248 Tasting Notes

90

Yes, rhubarb good. The past two days I’ve been off work (because apparently “we can give you full-time hours” actually means “we’ll text you at 4:30 in the afternoon to let you know whether or not to bother coming in the next day, and then wait another day to tell you if you’re coming in at all this week”) and MAN have I apparently needed mountains of rest. Left bed proper at, umm, 3 today? The good news is I can sort of lift my right arm but my ankles are a bit wobbly. Doesn’t bode well, nope.

But rhubarb and custard is always a welcome treat. I pretty much love rhubarb anything, and since this tastes joyously of sweet, cooked rhubarb, it comforts my beleaguered soul quite well indeed.

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89
drank Cookie by Lupicia
248 tasting notes

Well. This tea is just what I needed.

I’d been saving this sample from sil for a rainy day, and it’s hammering it down, so it seems apt. Metaphorically hammering, mind: started my new job a few weeks ago, and MAN, is it not what I was told I’d be doing when I accepted the post. I’ve never been in a situation where a job, or anything for that matter, has left me feeling so continually angry. This, combined with my not being able to lift my right arm due to apparently having injured it quite badly while working on Saturday, and my not actually knowing what my work schedule is even meant to be this week – and I was promised full-time – is wearing me down horribly. I can’t stay. I also can’t afford any period of unemployment, as it looks like I’ll be paying rent on two properties as ownership of my former flat is changing hands right before I’d planned to vacate it, meaning I have to wait to talk to the new owners to give notice, and… ugh. Definitely can’t afford paying on two flats, let alone one. None of this is okay.

This tea is a tonic for my increasingly frayed nerves. I can see why it’s so well-loved! I’m met with a lovely nutty butteriness that’s got definite biscuit notes to it, without being overwhelmingly sweet. It’s such a comfort, and I’m so glad to have had the chance to try it out!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 45 sec
yyz

Sorry, that your job has not lived up to first impressions, feel for you and sympathize with the situation of having to pay for two places at once. Hopefully when things settle down you can find something less stressful. Hope your arm heals quickly.

TeaBrat

Sorry to hear about all of this, please take care of your arm and see a doctor!

TheTeaFairy

That’s so sad…I was so happy for you a few weeks ago. Hope things get resolved, in the mean time, take care of yourself.

Sami Kelsh

Thanks, gang. Apparently, first order of business when I’m moved into my SWEET new digs here in Oxford is to get registered with a GP, so if my ouchies don’t subside, I’ll have somebody to talk to about them. In the meantime, reeeeeeeeeeeally hoping the shop manager of the bakery will take my health and safety concerns more seriously than the person I’ve been working with. Otherwise, I’m not willing to stay.

In the meantime, tea. hugs everybody

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100

I’m posting less frequently than I ought to be largely because I AM ATTEMPTING TO MOVE TO OXFORD and man, it is stressful. I mean, I’m IN Oxford, but most of my stuff is still up in Manchester, and I have to end my lease up there and get into a place here and it’s so stressful aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa tries not to cry But hey, I’m waking up at 5 in the morning to make bagels all day, so it could be worse. I’ve got a massive backlog of teas to note, so will attempt to, like, get back to posting normal, I promise.

But first, Iris, which is decidedly not normal at all. She’s a pretty ridiculous blend, actually. Even without the sprinkles, the colours of this tea are joyous: the leaves are a rainbow of orange and red and green and pink and blue, and a myriad of shapes and sizes. And then, to top it all off, RAINBOW SPRINKLES. The fragrance hits you as loudly as the colours do, a sharp and bold hit of citrus and pine: stick with it a moment longer, and notes of aniseed and rose waltz in with all the air of your tipsy auntie. When brewed, it’s as good dry as it is sweet, so take it as you’d take your gin. Sugar brings out the subtle aniseed notes that follow the bergamot that anchors the blend, while whispers of rose lend a soft roundness to the blend’s lively mouthfeel. It tastes like a crisp, complex mix of botanicals that positively demands to be made into a cocktail. I like to think that dear Auntie Iris would most definitely approve.

