41 Tasting Notes
I really enjoyed this tea, I know I did. Trouble is, I opened this sample the other night when I was really really not feeling good.
Here’s what I do know: I strained one cup off for the bf but left the ‘bits’ floating in mine. This was Brenden’s suggestion and I liked it. Camomile flowers are awesome all waterlogged and juicy, they kinda burst like teensie sweet little teapods when you chomp them. But… I really didn’t feel good that night and by the time I finished my cup (and half of his) my stomach was calm and I was out cold. Can’t properly review or rate because brain was off and I was unconscious before my teapot cooled. I am quite certain however that it was an excellent choice for a self-pitying tummy-aching, whinging, whining, it’s late and I wanna go to bed but everything feels like poo kinda night.
First, some background:
My first try with this sample was yesterday, and I shared it with the s.o. – who had also never tried a lapsang souchong before. He commented that it tasted, of course, like a campfire. And like scotch.
(Storm prep 101= acquire booze… achievement unlocked)
10:37 am, Alleged Storm Day:
Someone MIGHT have dribbled the teensiest bit of Ardbeg into my second steeping. That same someone might have also added one little brown fancy sugar cube and curled up in her pj’s with a view of the storm. Can’t say for sure. I can say that the first steeping tasted like two very different things; that super primal manmakefirecookbuffalo smell that I find unbelievably sexy, and the house I like to pretend I grew up in. Weird. My grandma’s place is full of antiques, many of them salvaged from her grandmother’s house after the old place had a lightning strike. Camelback steamer trunks, dolls and framed daguerreotypes smell like fire for good reason anyway though.
This. Is. Beautiful.
So, super storm hurricane whatever hitting today, raining already and I made it halfway to the office before deciding not to get trapped at work. Reading and cocoa today instead. Pj’s likely. Was going to have chai, but eww. I just ruined a perfectly good cup of coffee by adding a touch of this. I know, I bastardized this tea. Since this is the third time I have attempted to drink this, each time dressing it up more and more, I think can review with some authority though.
I know several people like this, in fact that is why I got it. Maybe they just sent me an off bag, but this is awful. My boyfriend claims it’s a big bag of ground coriander. I have never eaten a coriander, or to my knowledge seen one in the wild. Not sure I can describe it. There is a little ground ginger in this bag, and some cinnamon if I taste really hard, but mostly there is a bitter aromatic herb that has gripped my soft palate and is accumulating there making me kinda ill. I have tried this with some water, milk and sugar, good cream and honey. Pouring those out was sad, but losing a perfectly good cup of french press coffee was the last straw. If my favorite Indian restaurant doesn’t blow or swim away in this storm I will go find out what herb blend he uses.
There is, for those of you who have more decorum than I and thus are unaware, such a thing as the “I Got New Tea Today” dance. It may not be pretty, but it does exist. I would know, I just did it. Then I got down to business and sorted out what tea to try first.
This tea sample was one of the ones I scored in a ‘bunch of awesomeness’ sale from Brenden. For the record, he is great to order from, even when you do it all wrong. :)
This is yoga disguised as tea. I love it. It feels brisk and cooling from the mint, and it certainly has a sharpness to the smell because of it, but it is the best mint blend I have ever tried. Both mint and jasmine are flavors (and smells for that matter) that I adore in theory but get very sick of most of the time in practice. Two steeps in, it is staying wonderful, and just as intriguing as the description. In fact, the smell now reminds me of a wild mint patch I accidentally crushed once… Ah, some memories are not fit for public consumption!
Ahem. The jasmine smoothes the mint in both smell and taste and allows the tea to be a conversation, not an assault. Neither the spearmint or the peppermint ever quite takes over, and there is just perfectly enough jasmine to have a floral grace to the scent and a very unassuming sweetness throughout the cup. This is what I wanted peppermint green tea to be when I first tried it as a kid, mixed with what jasmine tea just plain ol’ lies and pretends to be when it is trying to trick you into sipping perfume. Wow. This is an excellent blend.
I had completely forgotten about this tea until this morning. I bought this at Whole Foods on my way in to the office one morning many moons ago, before I knew what ‘puerh’ meant. Poor innocent me, at the time I just wanted a strong butt-kicking tea for my non-coffee morning. I still haven’t tried a real pu-erh, but a bag of this was enough one day to put me off and teach me that I know nothing about tea.
I still can’t stand the smell of this one, and it is a very …fragrant mug. FYI, for anyone who might be tempted by my sexy sexy review: it is a terrible idea to carry a mug around the office that smells like moldy old straw and a barn full of poo. I remember now why I hid this box of tea in the work cupboard instead of keeping it in my tea drawer in my desk. My co-workers hate me. I bet I could go home sick today with little to no explanation, though. (Trying not to torture myself with the thought that they probably think this smell is somehow coming from me!) With this one cup of tea I bet I could fertilize my whole garden. I keep eyeing the bottom of the mug to see if there’s a horse farting up at me. – Not sure yet, it’s still pretty dark in there.
That being said, I’m still drinking it. It tastes better than it smells. I am from Nebraska, and while this smells gawdawful, it tastes like the farm smells. Tobacco ash, old leather, dust, straw, black walnut. I want a scotch. Wow, I wonder if it’s possible to mix this tea and a really really peaty scotch, like a Laphroaig, in some sort of recipe? It’s the only thing I can think of that could possibly save it.
So, after all that… does anyone want some of this?
So, I had tried a few yerba mate blends before, and even got a surprise gourd, straw and pound of mate from some friends overseas a few years back. Admittedly at the time I was very politely ungrateful and all “My friends moved to Argentina and all I got was this nasty bitter dusty tea!” Though not out loud, of course. Turns out I just hated the type of mate. This stuff is much better.
This green mate is MUCH better than the dry dusty brown stuff I am used to. It has a bitterness still, but much more subdued, and it can stand on its own or particularly well with a bit of sweetener. I also tend to toss a bag of lipton lemongrass ginger tea in with this. Yeah, I said it. Trust me, (or better yet try it) – it’s good.
I’ve tried and tried but couldn’t enjoy the smoked stuff. Several of my friends developed a taste for it, but I suspect that has more to do with the buzz than the flavor. This has the same buzz but doesn’t taste like chewing a wet cigar out of an ashtray.