1997 Tasting Notes
Simple is best some days. This is. It isn’t stellar, there aren’t rocketships and moonbeams dancing on my tastebuds, I can’t pick out any distinguishing flavors, but it’s just good, dependable, hot leaf juice. Though I love my teas that cause me to pause and ponder, one doesn’t always need tea that requires deep thought.
If one must spend the afternoon delving into the abyss of federal retiree beauracracy to make health insurance adjustments, one can at least do so in comfort in the backyard glider (ahhh!) with a cup of excellent tea, courtesy again of scribbles, to enjoy.
It always makes me chuckle, the variance of descriptors a single tea can get; proof positive is that nothing you write in a review is wrong—it’s all in your head :) The formal writeup of this one refers to honey, orchids, sandalwood, melon—-these taste buds are picking up sweet, flat, ginger ale with a taste that clings to your tongue after you swallow. The monster-sized leaves smell flowerish, both wet and dry. And as a lover of black teas that graciously take stewing and neglect, I didn’t know what to think of the 2-5 second steep requirement…that’s barely enough to dampen the leaves. However, I tried it (well, it was more like 15 seconds) and got a surprising amount of deep, rich, flavor.
Now, off to send an email into the great Office of Personnel Management Black Hole…
Second experience with this one confirms that it stays on the light side of the Assam spectrum—but as weather attempts to mellow out some, I tend to gravitate that direction with morning teas anyway.
Been one of those weeks where I’ve had to gulp without tasting, so a slow-down cup this morning before long day of elder care errands is very welcome. Thanks again to scribbles!
(This has been a good occasional sipper, but I keep forgetting I have it. Surely this does not happen to you.) How does one revive a tea that’s well past its third birthday? Well, accidentally steeping it for 20 minutes definitely ensures its potency… but with a little milk, it’s still got a bit of jig to it—the mint is still smooth and mild, like wedding butter mints.
Malty is the general go-to descriptor for Assam teas, but in my vernacular, toasty fits much better. Not burnt toast, mind you; lightly toasted. A “3” setting on my well-used and crumby Oster.
This Assam from Tao Tea Leaf is just that with a little sweetness on the tip of the tongue. Enough black tea kick to noodge me awake (I hate daylight savings time. Sorry, night people. I want my extra light in the morning!)
Thanks to scribbles for this morning’s cuppa.
So…have you tried the new Pepperidge Farms lemon/chocolate Milano cookies yet? You need to. They are the cookie equivalent of little chocolate dipped candy sticks I remember from childhood, and can occasionally find at Walgreens. (Reception candy sticks, I think.)
All that to say I decided to play with a tea equivalent. Half dried lemon verbena (some leftover leaves from our own K S) and half cocoa nibs. Long steep. A little sugar and we might have something here…
(Updated tea info with the description currently on Tao Tea Leaf’s website)
Scribbles is my tea hero this week, sending some treats I definitely couldn’t find in these parts and might not think to seek out. I am absolutely reveling in this one. The tea description says this contains the same leaves that grow up to be pu-erh. You totally get that.
But the first thing this cup made me think of this morning was this: melt butter in skillet. Stir in about a tablespoon of brown sugar. Grab a slice of dark wheat or rye bread and brown both sides until nearly burned. Lick the crust. That’s it.
Steeped plain ol’ western style, about 3 minutes, no milk or sugar. This is gooooood.