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

Glad to hear from you! I’ve missed your posts. And of course, I’m jealous of your DW teas!!!!!

yyz

Sympathise! When I arrived in Dublin in the height of the Celtic Tiger, we still had no place to nlive despite looking online through the wonderful
http://www.daft.ie/dublin/houses-to-rent/ and other sites for months ( to be honest I could probably of taken a place myself, but I had agreed to live with two others and they wanted such luxuries as a second bath etc.). The company I worked for agreed to put us up in a hotel for two days, but short term accommodation was rediculously expensive and the real estate market was insane. We ended up finding a place through a general add I placed on daft. We really lucked out. Our lanlord kept all the bills in his name so we didn’t have to set anything up for our 4 month rental and he treated us like gold. Though we did find out about such things as the TV tax etc. Hope you have good luck with your real estate issues.

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88
drank Jasmine by Booths
248 tasting notes

Okay, so I’ve been a bit horribly rubbish at keeping updated on my tea adventures, but this is partly because I’ve not had enough chance to drink all my teas! That is to say, I spent more of last week in Oxford than I did at home in Manchester, in part because a local ice cream cafe in Oxford invited me to interview last week, and hired me on the spot to work in the bakery. I’M GETTING PAID TO BAKE STUFF, GUYS. This is huge.

I’m applying my craft to creating the most perfect traditional bagels and developing exciting and innovative new pastries and refining existing recipes. I have a feeling that it’s going to be so rewarding.

This is the first tea I made for myself when I arrived home Tuesday night, in part because I’d not been home for nearly a week and my milk had gone off, and in part because I find jasmine to be such a serene, uplifting, and comforting taste. This tea fits the bill perfectly. It’s a beautiful, pure jasmine, floral but not cloying, not too girly. Just very nicely balanced. This tea was a gift from Gentleman, when he spied it at the Booths supermarket (which, I believe, is a small chain mostly local to Lancashire and known for stocking very high quality foods) when visiting a few weekends ago. I’m so blessed with this life.

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

Woo Hoo baking for Pay Checks! Of course that means lots of tea to go with those bagels.

keychange

Omg!! congratulations on the baking gig! you’ve needed to be paid for your baking since forever. So happy!!

TheTeaFairy

So, so happy for you!

yyz

Congrats! Glad your enjoying it so far.

carol who

That’s truly wonderful! Glad to hear you got a job you’ll like. Money is always a good thing! :-) Does that also mean you’ll be in Oxford with your Gentleman?

Sami Kelsh

Thanks guys! The salary isn’t huge, but it feels SO good to be doing, well, baking!

Sil

Congrats! That’s so great!

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99

I love this tea so much that it inspired me to bake a cake that tastes like it.

And oh daaaaaaaaaamn, it was GOOD.

Memily

True love!

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90

This was the only tea that I tried to make at the end of a very long workday that remotely appealed. I can’t explain it. Everything smelled wrong and not as it should, except this. This was the miracle tea that made everything all better.

Oh, my kingdom for a life with a steady income and some measure of certainty about my future. Just a smidge. At least this tea is consistently creamy and biscuit-y and perfect and just fills me with quiet comfort and joy.

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95

Fun fact: drink this to accompany a good cinnamon bun.

Your taste buds will thank you. It’s like they were made for each other.

I think I had a flavourgasm. I’m getting more of the chocolate this time, and cardamom and chilli besides. A good heat in the mix today. It’s a nice burn. It’s the kind of burn that reminds you that you’re alive, that life is worth living, and that you should take every opportunity to let your friends and family and partners know how much you love them.

Okay, so now I’m getting sentimental because I found out after work today that a dear friend of many of my dear friends has died quite suddenly. It’s that weird sort of grief, where his presence and influence has been known to me for ages despite never having had the chance to actually meet up with him myself, so I would feel wrong to grieve on a personal level, like it would be an appropriation of other people’s relationships and emotions to do so, but on the other hand, I feel so much for those I know and love who knew and loved him who are stunned and saddened by this loss that I can’t help feeling it too. More than anything, it makes me want more than ever to tell my friends, my partner, and my family just how much I love and value them all, because life and death are such fickle, unpredictable things, and you can see someone healthy and happy and in good spirits one day, and the next thing you know, they’re gone. So I treasure every moment I get to be with the people I love, because those moments are truly the most precious things in the world.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
TheTeaFairy

Thank you for this post, it’s beautiful. Sorry for your friend’s loss and yours through them…

MissB

I’d say it’s perfectly right to grieve on a personal level; this person has obviously touched you, even if for having never met. Hugs to you and yours, I hope that his life is celebrated as beautifully as it was with this post.

