I am officially withdrawing from The Final Sipdown. I’m pretty much at the point that any teas I have left are gianormous and unless I start bathing in it, I won’t be able to finish off one tea a day, much less two. But I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made with it – 43 teas down. Forty three! And now I have a much more reasonable 94 teas in my cupboard. Yay! I really did enjoy seeing 80-something earlier so I think I will slowly work toward the goal of getting my cupboard back down there, but not as rapidly as The Final Sipdown would require.
Anyway, this means that I can no longer focus on what teas I’m almost out of but can instead take the time to enjoy some newer teas! First up, this lovely smelling one from Angrboda. I admit, I’ve been saving some of Ang’s swap teas for a special occasion. Today I need a pick me up, so I’m dubbing that a special occasion.
The dry leaves smell delightful. Thick and rich with a touch of dark chocolate. It smells like it will be smooth and flavorful – there might even be a hint of something fresh and tingly in there? – so I’m thinking it will have a good depth, too. Per TeaSpring’s orders, I’m using 4g/10oz and steeping it for one minute. And it smells so good. There’s malt, honey (or perhaps a bit of sugar) and some sort of spicy tingle laying on top of it. I’m hoping (based on the vendor description) that it is citrus peel note.
The first sip literally wowed me. It’s not as thick as I was anticipating but it’s such a clear, beautiful flavor. Raw sugar, a hint of creamy chocolate and then that same fresh, spicy note that I’m not sure I would have pegged as orange peel but yeah, that’s what it tastes like. The husband has a family recipe for homemade cranberry sauce and it includes whole oranges (peel and all). I like getting the pieces of orange peel that don’t always get ground into super-tiny pieces because there is this fresh sting that’s not so much bitter as not sweet and has a bit of a spongy texture. It sounds weird, but I really like it. Thinking orange peel then sipping this tea, it taste like I’ve hit upon one of those larger orange peel bits in the cranberry sauce, even down to the texture.
As it cools, the orange peel note becomes a more orange flesh/juice note with under tones of peel. It strengthens as it cools and I’m to the point that this makes me think of one of those super-mild Earl Greys. There’s a delicious honey/sugar aftertaste to it and something almost baked fruit-ish? Baked plums perhaps? There’s also a bit of a starchy texture that pops up as it cools. Not rough, just a bit yam-ish. And about two breaths after a sip (if I don’t sip again) a soft floral taste seems to develop.
Okay, I probably need to wrap up before I start composing sonnets to this tea. It’s really good – not delicate, but not in your face either. Softly flavorful? Flavorfully soft? It’s not a wake-you-up-in-the-morning tea but more of a let’s-take-a-break-from-stress-and-turn-to-goo tea.