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Adventures in tea drinking!
My morning sachet of this completely overturned, dumping all the loose leaf into the cup, where it pooled at the bottom like a malevolent seaweed cluster.
I strained the leaf out, and was left with a really rather nice cup of this warming chai. A good glend for a morning.
Part of my sipdown mania is fueled by the fact that I have plenty of teas I have not yet tasted in my cupboard! Shameful. Time to get sipping.
I bought this on a little trip I took back in September, and have not yet tried. Well, the madness stops today! A pot of this shall be my morning treat.
This is a nice chai. Its got a nice spiciness without being overwhelming, so its a very warm cup of spices.
I’m glad I have this! Its really nice!
Ever since I got this, I’ve thought of it more as a daytime herbal than an evening herbal. Its the chai spices, which seem too lively to really work for me at night.
So, into the work bag it goes, where it shall serve as my “other” blend, until it is sipped down.
It does its job very, very well, but the idea of an herbal chai has me more jazzed than the actual reality of an herbal chai.
Its a cold and foggy day. The perfect day to go to yoga, come home, and hang out in my warm house with tea, movies and my knitting. Just perfect!
I am having a cup of this, a herbal chai, and it was very nice indeed today. Trouble is I wasn’t paying good attention to the steep time, so I’m not quite sure what I did.
Oh well! I’ll just have to try again next cup, and see if I can recreate it.
I am now 100% unable to get Star Wars out of my mind.
I’m one of lifes big nerds. Science fiction, magic, people with swords and capes? Dragons? Robots? Sweeping soundtracks? Sign me up. And Star Wars has been a much beloved property since my older sister showed it to me and our brother when she was babysitting us one day. I was in love, and nothing (not even freaking Jar Jar Binks) would diminish my love.
But, you know how you think you can appreciate something and love it and feel comfortable that you have thought all the thoughts and loved all the love for it? Well, the Last Jedi has proven me wrong. I didn’t expect this film to make me love the franchise more, but it has, and I’m turning the film over and over in my mind like a river stone, practically aching for the next one to come out.
Eeek. What do you mean, 2019? Eeeeeek!
Its a good thing there are lots of other movies between now and then for me to geek out to. (I’m looking at you, Infinity War).
Which is a very off topic way of saying that I drank this tea and thought about the Last Jedi, and enjoyed its spicy qualities while doing so.
So I went on a long weekend away last week, and came home with a couple of new teas. That’s turning into one of my favorite things to do while traveling, finding what teas I don’t have around my area, and snapping them up.
As I am now in the throws of drinking more teas in the evening, my collection of herbals is blooming, and this looked like a lovely addition to that collection.
So yesterday, after my yoga class, I broke open Yoga Blend.
Yum! This is like chai in herbal form. Proper chai, rich, spicy, warming. I like it a lot!
This would be excellent for a cold, especially with a little wild honey.
I love how all of these herbs and spices complement each other. The aroma is mostly cinnamon and fennel, but when you sip you get the full breadth of flavor plus a little cooling sensation that runs down your throat. After you drink, you can still detect the sweet fennel at the back of your tongue.
It’s almost edible, like a cinnamon graham cracker mixed with some fennel-studded focaccia mixed with a cardamom pastry.
Keeping this one in stock for my next sick day from work.
Flavors: Anise, Baked Bread, Camphor, Cardamon, Fennel, Honey
Yours truly has done a dumb, I lost my bottle of Tylenol, when I had the WORST headache. So here I am tearing my (at the moment slightly messy) desk apart trying to find the very visible bright red lid, to no avail. So I start hunting around the room, my purse, the bathroom…it was nowhere to be found! In a state of sadness I sat down in my chair and nurse my headache with a very large cup of tea, since caffeine has been a long time cure for my headaches. Really I think I started drinking caffeinated drinks as a kid because of my headaches, it is a family curse. So, me being dumb, my Tylenol was exactly where it was supposed to be, I realize shortly later, in my drawer with my other pills. Sometimes being organized means I can’t find anything!
Since it is Thursday, that means I can whip out the hashtags and have a Throw Back Thursday tea review, covering a tea that has sadly been languishing in my notebooks, patiently waiting to be rambled about. A while ago, fellow blogger and lover of fine tea, Steph of Steph’s Cup of Tea, had a contest and I was very fortunate to win. Today’s tea was one of the awesome goodies I received in my pile of awesome. Tea aside, you should all go read her blog, she is a wonderful poet, has a love of nature, and is a lover of different tea cultures. I love her blog and recommend it highly.
