2378 Tasting Notes
Today I want to be a pirate.
I’d like to buckle the swash of everything that has crossed me for two unrelenting weeks, be it Amazon, insurance agents that don’t answer emails, car repair places that don’t call to tell you they will be three days completing a two hour maintenance job, refrigerator dealers that inform you that the “in stock” model you ordered can’t be delivered until mid-July, and the weather. (I promise, a real product commentary is coming.)
So I’ve got “Pirates of the Caribbean At World’s End” cranked obnoxiously loud, and I’m swigging an amber-colored mason jar of what will have to pass for grog—my “Junkyard Tea,” all the scraps of unflavored black tea I’ve amassed for iced tea season. It’s infusing in this cheap ($1.50) but useful plastic lid we picked up at Walmart.
The infuser basket is about 3 inches long, and screws directly into the plastic lid. At first, I was afraid the holes would be too large for tea leaves, but it doesn’t allow too much scree into the water. The lid has a straw hole; it’s a little large for a standard size straw, so you’ll need a bendy one or you’ll lose it in the jar. But for a buck and a half, it’s a decent summertime investment.
As to the light and momentary inconveniences swamping my ship, I know they are indeed light and momentary. Time to readjust my sails, eh, matey?
My inbox is full of Happy National Iced Tea Day ads, and the same to you. I woke up craving my favorite Chocolate Orange and although I don’t normally care for chocolate teas on ice, this one worked OK. (Summer landed with a bang and after two hot sips to get me going this morning, I was ready for something cold!) The orange in Teamaze’s blend is pith and peel without any tart additives like rosehips or hibiscus, and on ice, it’s soft and pleasant.
Reviews have been sparse the past couple weeks, primarily because I’ve been imbibing the same cadre of favorites for days. This one has moved near the top of the list, to the point that I asked hubby to run back to the store and grab the remaining stock. It’s just a good, solid, morning-strength rye and wheaty blend that requires no pampering. Recommended for heavy-duty unflavored unleaded fans…there are some of you out there, yes?
Wouldn’t you know it — I actually discover an unflavored green tea I really like and it falls off the Brandywine Roasters Coffee menu. My second experience with this was equally as pleasant as the first. I can neglect it and don’t have to pamper it with lukewarm water, and even with that kind of abuse, it’s sweet, satiny, and buttery (that’s one adjective I didn’t use last time but it fits) cup. Glad I have a little left.
It’s been bananas at work—as school ends, even the most levelheaded staff members start losing their minds—compounded by a horribly tense weather day; severe threats all around and torrential rains causing flash floods on main thoroughfares….I had trouble ungripping my hands from the steering wheel after crawling home in the deluge. Turkey Creek is in the across-the-street neighbors’ backyards.
So bring on the herbal tension taming compounds! I grabbed this little packet from our friend Nichole because it looked like a happy little envelope of confetti. After a full 7 minute steep as prescribed, I hoped that the fruity elements would take the lead. Instead, it’s just a gently generic herbal potpourri that’s more floral than fruit. Still, it’s warm, the mug is comfortingly solid in my hand, and the lavender and lemon balm is helping un-kink the knots in my neck.
Remember the Seinfeld episode where Elaine couldn’t walk out of her office without somebody shoving a slab of cake in her hand and singing? It’s getting about that bad here with a slough (sloo? slew?) of spring milestone events and multiple coworkers whose love language is food. (Good people here. That’s a blessing that I don’t take for granted.)
Therefore, I am immensely grateful to yet another colleague who provided a tin of these teabags, which I am keeping on hand strictly for medicinal purposes. Discount outlet grade gift tea, but the bags smell great (ginger first, lemon next, green tea…um…er…well…let’s just assume it’s in there) and are efficient and efficacious when I have to try just one more homemade chocolate chip cookie in order to be polite.
Since we can’t get our act together for a day trip to the Ozarks (although I am aching for some mountain air), last month, my thoughtful husband placed a birthday order to our favorite tea stop from that direction. This little Ceylon breakfast tea isn’t on my Teamaze “A” list, but it is still tasty. It has that smooth “just tea” profile with a nice little sugar sprinkle at the end of each sip. Better for spring afternooners than first thing in the morning in the dead of winter.
After complaining to you about the daytime tea stash, I did something about it and brought a few loose leaf packets to finish up…among them, this very nice “just green” tea from Oliver Pluff. It meets my standards by tolerating abuse and absentminded steeping and is more toasty than it is vegetal. OP calls it buttery and plummy—that may be a little ambitious, or that may be because I’ve let my supply sit too long, but it is a very nice change of pace.
My work tea stash is kind of pathetic…refugee boxes and bags from home that I intend to drink up quickly and never do. This was in the stash, but still has a tiny bit of life left in it. Still smells nice and the cinnamon presence compensates for the decay of the black tea base.
Too bad Trader Joe’s discontinued this variety—was (formerly) a really nice wintertime pantry staple.
Happy, happy, joy, joy … there were two tins of this in my Mother’s Day bonanza, and loose leaf to boot! It’s the same blend as the gift-box tea bags I have enjoyed in the past: black tea, tangerine zest, and a little vanilla, but the black tea base is stronger and the zest a little zestier—no doubt due to better quality leaves. Pastry and citrus.
I opened the tin at “tea party” time at work and blethered in ecstasy because I had expected tea bags rather than leaves, then my work friend (derk, she’s my Kiki) brought me back to earth by whiffing it and chortling, “It smells like men’s cologne.” Hmph. All the more for me.