2010 Tasting Notes
As the heat wave continues, so does my experimentation with Ozark-y fruit teas. Steeped a pot this morning and chucked it straight in the fridge to cool.
Huckleberries, so says Wikipedia, are eccentric cousins of the blueberry—scent and taste remind me of a cross between blueberries and black berries. So the flavor is strong, especially when I got a trifle generous with the amount of leaf I used. Tossed in a couple of sugar cubes and that helped immensely.
Since our current living conditions strongly resemble Green Acres, I decided to act the part this afternoon and steep some of these here “yarbs” double-strength in my trusty Mason jar on the front porch. Burdock—dandelion root—red clover…I can just hear Granny Clampett strumming her autoharp and singing “Billy Boy.” Furthermore, I have a bad case of the crabbies and a general physical and emotional system cleanse may be just what I need.
The mint hits you first, and hits hard when you sniff the pouch. I think it’s the red clover blossoms I’m seeing that are dried and added whole.
And…after a good hour in 99 degree sunshine and poured up on ice…the results are in…oooh, doggies! Jed, this is plumb tasty! Anytime you have an infusion with “root” as an ingredient, there’s going to be a tree-bark taste, and it’s present, but just barely. The mint is cooling in the mouth, and hopefully clearing in the head.
The tea description evokes thoughts of airy, ethereal, wafty sorts of flavors … but my first whiff of the dry bag reminded me a little bit of the sweet, grainy smell of a bag of cattle fodder in my grandma’s barn. Not unpleasant, but different from what you’d expect. Flavor went a little bitter—my fault for oversteeping, but I did get hints of the light and sweet floral elements.
As with most red-colored herb teas, I was bracing myself for a wickedly sour hibiscus rush (didn’t check ingredient list to see, just assumed)…and there wasn’t one! Flavor corresponds nicely and accurately with the nice fruity scent. Even a little bubble-gummy. I can see serving this one at a teddy bear tea party with … uh, the hypothetical granddaughter that may or may not materialize some decades down the road …
I often mention my favorite no-name China Oolong tea that, last time I looked, is still running just 31 cents an ounce at our local health food store. This is its elegant, wealthier relation. It leads with a predictable woody taste, but has some lighter, brighter, fruiter stuff happening when you give yourself a minute to think about it. Nice!
Strawberry is fast becoming one of my favorite fruit additives. This tastes and smells like pastry in a cup. Heat wave continues, so one cup warm is about all I’ll be able to enjoy before sweating myself into a puddle, but the rest of the pot is cooling for iced-down purposes later this afternoon.
Of late, I haven’t bothered with ratings because I tend to be inconsistent and moody, but this one definitely needs the little green licky-lip smiley face!
This is so tasty, it’s really calling for a turnover or a cream horn to accompany it. Wonder if I have time for a bakery pit stop before church…