2025 Tasting Notes
Frontier stuff generally takes mistreatment well—actually does better with sloppy overmeasuring and overtiming, and this is a decent daily drinker Ceylon; just a little edge to it. But I was a little too generous with both this morning and let this steep to the strength of turpentine. It did get the eyes open, however, and that was the point. Little ice will gentle it down in a bit.
The sharpness, however, is a good foil for the rest of my breakfast—COTTON CANDY GRAPES. Yes, in all capitals because we could actually find them locally. There is about a three-day window when they are available in town and then they disappear. The reason they disappear? They really do taste like cotton candy.
Mostly I wanted to brag on my grapes, not my tea. Good morning to y’all anyway.
This one is heavy on the ginger, light on the green. Hot, I couldn’t detect any of the purported pear undertones and it was a little bitter. Meh.
However, the “meh” was upgraded significantly to “plumb tasty” when I iced it down. Ice cuts the bitterness, the ginger starts tasting a little like ginger ale, and by golly, there’s the pear! Now I’m looking forward to my next glass.
Southwest Missouri is having August weather in June, which in tea lingo translates to, “I don’t care as long as it’s cold.” Iced tea just doesn’t deserve a lot of fuss in my world, because you guzzle it rather than taste it.
However, I departed from that philosophy yesterday due to a lovely pot of Thai basil growing on my back step. Couple teaspoons of dried lemongrass and several sprigs of the basil in a mason jar. Gave it a 30-40 minute head start in the sunshine, then removed the lemongrass and left the basil when I ’fridged it.
Neither flavor was decidedly strong, but it was sharp and refreshing and cooling to the mouth. Forget the quart jar—next round, I’m going for a gallon :)
Never know what you’ll find if you stick your hand far enough back in the cabinet. Found this little half-ounce treasure in the nether regions. It’s probably older than some of you are. However, since high summer tends to turn my tastebuds toward fruity stuff, I gave it a go.
And whaddya know? It’s still got it. Almost smells like candy, and the fruity-vanilla sweetness is still there—hasn’t gone chemical tasting like some elderly flavored teas do.
Need to start shopping for a contemporary equivalent—I think Tropical Tea Co. is long gone.
Moral of the story—don’t give up on something just ‘cause it’s geezerly.
Still around…juggling a million plates; with so many in motion there hasn’t been one to balance a teacup on for weeks and weeks.
But when I finally did on Mother’s Day, there was a cup of this on it. It’s fine freshly steeped. Plenty peachy, but I’m less impressed with the honey flavor. (Tasted like it came from a bee in a bad mood—more like honeycomb than honey itself.) Cold brewed in the fridge, not so much—it turned bitter. Moral of the story: sit down, drink it fresh, take your time.
Had a sampling of this from a friend a few years back and liked it; she and her hubby ordered a fresh new pound, so there was plenty for sharing. I am a lover of all black teas strong enough to clobber you over the head, so the jasmine in this is quite a surprise—makes it elegant enough for a china cup rather than a mug. Looking forward to trying some iced. If spring EVER makes it to Southwest Missouri. We’re beginning to wonder!
I continue to contend that any tea is infinitely better when accompanied by a spoonful of thoughtfulness. This was tucked into an encouraging card from a friend (thank you, friend!) that arrived in my mailbox exactly on the day I needed it.
But even without the sprinkle of kindness, this is pretty doggone tasty. Extremely sweet on its own, but the licorice doesn’t coat your tongue like it does in some blends. Very on the vanilla, somewhat on the cinnamon, and a viable substitute when you really, really need a cookie.
Both my bleary eyes and taste buds needed a different waker-upper this morning, so I stuck my hand all the way to the bottom of my neglected sample basket and pulled out a still-sealed sample of plain old Orange Pekoe.
This isn’t bad—most of us relegate OP to the bottom of the barrel (literally and figuratively), but this is perky, sharp, and coppery. Would take milk well, or be a great base on ice with a lime wedge.