2009 Tasting Notes

I try every so often to understand white tea. It bamboozles me. Not being a particularly intuitive person, I don’t want to have to chase down whatever flavor is in my cup. I want it to find me.

I didn’t have to run quite so hard for this one, a thoughtful sample tossed in with a Nature’s Tea Leaf order. Leaves were huge and virtually untouched; some stems in the bundle as well, but that isn’t a turn-off. Steeped as precisely to instructions as my sloppy methods allow, it was a honey-goldenrod color, satiny in texture, and a little sweet and soapy in taste. Soapy in a good way. And cornsilky. A nice little spring break in the middle of a very weary week.

ashmanra

Oooh, I need to order from them again. I love one of their black teas for breakfast. Now to find which one…

gmathis

My order was a large packet of Fujian Congou.

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drank Chocolate Kiss by Savoy Tea Co
2009 tasting notes

Best surprise Christmas treat to myself ever. (I had purchased a sample pack a good while ago, and it had woodged itself down to the bottom of the heap.) Unearthed it, opened it, and was transported to dark chocolate and strawberry rapture. (Or something like that.)

Has a nice thick creamy mouthfeel to it without milk. The strawberry tastes like strawberry and not soda pop syrup. Will hoard the rest and divvy it out parsimoniously over the next few weeks … Janu-weary often requires little treats along the way. This one will help beat the blahs.

Sil

noms…

ashmanra

Janu-weary…sigh. How appropo. We have had two days of rain, and the week will end with rain followed by wintry mix or snow.

gmathis

Back to work today; a balmy 19 outside, warmest morning we can expect for the rest of the week. A good friend sent me a little post-Christmas treat: dish towel that reads “SUNSHINE is my favorite accessory.”

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drank Starry Chai by Good Earth
2009 tasting notes

I think this was a share from tea buddy K S a while back. Drank a celebratory cup after restoring the living room to (sort of) order, tree down, tringlings and trapplings up for another year.

Cherry with chai is an interesting concept.

My general beef with chai is that folks cardamom it to death, and it ends up tasting like somebody just dumped the contents of their spice rack into a cup. In this case, Good Earth was light on the cardy, light-ish on the cherry, and generous with good old gentle cinnamon. Took it without milk, and it didn’t need any. Would try this one again.

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This was a thoughtful “open one early on Christmas Eve” from my sweet husband. Sweetly scented cocoa both dry and steeped…is creamy on its own without milk, but a splash turns it into dessert mousse. Perfect for watching Tazo snooze in my lap and counting blessings.

Indeed, we have all received grace after grace from His fullness… May your home and heart be filled with grace today.

mrmopar

Love the Scripture.

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
2009 tasting notes

A teaspoon of fair-to-middlin’ bulk decaf Ceylon leaves, teaspoon of bulk chai spices, plenty of half-and-half, and a big fat blop of marshmallow cream. Liquid equivalent of a fluffy fleece blanket.

Evol Ving Ness

Yes, I want that and the fluffy fleece blanket, please.

yyz

Sounds great!

gmathis

While I was drinking it, Tazo (my cat) and I huddled in the living room yesterday—high temp was 13 in full sunlight—and inched over a little at a time to stay in the sunbeam as it moved slowly through the living room.

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Oh, the weather outside is frightful! This was a day for staying in, but freezy drizzle re-jiggered plans and we had to make a farm run to batten down the hatches and deliver groceries to housebound elder family members. Put down ice melt, covered vents, insulated pipes, fought our way through Walmart on Barton County Shop-With-A-Cop Day…so when we finally slid into home, my one overwhelming urge was “FUDGE!” Which, fortunately, is currently in stock at our house. This Bigelow tea was the chaser.

This isn’t my favorite Bigelow flavored tea. It leads with plenty of coconut; not much caramel follow up. Not spectacular on its own, but with milk and a good sweet treat beside it, it’ll do on a cold day.

