Oh yeah baby, getting down with my h and s samples before busting open the tins. I still don’t have a system of attack regarding how I’m going to open them-I don’t want to savagely tear into everything simultaneously (despite the temptation) because freshness problems, but then how do you decide what to do and all that stuff? man, problems!!
I’m always on the hunt for a vanilla tea, and vanilla Comoro was a pretty significant let-down for me, because I could barely taste anything. I read reviews for this tea while I was at work today, and got kind of excited when I read a few people say it was like a smoky vanilla, because that sounds like a perfect combination (someone needs to do a vanilla keemun one of these days). Anyway, when I opened the package, my nose was immediately assaulted with the sweet scent of baking vanilla, but also a hearty dose of something chemical and distinctly alcoholic. It was like unscrewing the lid to and inhaling the fumes from a bottle of vanilla vodka (which don’t get me wrong is wonderful, definitely soothes the soul and all that sort of thing, but I don’t want that shiz in my tea). But whatever, I set to work and steeped it-a teaspoon for eight ounces of water, four minutes.
When I lifted the basket out of the mug, I instantly thought “I’ve smelled this before! where have I smelled this?” and then I realized that it smelled similar to many of Frank’s banana blends (butterscotch banana, and banana pudding). definitely not a bad association, but definitely a bit of an unusual one. A few seconds later, however, the intensity of the scent dissipated and I could smell gentle vanilla paired with a fairly noticeable but nondescript black base.
My thoughts as I finished the cup:
1. Hmmm. Not what I was expecting. Too much base, and somehow it doesn’t work well with the chosen vanilla, but I can’t quite say why. No smoke, though.
2. I should put this in my swap pile. I wonder who’ll want it. I’m sure there’s someone.
3. Mmm this is pretty good, actually. I’m going to have another cup tomorrow, perhaps.
4. This would be terrific with a bit less sugar in it, you know.
5. Ugh. There’s something cloying about this one. The vanilla is too…something. Cloying. I should give this away.
6. Great cup! last sips were excellent!
I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s had an experience like this while drinking the same cup of tea. Oh, the internal dialogue. It’s probably not a bad thing though, ultimately. I think it speaks to the fact that we’re determined to give the tea a fair shake, are appropriately self-deprecating when there aren’t fireworks at first steep, and generally want to like a new tea we’re trying because liking things is a good feeling.
So yes, definitely glad I didn’t purchase a tin of this, and as to whether or not I’ll finish the sample pack, it just depends on my mood in a given second. ha.
Also, I received like nine million swap packages in the mail today. Thank you to all of you who sent something. I don’t have access to functional eyes at the moment, but as soon as I do, I’ll set to work labelling samples and thanking those of you who sent them along! but unlike me, you know who you are, so thank you!