custards from the ramekins and they’d set perfectly with a pretty pool of runny caramel sauce surrounding them! Heck yeah! And cardamom marries so well with caramel flavours.

To that end, the tea. The leaves’ fragrance begins with that gorgeous cardamom warmth, moving into a lingering, almost buttery caramelized nutty sweetness, reminiscent of lovely, freshly-baked Scandinavian biscuits. When brewed and served with milk and sugar, the Irish Breakfast keeps the flavours from becoming overwhelmingly sugary, while the cardamom offers a lively counterpoint to the almost maple combination of chestnut and caramel. It’s every bit as bright and warm and lovely as one would rightly expect from Vicki.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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100

I’d meant to get this review in much earlier, but then, I’d also meant to get up and put the kettle on about three hours before I actually did. But hey, I applied for three jobs before actually getting out of bed today, so surely that must count as a bit of a win, yes?

I’m also meant to be at a comedy show tonight, but felt too maudlin to do any good at a venue full of giggles. Yeah, so that job I’m meant to have? Pretty sure I’m actually going to start sometime soon, so they say (it’s only been a month since I was offered the position, after all) but there was some kind of hassle with HR not being able to get in touch with either of my references? Gosh dammit! Managed to sort out an email from my old-old job today, but as for my last job, sent an email to them, but who knows. I really don’t want to have to ring them. Or go in and see them. Or anything. My contract ended so abruptly (I was told they weren’t renewing it on what turned out to be my last day, and just sort of had to awkwardly spend the rest of the shift organising baby clothes and feeling shellshocked and trying not to cry) that I’ve just sort of avoided having to actually talk to anyone there, except the one or two people I’m still friends with. Oh, somebody get HR onto my new job’s HR people or something! MY KINGDOM FOR A HASSLE-FREE TRANSITION INTO EMPLOYMENT!

Ok, so my point is, I really, really like Nine. I like Nine himself, and I like this tea. The leaves smell like cozy, fresh-baked goodness, and I just wanted to bury my nose in the bag. Brewed, it’s dark and strong and warm and sweet. At first, I couldn’t taste aniseed at all, instead getting a hint of cinnamon warmth beneath a cozy blanket of sweet chestnut. This was fine for me, as I’d been worried about whether or not I’d like aniseed with the other flavours. It emerges into the aroma and taste as the tea cools a little, but it’s harmonious. If anything, this tea reminds me of taai taais, those soft cookies I used to treasure when they’d emerge in the Dutch supermarket around Christmas time, somehow one of the very few foods where I actually really love that aniseed flavour. I love it here, too: there’s a real nostalgic warmth to this for me, it’s a celebration of comforting flavours put together in an exciting new way, just like Nine’s season was a celebration of how wonderful Doctor Who is, nostalgic and beloved, but also exciting and new. It’s nice to be able to relive that. This is good.

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

Yay! So glad you enjoyed him :)

Sami Kelsh

Oh man, he’s so cozy and joyous! Thanks so much for sharing!

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90

Well, my headache’s gone and I managed one futile job application and did a painting. Ho hum. A cuppa tea while I decide whether I want celery and peanut butter or cup a soup for dinner. Mmm, tastes like poverty.

My one solace is tea. I must confess that I spent most of my cup’s brewing time with my nose buried in the bag, relishing the scent of sweet, sun-dried apricot and floral honey. The tea’s flavour begins with a bold hit of lavender, transitioning into bright, sweet-tart apricot, and ending with a lightly tannic finish: a brilliant interplay of flavours in perfect sync with one another. Brisk, brave, and delicious hot or cold, this is the kind of blend I’d rescue from a burning building without a second thought. It’s like a cuddle from your best friend, and goodness knows, cuddles wouldn’t go amiss round these parts right now.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec

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80

Big thanks again to Sil for sending this along in our exchange!

Oh, my head hurts today. It hurts like somebody’s prying open my forehead with a pair of rusty kitchen tongs in order for a flock of pigeons to crap directly on the surface of my brain. Either that or I’m about to give birth to Athena. I felt fine until I got that rejection from last week’s interview! Bloody bloody bloody. Back to the drawing board, I suppose. Would it be too much to ask that the mug cozy business began to boom and I could make my rent selling pretty knitted things on etsy? Probably. Maybe I should start approaching local tea rooms with the things. It’s not the worst idea I’ve had. Kelsh needs income.