Sami Kelsh

hugs everyone

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89

Sweet Jesus H. Corbett, this is really something.

It took me a few sips to put my finger on exactly what I was tasting beyond a darkly fruity sweetness, but I got there by about a third in, and what a revelation it was. The flavour is an inspired confluence of roasted pumpkin, dark treacle, and abura-age, those savoury-sweet tofu pouches used to make inari sushi. Every sip opens up new dimensions of beauty to me. It’s magnificent.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 30 sec
Sil

woohooo!!

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96
drank Fleurilège by Dammann Freres
248 tasting notes

Whoops, I kind of fell off the radar there for a bit. To be fair, I also wasn’t drinking nearly enough tea, and was mostly drinking PG Tips when I was down in Oxford (where I stayed for an extra day, whoops) and then I started my new job, so yeah. Busy bumbly bee.

Remind me to bring a small pantry of teas next time I’m down at Gentleman’s for the weekend. I can’t take it anymore. Plus, I practically half live there already, so it’s only right I have my teas with me!

As for this one, a gift from the lovely sil in our exchange. Oh hellooooooooo, baby. It’s actually been a few days since I had it and hadn’t had time to write up a note, but its beauty has stuck with me. What a cozy, delicious wonder. There’s a very true vanilla and lovely hazelnut that sit in perfect balance over the base, and it’s creamy and comforting. And then there’s this sort of lovely, perfumed almost fruit flavour that’s hiding under there, that’s really difficult to describe at this distance from it, but MAN, it was like a hug from the inside, like a really gentle party in my mouth. You know, the kind of party where it’s just three or four of your best friends just chilling out on the patio of an evening with soft music and conversation that stretches on far into the night. That kind of party. That’s this tea. Yeah, it’s a good ’un.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Sil

awesome. So glad some of the teas i sent were the sort that make you happy to just have new tea friends lol

Sami Kelsh

So joyous! You’re awesome!!!

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74
drank PG Tips by PG Tips
248 tasting notes

BLERG. My allegies have hit something fierce, even though I’m taking allergy pills every day. A combination of cat and springtime is killing my senses. Ughhhhhhh.

That said, I filmed an episode of Coronation Street on Friday, and it went really well. I do hope they invite me back to reprise my role sometime. I can’t say much more because spoilers, but hopefully I won’t forget to check when it’s on! Anywho. Hoovered about 5 cups of this throughout the day, and as far as basic tea goes, I do prefer it to some. It’s quite strong, so to be honest I only brew it for a minute while stirring my sugar in and then dump the bag. It’s not got that sort of cardboard taste you get with some basic black teas that I find really blech. It’s pretty strong and smooth.

Also, on an almost totally unrelated note, yesterday was Gentleman’s birthday party, and along with the vegetable lasagne and roast and vegetables and salad and garlic bread and everything, I made a Doctor Who Death To The Daleks quarry cake. It was a dark chocolate and tonka bean sponge sandwiched with tonka bean buttercream, enveloped in dark chocolate ganache, and scattered with a cascading landslide of cornflake-marshmallow cookie crumb soil, and the TARDIS and a small army of Daleks dotting the landscape. I’m stupidly proud of this thing.

https://24.media.tumblr.com/d43a1f975094ef64246f63cedb1a2cd5/tumblr_n50pyp9OIk1qcrdsao5_500.jpg
https://24.media.tumblr.com/114e6b732a5f0e64be7e6cc3a6e8f579/tumblr_n50pyp9OIk1qcrdsao3_500.jpg
https://31.media.tumblr.com/93e9c3d92fd53292db49e0e4030bdc5a/tumblr_n50pyp9OIk1qcrdsao2_500.jpg

Yep.

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec
Christina

Congratulations on your guest spot! I don’t watch Corrie, but my mother-in-law does. I wonder if the episodes air at the same time in both countries? Also, that cake sounds delish.

carol who

What a cute cake! Thanks for sharing the pictures!

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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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The Mancunian Wilderness

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