Indigobloom

Mmmm love fudge. Homemade?

gmathis

Not this batch—little locally-owned candy house closed after many years of business and broke our hearts. It’s recently been reopened by a couple who bought the premises and recipes both. This was our celebratory purchase.

Indigobloom

ooooh I daresay that is even better than homemade!

Tabby

I want this tea to be good! :( I love Samoas.

gmathis

There’s a little bit of artificiality to it, but it can be toned down with dairy & sweetener. (I love Samoas, too!)

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drank British Blend by Tetley
2009 tasting notes

I know this sounds improbable, but I was running low on tea at work—there’s the big random tin where I keep odd ducks and scraps and last-bags-in-the-pack, but sometimes you just need Just Plain Tea. Un-goofable Just Plain Tea that’s hardy enough to survive less-than-pristine mugs, an impotent work microwave, and sitting untended during the million petty interruptions that make up a “normal” work day.

This fits the bill. Smooth, didn’t get nasty when I accidentally oversteeped, not too sharp and acidic. Nothing stellar, no singular stand-out flavor, but I think it’ll Do What Needs to Be Done.

ashmanra

This was recommended to me years ago by the mother of some of my students who was actually British. This was our main tea until we found out about WHOLE leaf and sachets and fancy pants stuff like that! It was one of hubby’s faves for a long time.

gmathis

Working in a century-old school building (literally), the heat operates about 30% of the time, so tea gets cold in about two minutes; sometimes a cup gets reheated two or three times, so my main office tea criteria is “takes abuse.”

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drank Random Steepings by Various Artists
2009 tasting notes

We did our family-tradition run to Branson for Christmas lights, musicals and my annual Christmas Cry (Little Altar Boy gets me every time)…and my souvenir from the trip is a good old-fashioned nose-drippig, sneeze-induzig, throat-scratching cold that has kept me at about 30% power all weekend. (Aw, shucks. Didn’t get to finish raking the back yard.)

So, at this point, flavor, delicacy, and nuances would be wasted on me. Full throttle, strong-as-you-can get ’em tea is needed at a time like this. The weekend menu has included, in order of strength:

Bigelow American Breakfast (heavily caffeinated, but not a biting flavor)
Bulk peppermint leaf, steeped a good ten minutes
Good Earth Sweet and Spicy (tastes just like cinnamon red hots)

..and this morning, Twinings Irish Breakfast spiked with a spoonful of Bulk Assam. If that doesn’t clear things out, I’ll just have to try Drano. I have a roomful of 10-year-olds to talk over this morning!

K S

Time to break out the Yorkshire Gold. That will cut through anything, and it tastes better than Draino.

gmathis

YG in the travel mug this morning. I had to come back to work today, phlegm what may.

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drank Tazo® Joy™ Full Leaf Tea by Tazo
2009 tasting notes

Been a few Christmases since I’ve had this. Its description now reads:

A jubilant blend of black tea, oolong, jasmine green tea & hints of peach.

Memory may be failing (my family would instantly confirm that), but when this was first released, I recall it being primarily green/black without the more delicate peachy, oolong-y highlights. Still a good sip, just a different one.

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At our house, we’re suckers for free samples and dollar-off coupons. That’s why there’s a new little looseleaf jar of Pure Leaf on the kitchen shelf.

It’s definitely a waker-upper. There’s the cat-scratch sharpness of the Ceylon on top of each taste, then you get the deep breadiness of the Assam—you know, that floor-reverberating thump of a big dog’s tail. Milk makes them play nicely together.

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Bio

Somebody asked me once when I became a tea junkie; I think it dates back to college when I needed caffeine for a 7 a.m. class but chose not to do coffee. My favorite teapot is a medium-sized Brown Betty given to me by my Mema; the painted flowers are chipping off, but the size and feel is perfect. I rejoice when I get a morning to brew a pot of loose tea starting with a kettle; not a bag and a hot pot.

Location

Southwest Missouri

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