Heck, I can’t even land a temp gig like Donna! Donna’s kind of my hero. She’s, I dunno, probably somewhere around my age, leads a fairly aimless life career-wise, just like me, and then goes on to go on all kinds of space adventures, kicking ass and taking names and saving everything. And she’s a total sassmaster. Donna’s the best thing to come out of the new series. So there.

This tea almost lives up to her sassy awesome. It’s just a little quiet, like Jack’s was yesterday. But the hints of citrus and cinnamon are definitely taking the edge off my headache. The Irish breakfast base has enough backbone that it doesn’t taste too watery or astringent, and milk and sugar are welcome additions to the brew. There’s a bit of orange that carries through, while cinnamon provides a warmth that builds toward the end of the sip. It’s Donna in one of her quieter moments, but I can definitely see her appeal.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Christina

That knitting for tea shops thing sounds like a good idea. You should go for it!

keychange

Job hunting can feel so soul-destroying. I hope your head stops hurting soon.

Sami Kelsh

I will! At the very least, I risk looking a bit of a muppet if nobody’s interested. What the hey. I don’t need to show my face in town ever :p

Sami Kelsh

Aww, thanks keychange. I miss when my life was full of promise and my soul wasn’t so bruised. At least the caffeine and warmth from the tea seems to have improved my head!

DeliriumsFrogs

Job hunting is the worst… the worst!!
I hope things turn around for you soon (and your pretty knitted things sounds so lovely….).
Your adoration of Donna is entirely appreciated; she’s utterly fantastic.
If a TARDIS shows up outside your apartment soon, I sure hope you keep us up to date on your tea drinking while you travel all of space and time….. :)

Sami Kelsh

Aww, thank you muchly :3

Also, if the Doctor decides to take me on an adventure, don’t worry: I’m sure the TARDIS has wifi. And we’ll be stopping off to pick up my tea stash and my boyfriend, so I figure we can stop at a Three store and get an intergalactic data plan for my iphone too.

DeliriumsFrogs

I’ll be like Wilf, looking up in the sky waving at you (hopefully wearing an awesome Wilf hat….he always had great hats…. Oh, I LOVE WILF!!!….).

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70

Finally, I’m back from Easter weekend! Came home to a rejection letter (boo) and finally enough time to sit down and properly taste the teas sent to me by the lovely Sil in our swap!

So, Captain Jack Harkness. If I’m honest, I was expecting something a bit louder, but with a dark undercurrent, and it’s subtle compared to that. But that being considered, it’s tasty! The scent is a full-on boom of chocolate, though I wasn’t surprised this fell away a bit when brewed, looking at the ingredients. I feel like the amount of ceylon in here waters down what could be a more indulgent brew, but the almond in the fragrance gives me a scent that reminds me interestingly of oats and a touch of booze, and then the chocolate comes back in as the predominant flavour. It’s light and lovely, and definitely cries out for milk and sugar to balance it. All things considered, a pleasant brew indeed. It’s not leaping out of the cup and snogging me with flavour, but certainly making my day a little brighter.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec
__Morgana__

Love “snogging with flavor.” ;-) I really miss Captain Jack—I wish they’d do another season of Torchwood. Does the tea make you think of long coats? Sorry about the rejection. :-(

carol who

I would have thought it would be a bold tea also. And truly I love his coat. I don’t think i would want another season. I didn’t particularly like Miracle Day and I think the show was so much better with the whole cast. But I do love Captain Jack. Maybe he will show up again in Doctor Who.

It’s too bad about about the job. My younger daughter (32 yrs.) has been looking for another job and she gets so discouraged. :-(

Sami Kelsh

I didn’t watch Miracle Day. I liked the show as an ensemble, but it just wouldn’t be the same if half of them weren’t there.

Jobs are dumb. Interviewed twice in the space of a week, felt really positive, rejected from both. Back to square one, with nothing but my income tax refund to keep me afloat for another month, then, uhh… who the heck knows how I’ll pay the rent.

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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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http://samikelsh.com

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