1983 Tasting Notes
As the weather warms, I start trending toward flavored teas for breakfast; aka “drink up all the scraps.” I had forgotten how much I liked this. Puerh and dried strawberries with chocolate—has almost a chocolate milkshake feel to it. Down to one cup’s worth of leaf now…which means I shall hoard it for months because I don’t want to let it go!
Well, we’ve hit “anything as long as it’s cold” season. I didn’t have a full tumbler’s worth of any one thing in the fridge for my Mowing Mug, so I dumped in half a pint of chilled Barry’s black tea, and half a pint of St. Dalfour’s Black Cherry in together.
Did the trick washing the dirt and sweet clover out of my throat…and then I noticed the enterprising younglings on the street corner (1st grader, 3rd grader) selling Black Cherry Kool-Ade. The Marketing Specialist had even written her prices on a markerboard and was twirling the sign like a Little Caesar’s pizza guy. So I gave up my quarter, and asked her to dash a little into my tumbler with the tea leavings that were still cool. By that time, the blend was so adulterated, it reminded me of monkey spit, but ya just gotta support your local beverage vendor.
Drink options should improve shortly. I have a jar of Red Rose with several sprigs of chocolate mint bathing in it for midafternooners.
I posted elsewhere that now that I’m a farmer (aka helping elderly father with farm paperwork and writing checks for fertilizer) I bought me a Pierce City FFA t-shirt (Future Farmers of America) at a garage sale so I am appropriately dressed when I look at the fields. Usually I look at the field and say, “Yep, that’s wheat.” That’s cause I’m an expert, y’know.
So I needed some tea to drink while I was in farm mode. Mason jar sun tea with three Barry’s tea bags, almost strong enough to strip paint, with three tablespoons of Pappy’s Sassafrass tea concentrate. Chilled extra-cold. Perfect for a humid early summer afternoon.
Maybe it’s just me, but after I go see a theater movie, I need some space and silence to clear my head from the sensory overload—more so as I…continue to no longer be twentysomething. So after a noisy and swashbuckly afternoon chasing Neptune’s trident, I’m enjoying nothing but ambient neighborhood sounds in the back yard and pondering … if I had a compass that pointed to what I truly want, would I be proud of what it pointed to? Hmm.
But you want to read about tea. Unlabeled baggie from a work friend—I have a lot of those—with some bulk blueberry green tea from our favorite local health food grocer. That would lead me to believe it’s Frontier Co-op brand. Smells like pie; tastes like it a little, too. There was only one dried blueberry in the baggie and it didn’t make this cup. If it had, this would taste like two pies.
My supply of this is dwindling; I’ve kept the bags safely tinned in hopes that they would mate and multiply, but no luck. I prefer this as a nightcap far more than any of the CS Sleepytime varieties.
It’s monsoon season in Missouri, and my applemint plants are the only one of us that enjoys this weather. Growing faster than I can keep up; the garage looks like a tobacco barn with all the bundles I have drying. Since I have plenty to spare, I popped in a sprig along with the teabag. Chamomile-apple-mint perfection.
Call it user error—the sample ashmanra kindly sent my way didn’t have any steeping instructions, so I guessed on proportions in my early morning wake-up mug (a big ’un).
As a result, it steeped up surprisingly light for such a rebellious name. What I ended up with was a Gentle Ben cup with hints of cinnamon instead of a Biker Dude cup wearing black leather. Not bad, just not beefy.
Smaller cup next time :)
Another occasionally-available-in-our-area brand (Thank you, Big Lots!) that was in my Mother’s Day treat basket. (Who needs flowers? I got tea and a B.B. King DVD to chase the blues away.)
Definitely a work-boots morning tea, heavier on the bass (Assam) than on the treble. Brains not required for steeping or tasting. That’s a plus in my book. Someday…you know, that hypothetical someday when you wake up and nobody needs anything from the get-go…I’d like to do a side-by-side with this one and Barry’s to determine which one kicks harder.
Today’s lovely brekkie break was courtesy of an early awakening, sun enough to sit outside for the morning cuppa, and the tea sample graciously tucked into a card from the lovely ashmanra.
The tea itself is a funny and interesting mishmash of black teas that bounce all over your tongue. For a while, I wasn’t sure what I was tasting….finally landed on “the inside of a cedar chest.” And that’s not a bad thing. On a downy-chick feather to lead boot strength scale, I’d give it a “sturdy walking stick.” Good luck figuring that one out, you precise numerical rating people :)
Also posted on Facebook:
Some kind, thoughtful, and creatively sneaky someone is behind the tin of Harney and Sons Birthday Tea that showed up in today’s mail. You realize it’s going to drive me absolutely nuts figuring out who you are, right? When I do, can I call to say thanks? At 2 a.m., which is when random stuff like this generally comes to me?
(Looking forward to trying this little box full of cheerful!)