1983 Tasting Notes
Oolongs get overlooked at my house a lot; chiefly because in my lopsided and ragged classification system, it rates as an afternoon tea and there aren’t a lot of spare tea-drinkin’ afternoons around here.
Couldn’t quite place what I was tasting until I read the tea description. Nutmeg and orange peel. Yep. Exactly. This appears to have multiple personalities based on the water temp—I went hotter and longer which resulted in the spicy vibe. Enough left in the little sample packet to try one slower and lower to see if I can hunt down the malt sugar.
As my mom’s condition declines more and more steeply, my dad is wisely starting to downsize and he’s asked my sister and me to begin sorting and saving what’s worthwhile from Mom’s sewing room, where she spent decades stitching quilts for friends and family and scores of little shirts and dresses that were packed in mission boxes for Honduran children who may have kids of their own by now. As I drink this tea, I’m pawing through a fruitcake tin of orphan buttons and a stack of paper needle packets from the 1950’s thinking how nice it would be to hear the whir of the sewing machine and the little metallic snip of her scissors.
Don’t you hate it when you finally get a perfect cup of a sample tea that’s been elusive and hard to get right…and you discover you’re at the end of the sample?
The sweet spot was hit this morning…longer and stronger is better with this; the cocoa hints became cocoa statements at 5 minutes +. One more cup’s worth before the pouch is empty. Hope I do that one properly.
Took one more vacation day to “rest” (read that: do half a dozen loads of laundry, change bedding, unpack, rake leaves, gather notes for next writing project due way too soon) and it’s time for a quick feet-up.
And so, in asking, “What would taste good with rake, broom, and leaf crispies?” I saw the orange tin out of this batch on my whatnot shelf and something made the mental connection that this would be tasty. It really isn’t bad for a cheapie gift set; nice orange-zest-peel flavor rather than eye-watering tartness.
Don’t see this one on the Red Leaf website currently, but I am pleased to have found a couple of cups’ worth in a tin that woozled itself all the way to the bottom of the basket.
Because its fluffy and doesn’t stay in the teaspoon well, I doubled up, kept water temp coolish and time medium-ish (about 2:20). Honey colored and sweet grain flavored. Lovely for a crispy leaf-blowy afternoon at—finally after a long weary week at writers conference—home. (My back yard sounds like Chex.)