2009 Tasting Notes
My favorite local store carries Frontier bulk teas, which currently make up the bulk of my “everyday stash” collection—the ones you snag when you just have time to grab and go.
It took me a while to get the hang of them, but I think the secret with the Frontier black teas is a good long steep to bring out the strength. (If I pulled up previous reviews, I would probably find I was complaining about the weak flavor. Just wasn’t patient enough.)
In the case of this one, five minutes brought out the velvety maltiness that makes Assam taste like an Assam. It’s still a little thin on the tongue, but for an inexpensive off-the-shelf selection, that can be overlooked. Recommended if you need to fill a big tin with very few dollars.
Our weather has finally moderated to the point that an evening cuppa is swell instead of sweltering. A tea buddy fixed me up with a little bag of bulk green tea with jasmine, brand unknown, after I made her spit-on-her-palm swear that it didn’t taste like floor cleaner or air freshener. Jasmine and I don’t always see eye to eye.
Got the water going then left it to cool entirely too long, so I ended up steeping in a cup of “tepid” for about two minutes. And in a Bob Ross happy accident, I ended up with a mild, sweet, nearly sugary broth that has upped my opinion of jasmine by couple of notches. Believe I’ll try it again.
You never know what you’ll find on the pay-it-forward table (AKA Please Take This Junk Off My Hands) in the break room at work. In this case, it was a box of this surprisingly tasty stuff. I split it with a friend, so she got the box and I didn’t think to jot down ingredients.
What I can tell you about this blend is that it has a nice cocoa-mint personality without being cloyingly sweet. I had mine straight up with no additives. The friend who shared with me was planning to take hers home and sweeten with milk—that’d work, too. Enough punch in the mate’ to keep me functional on a must-concentrate-until-your-brain-bleeds afternoon.
I have never much liked any of the zingers … until yesterday. A very thoughtful work friend brought me a tumbler of this stuff steeped strong, iced, sweetened with half honey, half organic sugar. It tasted like the best celestial kool-ade ever. Between the sweetness and the additional ingredients that I do like: chamomile, blackberry, chicory, there was no make-your-eyes-water tartness at all. Best summer afternoon surprise in a long time!
A friend of mine experimented with flavoring her own black tea with raspberry—with very nice results. No nasty hibiscus to gum up the mix, just a good Assam with fruit. A nice, well-rounded balance. I cold steeped some in the fridge overnight with a sprig of chocolate mint from my own back porch. Chocolate raspberry mint goodness—no, scratch that—superbness.
Of course, the fact that our air conditioner has been broken for two days and I had come in from mowing the ditchy part of our yard sweating battery acid made it three times as tasty. Fall can’t get here soon enough for me! :)
Late night (neighbors + firecrackers) and early morning (nasty thunderstorm) left me feeling this morning like my nerves had been shredded on a cheese grater. So I went halvesies: a decent bulk China black tea with an equal amount of chamomile. Was going for a little wake-up/calm-down alchemy. Not sure if the physical effect was exactly as expected, but it was pretty tasty. (Inspired by someone’s review of a professional blend of the same type, easy to replicate in your own kitchen.)
It’s been way too long between leisurely mornings when there is actually time to think about one’s tea. So, gratefully, with feet up, I’m sipping something a little less hi-octane this morning.
I’m not much of a floral tea person. No jasmine, please; lavender in moderation; but there’s something about rose that is sweet and gentle without tasting like cologne. There’s just enough in this blend to complement the black/green/fruity combo and make it taste a little like fruit punch. May make a second round and ice it down to see what happens.