1965 Tasting Notes
OK, experts, Name This Tea. Here is what I can tell you:
—A work friend’s husband brought it home this week from a business trip to China; was presented several tins by colleagues.
—It is in a lovely white tin with blue roses and a medallion that looks like a Blue Willow china plate.
—The only English on the tin and the inner pouch is a rather awkward Speciaally selected and processed from the finest and tenderraw tea leaves. Rich in aroma and smooth in flayour. (Misspelled verbatim.)
—The lid of the tin was sealed with a very prominent green “2014” sticker.
—It isn’t a long jing. The leaves aren’t that flat and thick; they’re thin, straight, longer than my measuring teaspoon, and very clearly two-leaf tips.
—At a cautious 2:30 steep, it is champagne-colored, thick, silky, and tastes like barely-there honey and sweet straw.
Liking it immensely—but what am I sipping?
I had hid the Mountain Rose samples ashmanra sent me from Tazo (something catnippy in the packets made him extremely curious)…so well that I basically hid them from myself. Stumbled across this one this evening and after a screamer of a workday and a stress binge of too much junk, I could use a gentle wind-down.
This is a finely balanced combo: little mint, little floral, little sweetness from the stevia, nothing too bitter in the herbs. We’ll see how it does on the snooze factor, but regardless, I’m not sharing with Tazo. He gets to sleep 12 hours a day as it is.
Enjoying this very gentle, no-bite mint tea while I wait for my potted mint plants to prosper—one each of chocolate mint, apple mint, and orange mint.
Question for you proficient gardeners: the chocolate mint is actually in a small outdoor bed; we’ve been able to keep it frost-protected so far, but critters seem to be getting at it—some tiny buggy holes in the leaves. Suggestions for a safe deterrent?
Teabrat sweetly sent this succulent sample to savor (OK, enough alliteration) and it was (well, maybe just one more) superb.
I carefully stuck to low temp and short time and in return, got a sensory road trip down memory lane: I was responsible for helping pick and pit the cherries from my favorite reading tree. (What? You didn’t climb up to the first V-branch with a book you’d memorized because you’d read it so many times you could recite it?) Anyway, this tea tastes like what those fresh pitted cherries smelled like. Cherry perfection.
As advertised, this does have a strong fruity-nutty-woody vibe; wood in the scent, dark dried fruit and walnut in the flavor. Definitely strong enough for a sleepy morning, don’t think it’d be improved any with milk. (Tea courtesy of scribbles; ability to enjoy it outdoors before 8 a.m. courtesy of a break in the weather!)
It can be hard to choose the appropriate tea in April—where it is warm and cold, not in rapid succession, but simultaneously: sun bright and cheery enough to make you hold your face at a 45 degree angle, but wind that turns the ankles you foolishly decided to bare blue with chill.
Splitting the difference this morning with scraps of this tin—it’s a strong one (for the chill), but makes a light and pleasant breakfast with milk (for the warm). Good and filling if you forgot your Pop-Tart.
This packet looked lonely and needed a little love. Sencha with fruit and flowers, although I will contend that pineapple is a misnomer because it doesn’t come through as the primary flavor. A more appropriate island-y name? Hmmm…Island Blossom; Hawaiian Lei…? Something like that. There’s enough to hang on to until hot weather (will there ever be hot weather? Remind me of that in August) and try chilled. Bet it’s better that way.