241 Tasting Notes

100

I swear to Gosh, the further the release date for Seasons Of War the more nervous I get. My critical works have been widely enough read, and I’ve given talks at conferences and stuff, but the fictional world is a whole other kettle of fish. The kind of fans who actually pay to read stuff that somebody’s written are going to read this thing! curls up into a shaking ball of fear

Fortifying tea is like oddly really good for nervous me. This is probably why I drink so much of it, apart from deliciousness. And since this is a good tea choice if you’re going to find yourself fighting Daleks and stuff for a couple centuries, it’s good enough for me. With its roasty-toasty aroma reminiscent of puffed-grain cereals, it’s wholesome with a subtle touch of sweetness. This flavour, earthy and brown, is warmed with sweet notes of aniseed and a slight undertone of cinnamon. It’s surprisingly light-bodied, a restorative blend that won’t weigh you down when you’ve got a lot to get done, like drinking a lovely Scandinavian crispbread. It has loads of flavour but still light and balanced. Man, that’s good tea.

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90

Another 3 days of overindulgence for New Years, and now home again. I can’t believe it’s 1995 already, where DOES the time go?

I’m feeling the need for a) restorative; and b) digestion-friendly teas lately, as my stomach’s really suffering from so many days of eating the wrong foods. Pu erh usually settles me well, so I thought I’d give this one a go.

And yeah. YEAH. I sliiiiiiiiiiiightly worried about the marriage of pu erh and berry flavours, and when this brewed up and I got a strong whiff of dark, farmy pu erh goodness, my worry continued. But man. It’s nice. The initial aroma of earthy farm fragrance gives way to this juicy, almost jammy blackberry taste, and then transforms back into farmy, dark hay. How is this so good. Why is this so good? We just don’t know, but it is.

Sami Kelsh

Aye, that it be. Finally!

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100

I’ve been eating far too much food. Tried to correct this the last couple days with cleansing salads and my very favourite sweet potato and coconut soup (it’s creamy and low-calorie and cooks in nearly moments) and now it’s New Years and I just baked a linzertorte and a cinnamon and cardamom babka to take to a big food party. WHOOPS. Will I ever fit into my wedding dress? Who’s to say?

But Clara is magnificent, isn’t she? The initial fragrance of the dry leaves is BANG! cinnamon, like, cinnamon hearts sweet and hot and intense, with a moment of orange and little finish of chocolate adding complexity. The sweet, warming cinnamon sits firmly at the forefront of the flavour as well, but elevated mid-sip by top notes of bright, sharp orange, and an undercurrent of dark, earthy cocoa lends depth and gravity to the flavour. Wowzers. There’s a lot more to this blend than it may seem at first, and what a fascinating, gorgeous blend it turns out to be.

Also, as someone who now writes about Doctor Who (among other things) in a sort of professional-ish capacity, MAN do some people have an irrational hate for Clara. It makes me sad. I was so grateful they actually gave her things to do and material to work with this past series, but apparently to some people this means that she’s too important. They probably thought she was useless before. eyeroll

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96

Almonette cookies.

Like, you know those gorgeous, delicately flavoured, perfectly crumbly iced cookies Voortman makes? Man, those were my favourite when I lived in Canada. I didn’t realise how much I missed them until I had this tea, and it was the same gloriously biscuitty, just a hint of almondiness, buttery gorgeousness, bolstered by a really nice backbone of earthy pu erh. I’m on my second steep of this and having au naturel this time after trying it first with milk. Yeah. This is a winner. I expect this one will stay in rotation in my cupboard until you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

hoards

Fjellrev

OMG, those were my favourite growing up. I had no idea they were called that since our local grocery store just had all of them bulk, so they were “seashell cookies” to me haha.

ashmanra

I am nearly out of this one, :(

Sami Kelsh

I used to get them from the bulk section too! Those were the glorious days. I didn’t even know they still made them until I HAD to do a google search to recall the name of the thing this tea reminded me of. SO GOOD.

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52

Something went… wrong here. Maybe it’s just my tastebuds going haywire because they’re still remembering the sheer amount of potato I managed to scoop into my body over the holiday, but behind the fragrance of this (which in the bag is THE NICEST PEACH PASSIONFRUIT FRUITY FRUITY FRUITNESS I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY NOSE) but there’s something just not jiving with my tastebuds in the flavour at all. This makes me sad because it’s a green oolong blend and should be so good, but somehow I wasn’t able to make it work today.

Which, admittedly, was the only blot on an otherwise spotless day of previewing forthcoming entertainments from the BBC and writing reviews of them, which is kind of an awesome thing to be a thing I do. Oh yeah, and the postie brought me the giant box of teas that included this one. Guess they can’t all be my favourite, though – maybe I can see if somebody else has a better time with it?

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99

I’m getting masses of chocolate mid-sip with this today, and a creamy rosy finish. It’s just what I need to forget about what a bouncy lardbutt I’ve become and how Christmas at the in-laws and the relentless stream of English food really isn’t helping.

My kingdom for, like, nothing but miso soup and wilted kale!

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90

I’m going to be crazy sad when I run out of this stuff, as I’m surely in no place to buy anything else until I whittle my collection down a little – there’s some stuff I’m just not really drinking I should probably see about passing onto others, come to think of it.

In the meantime, what few cups remain of this tea. Oh man. I had two steeps of it this afternoon, and it is joyous. It’s the perfect choice for those times when you can’t really decide if you want coffee or tea, and honestly you could use something that will settle your tummy a bit and nothing that gets terribly bitter. Because of the pu’erh, this doesn’t really get bitter at all and has a nice earthiness that I’m always happily amazed melds so seamlessly with flavours of coffee. I like this one like I like my coffee: a little sweet and with a splash of milk. Jolly good.

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100

The only thing I don’t love about this tea is the way that anything with chamomile in it means that little bits of the flowers get stuck in my strainer and they’re a bit of a bother to scrub out when I clean it afterwards. But more importantly, what I like about it is that it doesn’t keep me awake if I drink it 10 minutes before bed and it’s chock-full of appley, honeyed, floral goodness. How cozy.

In other news, my bank account has descended into the single digits, and I’m not entirely sure what day I actually get paid next, which is, you know, fun times just before Christmas. starts furiously making tea cozies for etsy

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100

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85

Hello, beautiful.

I’ve been battling flu for a ridiculous, what, four weeks now? This is just getting stupid.

As such, I’ve taken to drinking about twice as many cups of tea in a day as I normally do. Most of this is reasonably utilitarian office tea (read: stuff I don’t mind forgetting at work and can get a good 3 infusions out of) so I like to treat myself properly when I get home. This is tonight’s treat. I’m enjoying it while watching the Third Doctor (Inferno, if you’re wondering) and doing a sketch of Rocket and Groot for Gentleman’s Christmas gift. Oh, I do hope he likes it. Turns out I had no idea how to draw a raccoon!

Oh yes, the tea. It really is a lush indulgence, isn’t it? It’s got this really nice, toasty nut flavour and a bit of a brighter fruited finish. Lovely.

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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.

Location

The Mancunian Wilderness

Website

http://samikelsh.com

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