2739 Tasting Notes
One of our work younglings is a sweetheart with an alchemist’s treasure trove of fancy-pants barista gear in his office. He wandered in and surprised me this morning with a beautifully thick, milky London Fog latte—almost like a warm EG milkshake. It took me years to figure out that’s the way I can tolerate—almost even feel affection for—Earl Grey. And “thoughtful” is one of the best tea additives ever.
Wrapping up my little taste-test tin. My gift set from Palais des Thes was made up of cute, skinny little metal test tubes which have protected the leaves well. I’m still not savvy enough to tell one genmaicha from another, unless I ruin one and oversteep it, but this one is very pleasant: sweet grass and Rice Krispies.
This is ancient, even by my sloppy standards. The company closed long, long, long ago. Brought some to work, slightly oversteeped it, added a little creamer (yeah, I know that’s a Darjeeling rule-breaker), and whaddya know—it still tastes like a decent Darjeeling, grape peel and all. Now grocery-store quality rather than top shelf, but absolutely drinkable.
I’m thinking that one of the signs that you’ve got a good tea is that you backtrack to see how many times you’ve reviewed it, and you haven’t often, but the tin is gravitating distressingly toward empty. (Same conclusion when you’re down to the last swig in your tumbler and can’t remember downing it.)
So this qualifies. It’s a good, thick, heavy, silky tea that has the wake-up strength of a builder’s tea without its murky flavor. The blend is ID’d by Savoy as “Chinese, Indian, and Sri Lankan.” When you consider its lighter, brighter, profile, I’m thinking heavier on the Sri Lankan side.
Whatever’s in the mix, it’s well-balanced and much appreciated on a chilly, rainy morning.
I looked … I’ve been talking about this stuff for almost as long as I’ve been on Steepster, so I guess it sneaked into “pantry staple” status without my realizing it, even though the company rebranded (it’s now Ancient Infusions).
Over the years, I’ve tried several additives to the sassafras concentrate—mint in the summer is my favorite; I’ve mentioned cinnamon sticks; tonight, for a lark, I squoze in some lemon and stirred in some brown sugar. The root beer plus citrus scent is delightful but deceiving…they didn’t mesh together as well on the palate. Eh, how do you know if you don’t experiment once in a while?
That was herbal? It fooled me! (Doesn’t take much.)
I enjoyed a couple of cups this weekend, courtesy of derk, thinking it was a mild black tea. It could pass for one. But my favorite element was the gentle whiff of blueberry—not artificially sweet, not so tart it makes your eyebrows sweat. About the same strength as the non-berry part of your blueberry muffin.
It was a White Rabbit morning: (“Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it’s getting!”) I took back the hour I lost last weekend by force, but that put me far behind on the to-do list before my feet hit the floor.
Thank goodness for no-fuss, no-brain, jimmy-your-eyes-open bagged tea. I haven’t reviewed this often, but I drink it often for precisely the reasons just stated. It’s a no-fail builders tea that with a bit of milk, has the deep, wet-wood personality of a Kenyan tea (which, I believe, is included in the blend).
…and while I’d love to keep chatting with you, no time to say hello, goodbye….
Yeah, it’s a little on the nose, but what better day to drink this? Especially as it’s starting to show its age a bit—still chocolately and boozy and perfectly drinkable, but the flavor needle is starting to veer a teeny bit toward medicinal alcohol instead of the other kind. All the better to make room on the shelves.
And in the meantime (I may have shared on an earlier St. Patrick’s occasion, but this Irish blessing always makes me smile), may the Lord hold you in His hand and never close His fist too tight!
Our facilities director is a tea guy and when he’s in the building, often drops by a bag or two of something for me to try. You’d like him.
So today’s try-it-you’ll-like it was my first flirt ever with anything but straight-up Red Rose. He did warn me: “If you sweeten your tea, don’t.” I don’t anyway, but I appreciated the heads-up…it was so candy-sweet I winced. Thank you, stevia. Once I got past that, it did remind me of the little four-inch round cheesecake dessert cups you can get at the Walmart deli, but I wasn’t enjoying it hot at all. A little ice made it more like a non-carbonated Fanta or Welch’s strawberry soda.
Not one I’ll hunt down for myself, but it might have some possibilities as one to ice down and garnish in the summer.