203 Tasting Notes
So today I learned an important lesson, namely that sometimes it’s not stronger or braver to persevere, but to admit something’s not working, give up, and move on. And that’s how I quit my job.
Not an easy decision by any stretch, but really, if someone or something at work makes you cry more than 3 times in a week, get out. Don’t give it a little extra time or see if your boss can accomodate your concerns. Cut your losses and go. It will only get bad again.
So a cozy tea was in order, and OH GOD THIS TEA IS GLORIOUS. I’ve been nursing and resteeping the heck out of it because I desperately don’t want to run out of this beautiful stuff. It’s just got that wonderful spicy warmth that I love in a chai, and the spices are sharp, backed by a creaminess that manages not to be too sweet, which is a problem I find with many chai blends. It gives me strength. It is good. This tea, right here.
Is it weird that I keep mixing this tea with other stuff to make other things more extra delicious?
Because it’s a really good use for it, because it’s delicious, and it makes lots of other things more delicious too. I’ve mixed it with pu erh, and strawberry teas, and fennel, and dark oolongs. I’m thinking of seeing what happens if I mix it with beet tea. OMG.
MAN. You know when you have a job, and you have interviews for other jobs, but you’re not telling this to anyone at your job for obvious reasons? Does anybody else feel like they’re being unfaithful when this happens? Because I sort of got offered a job that I started this week, and I’m signing the paperwork and what have you for Friday, but I had an interview yesterday for another job, and another tomorrow, and then another next Thursday, and I feel more than a little sheepish that I might bail out of this place less than 2 weeks after I started there, potentially. And I mean, notice period’s supposed to be 4 weeks, but if I’ve literally been there under a month, can they really enforce it? Because GOODNESS KNOWS I AM NOT STAYING IN A PART-TIME £11,000 A YEAR JOB IF SOMEBODY OFFERS ME FULL-TIME AND £24,000. Because I’m skint. And I could really use, you know, an actual income, so I can, you know, stay alive. But still. It’s going to be a ballache to have to recruit/train another person at such short notice, so I feel like a dick for not calling off my job search. But dammit, a girl’s gotta eat.
And drink tea. Caffeine-free, because I’m still getting over plague, and soothingly orangey and honey and sweet and cozy. What a good tea.
Had this as a cold-brew on the train home from Cardiff today after 8 or so hours’ brewing in a water bottle in my purse. Makes a really refreshing cold-brew, this one, with a good balance of citrus and mint and hibiscus, and I’m sure it probably helped hold off the onset of the ridiculousness that’s now plaguing my sinuses until I was finished with the day’s business. Though I do have to remember that if I’m going to cold-brew this one, that if I leave the bits floating around in the bottle (as I usually do), I’m likely to ingest most of the littler bits of peppermint and lemon verbena and stuff as I go.
Thankfully, I’m not too fussed about bits!
The bad news: I have come down with man-flu. Gentleman and I are not feeling too fabulous today. I can, mercifully, still taste this tea, as it’s one of my cozy, cuddly favourites. So oatmeal-y and soft and warm with no bitterness. Joy.
The good news: thanks to the good people at Cultbox, I spent today on the set of the Doctor Who Christmas special. I can’t go into any detail at all as it’s under embargo until nearer the airdate, but had the opportunity to interview a number of actors, and while I was there spent a while chatting to the executive producer, met the episode’s director on set and got to see some very interesting things being filmed, and Peter Capaldi said hi to me. SWOON. So yeah. Good day. Eternally grateful to my press buddy Blogtor for hooking me up with the gig, and for the good folks at the BBC for being such gracious hosts. Heavens to betsy.
Oh Peri, you peachy, wholesome wonder! I genuinely don’t know how to describe this without using the word wholesome. It’s so good with a bit of sugar and milk and it tastes like liquid breakfast. SO FLIPPING WHOLESOME.
And while I drink this tea, I reflect on the million crazy things all happening to me at once. Two job interviews (one first interview, the other I’ve been shortlisted from the initial round of interviews and asked back for a second) for positions I’d LOVE to be doing (and the pay raise is nothing to shake a stick at either) and two job offers (both of which are less than ideal in terms of hours/money but anything’s better than being a temp forever). All in the space of like a week and a half. And I’ve got a thing in a book coming out and I just got some news about a creative work-related gig that I can’t say anything at all about but OH MY GOSH IS A VERY GOOD ASSIGNMENT INDEED. So that’s all pretty dandy!
BUT. Because I’m technically still a temp, regardless of my salary or the months I’ve now been in steady and regular employ working within the university, because I’m a temp, my application was rejected by the people who do the vetting of potential tenants for the folks who manage the flat we’re moving into in a few weeks. Well, ISN’T THAT JUST WIZARD. We’ve managed to sort out a workaround that involves us putting in more money upfront than we can strictly afford, but seriously. Apparently regardless of how much income I’m actually taking home, for so long as I’m technically a temp, I can’t be trusted to live anywhere. Even with someone who’s making enough on his own to cover rent. Ferchrissakes! TOO MANY THINGS cries
So, it’s autumn. In the interest of attempting to embrace my inner (and I suppose outer) white girl, I tried a pumpkin spice latte from a certain major coffee shop chain in London on the weekend when I was DESPERATE for a warm drink before catching the coach home to Oxford.
Oh my sweet lord. Why. WHY WOULD I BE SO FOOLISH AS TO PUT THIS HORROR IN MY MOUTH. It was thick and sugary and tasted of no coffee whatsoever but just nutmeg and nutmeg and nutmeg and OH GOD WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE THIS NO NO NO. Maybe my palette is just not the right kind of middle-class, but the only spice I want going anywhere near my coffee is cardamom, as is justly popular across the Mediterranean and Middle East, and which I learned from a Saudi graduate student I worked with on proofreading her academic writing in English. So thank you for that, Roaa! That was some of the most enjoyable work I’ve done in this country.
Sometimes you need a tea you know will be good to get the memory of something awful away from your taste buds, and this tea really fit the bill. I was intrigued remembering that it was some kind of tropical fruity oolong, but forgetting exactly which fruits were involved. Somehow, what I got was a blend that was at turns dominated by instances of pineapple, leafy and autumnal oolong, and what it turns out was bergamot. Would I have ever thought of putting these flavours together? Goodness no! Have they completely surprised me in the best possible way? Heck yes!
This. THIS is what autumn tastes like to me. I rather love it. Thanks for sharing, Ysaurella!
Exciting times in this neck of the woods. I have an actual engagement ring now, and some pretty decent job prospects in the pipeline (Gosh willing) and in spite of my mountains of debt and stuff, I’m not quite so super scared all of the time. That’s good!
Plus, the Doctor Who anthology I’ve written for has already raised over £1000 for Caudwell Children, which is amazing and I’m so proud to be named among such epically good writers (and some other very impressive contributors) in this collection. Like hot JAM, you guys.
As to the tea, I may have slightly bought it because it was on sale for £3 off regular price, but. Man. This smells like peach nectar. Like, JUST like peach nectar. I’d easily believe you if you said this was a peach-flavoured green tea, based on the smell. It’s intense and so inviting; it reminds me of family and home and the little glasses of peach nectar my grandmother would serve when we came to visit.
And as for the taste, it takes on a slightly more grassy and vegetal quality once brewed, but instead of going away or being buried, that note of peach nectar (not fresh peaches, peach nectar) is joined by something like steamed artichoke. This is one that demands at least a second steep, as you can see the leaves clearly have some more unfurling to do after the first. Absolutely lovely.