183 Tasting Notes
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I feel quietly positive about today’s interview, so there’s something, yes? Quietly less positive about the fact that I put on too much weight over the winter to be able to button up my blazer, but I just installed Pact on my phone and I’m hoping that’ll keep me at least reaching for fresh fruit instead of Wotsits when I’m hungry between meals.
And then there’s this tea. So I overleafed and oversteeped largely by mistake, and then added too much milk to use up the last of the jug because today’s its best before date, and then because I was out of the nice unrefined sugar I like to use in my tea, I added the teensiest drizzle of vanilla syrup instead. And what this magic combo produced was a predominant flavour that was so familiar, yet I couldn’t put my finger on what it was until I was about halfway through the cup.
It had a sort of sweet, roasty, almost grain flavour, but not exactly. It was like the maltiness of the tea had been turned up to eleven. And then it hit me.
It was as though someone had put Ovaltine in my tea. Like Ovalteane. It was uncanny. And actually really, really delicious. I think I’ve found a new way of drinking this tea when I want something a little different. Because wowzers. That’s good stuff. Who’d have thought?
Another entry from the exciting Bluebird tea roulette collection, and MAN, it’s definitely a beet tea.
I felt like I needed something both calming and fortifying this morning, since I’m preparing for a job interview. The earthiness of beetroot seemed a good choice. The concept of a beet tea is new to me, and I was admittedly skeptical. The dry mix smells just like beets, and as it brews, I get the aroma of, well, cooked beets. And it brews up a vibrant shade of deep beetroot pink. This isn’t selling it well, but man, it’s actually really good! The flavour is strongly beet as well, but bolstered by subtle notes of sweet apple and a tart finish from the citrus and hibiscus. But mostly, it’s beet. And that’s actually making me feel really good about the morning. Thank you, beet!