So, The Jasmine Pearl Co. is a Portland based tea shop with a love for sustainability, which I respect immensely. Their tea that I am rambling about today is Yellow Mudan, a Chinese Yellow tea, specifically from Hunan, named similarly to the famous White Tea, Bai Mudan, this tea is essentially Yellow Peony when translated, though it looks more twisty, like a needle tea rather than the fluffy full leaf tea. The aroma is mild and sweet, with notes of dried cherry and peonies (aha, so that is where the name comes from!) with a very delicate note of nasturtium and raisins, vaguely reminding me of a Darjeeling.
Into the gaiwan the tea went, ah yes, back when I only had my white gaiwan, I now have…many, though never enough. I might have a tea gear hoarding problem. The aroma of the now soggy leaves is very sweet, lovely notes of now fresh cherries and crushed vegetation, add in a bit of peony and a touch of grapes at the finish. The liquid on the other hand is all peony and chestnut! Ok not all peony and chestnut, there are also notes of creaminess and nasturtium, giving just a tiny bite of pepper at the finish.
Ok, I have to say it, HOLY MOLY FLOWERS! Hehe, the taste is super flowery, with a blend of peony and honeysuckle with a tiny hint of orange blossom at the beginning. The mouthfeel starts out very smooth and then builds into a slightly sharp, almost resinous, feel at the end. Like sucking on a bunch of pine needles, a very similar texture to that. As the taste evolves, it moves into fresh cherries and wildflower honey, with a finish of nasturtium and raisins.
Second steeping has a very similar aroma, lots of peony and chestnuts, but with an addition of honeysuckle and a touch of nasturtium at the finish as well. The mouthfeel starts off smooth and very quickly moves into sharp and slight dry, again reminding me of resin, I find this texture very fascinating and not unpleasant. The taste is very sweet, dancing from notes of peony and honeysuckle to nasturtium and grapes, with a delightful finish of honey. I love this tea, I have had it with other names and by another vendor (same tea type, but for all I know it is not from the same farm, I have found this particular tea is a bit of a pain to research) and enjoyed it immensely. At the time of originally trying this tea The Jasmine Pearl Co. was out of stock, and now that it is back in stock I am going to have to get some!
This isn’t generally the type of tea I’d chose for myself, but I received this as a free sample with my order a few months ago, and thought it was time I finally gave it a try. I have to say it looks lovely. Smallish leaves, but peppered with lovely rose petals, lavender flowers, and green leaves that I think must be the lemon myrtle.
I brewed it on the low end of the recommendation. 190º for 3 minutes. It’s quite nice. The peppery white tea base is surprisingly noticeable, even with the cold I have. The lavender and rose meld well together and the lemon myrtle is bright. It’s light but still flavorful. Definitely not something I would pick up for myself, but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to someone who enjoys this style of tea.
Flavors: Floral, Lemon
This tea took some getting used to at first, but now I adore it. Nuo Mi Xiang, a Chinese herb, is added to impart the so-called sticky rice flavor.
The tea is best with very hot water, among other reasons, because it adds to the experience of having a steaming bowl of sticky rice. Very comforting on cold days.
The pu-erh component is not one of those overwhelmingly earthy types. It reminds me of something more like decaying plant matter or humus. Think autumn.
Like tasting carob when you’re expecting chocolate, the sticky rice taste a bit disappointing at first. The comparison is especially evident in the aftertaste and smell, but a big gulp of heavily steeped Nuo Mi Xiang will overwhelm most people. One must be very careful with the length first steeping because of this. Though the pu-erh component can certainly withstand a long steeping, one must refuse the temptation and treat it more like green tea. A couple minutes will do the trick.
The second steeping is the most enjoyable. It can handle a few more minutes and tends to taste a little more pu-erh-ish.
The third steeping needs quite a while to retain the taste of the tea. Luckily by then, the effect of the herb should have worn off. That being said, just treat it like the second or third steeping of a pu-erh.
As usual, I don’t think to review the tea until I’m on the 3rd steeping, so this note lacks a bit of specifics.
Flavors: Decayed wood, Rice
Had this with pre-packing breakfast. There isn’t a lot to have when most of your food is packed, and nobody went to the store. So I had some oatmeal. I usually have it with cinnamon, so this paired nicely. There was a lovely scent of ginger at first, and the cardamom came out when I brewed it. The flavour was a nice blend of the two spices. And the rose petals were a pretty bit of added colour. Thanks to cookies.
Flavors: Cardamon, Ginger
Oh, I get to be first! My evening cup while I watch Sleepy Hollow (the series). The scent is nicely creamy and floral. There is a kinda strong rose flavour, and the vanilla gets a little lost. As it cools, there is more creamy vanilla taste.
It’s interesting, and I want rose ice cream now.
Flavors: Creamy, Floral, Rose, Vanilla