195 Tasting Notes
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.
I was curious about this tea because I tend to appreciate plain black teas that have a figginess about their flavour already. This tea is kind of like that, turned up to eleven. To that end, it’s really lovely – lots of what I like in a black tea. This review is late so a lot of the finer details have escaped my seive-like memory, so further notes, I hope, will be better on the whole detail thing. But I quite liked it! Thanks to Ysaurella for sending this my way!
Well, I’ll be. I have a job interview next week. Huzzah!
And this tea is very nice! I’d completely forgotten what was meant to be in it when I made it, but as it brewed I got a fragrance most strongly reminiscent of biscuits. Like, plain rich tea biscuits: that simple comfort, not too sweet, the kind of thing your gran always has on hand to serve with tea when you come round to visit. A tea that smells just like those biscuits is kind of the best kind of meta.
And then there’s the flavour. And it’s rich and nutty and cozy and very nice indeed. I’m not sure I’d have picked out that it was chocolate I was tasting until I read that it was chocolate and almond, but then I was like, yeah, I totally get chocolate. So there’s that. And it’s not the sort of very marzipanny sort of almond flavour you get in a lot of almond teas, but more just a nice, creamy nuttiness. And I’m not sure I’d have picked out orange in it either, but I think it serves to sort of bolster the other flavours, rather than standing out as a flavour in itself. So all things considered, it’s a very interesting tea, and also very very good. Many thanks to Ysaurella for sending this little gem my way!
Well, I accidentally closed the window where I’d writtten but not posted a long, loving review about this tea, so the condensed version:
Almond, chocolate, cinnamon. Yum. One of my favourites of all time ever. Also, sent a story I’ve been agonising over to the editor today, and yeah. You’ll be hearing more about that on Monday when I’m, like, allowed to talk about it.
YES YES YES THIS IS GOOD OH HOT JAM
So, Gentleman and I are moving in together a lot sooner than we’d planned because of reasons and am I ever not over the last move yet! Blerg. But it’ll sure be nice to actually live together in one house instead of two, yes? Yes.
So, this tea. It’s like lovely crisp, juicy peaches, and then lovely crisp, juicy apples, and then cooked plums. SO MUCH COOKED PLUMS. Not raw plums, cooked plums. Like a beautiful, flavourful, sweet and tart plum compote. It’s an incredibly beautiful flavour. I’m in love. Thanks for sharing, Ysaurella!
Ok, so you know when you’ve been tasked with doing something and someone gives you a verbal bollocking for not doing it, but you did actually do it? Apparently, one of my flatmates is livid that I didn’t clean the house last weekend. Which I did do. Which involved spending my entire day off waiting to hoover up after a dude came round to replace our window after, you know, we were fucking burgled. But apparently the fact that the kitchen (which I never use) isn’t tidied AFTER I did the big weekly clean is my fault too. The good news is that presumably, I’ll be out of there in under 5 months’ time as I’m, you know, getting married to a nice person and we’ll probably want an entire flat to ourselves.
Let’s just… put the kettle on at Gentleman’s house (where no one is cross with me because, quelle surprise, yes I do actually clean up after myself, yeesh) and have a nice cuppa Ian Chesterton. Oh Sir Ian, I need your delicious, brisk and fruity strength today. Grumpy Sami is grumpy.
I am getting SO much honey out of this one. I’ve never had a tea that tasted so intensely and so beautifully of sweet, floral honey, without actually adding honey to it. This is so cool. There’s lovely strawberry jam in there as well (I think a good bit of the seedy jamminess is coming from the headiness of lovely fig) and I think the lavender, while I can’t pick it out as a definite flavour-in-itself, is bolstering the honeyed flavours instead. Oh, this is very nice indeed.
Big thanks to Ysaurella for sharing this with me!
Oh, this is beautiful. It’s got a wonderful smoothness, with a dry aroma of sweet and nutty grass, that gives way slightly to a brewed fragrance reminiscent of steamed vegetables and freshly-mown lawn. This probably doesn’t sound as delicious as it is. It’s got a lovely gentle sweetness and has a smooth, very soft mouthfeel. A quintessentially green tea in the best possible way, really.
I have like a million things to be stressed about at the moment (like the way that my banking app seems to be really rubbish with actually showing me how much money I have in real time, so I keep getting unpleasantly surprised by how poor I am, GREAT) so it’s really nice to have something mellow and nice to make me feel all warm and happy in the evening.
OH GOD NO ANYTHING BUT KANDYMAN IT IS THE STUFF OF NIGHTMARES and I’m almost sorry that it’s actually cracking good stuff, for reals. I mean, the tea’s a visual cacophony of myriad bits and sprinkles, but it smells gorgeous, all sweetness and berry candy, with a splash of watermelon to finish. Once it starts to brew, the aroma turns sour, like, mouth-puckeringly tart and tangy sour sweeets, with a liberal dose of sweet-tart lemonheads thrown in for good measure. And it’s definitely tart when it’s brewed up too, but with waves of juicy fruit flavour and a little sweetness. Add sugar and it tastes like melon berry skittles and still smells like lemonheads. And it’s definitely safer than the fondant surprise. And sprinkles.
Seriously, I had panic nightmares at least once after Miwk commissioned me to paint the Kandyman because he scares the living crap out of me. But I persevered in the name of, like, a paid illustration job for publishers I love doing Doctor Who.
In other news, I’m wearing an elastic sort of awkwardly looped on my finger as a placeholder because HE SAID YES, GUYS. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee