313 Tasting Notes

82
drank Caramel Pop by T2
313 tasting notes

I just… I just can’t go to London without coming home with tea. It’s literally impossible. Especially as they’ve opened a T2 on Regent Street and it was directly en route to Broadcasting House, where I was attending a radio taping.

(November 16th, Radio 2, The Peterford Golf Club is very funny and you might well hear me laughing in the audience. High fives to Mister Farnaby for going out there and making funnies!)

But I digress. Sampled this one in-store, as it’s part of the caramel range they’ve got going (I already brought home a box of Caramel Brownie I have yet to open, but is SO GOOD) and I actually liked it more than I was expecting, as I’ve always had a bit of a meh relationship with genmaicha. That bit of caramel sweetness is a delightful counterpoint to the toasty, dry flavour of the tea. It was nice.

I still didn’t buy it, mind – but I did manage to blow like £24 on stuff. Whoops.

Sil

oh man…. caramel teas make me happy

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100

I like when things are decaf and I make them early enough in the evening that it means I won’t wake myself up at 1 in the morning needing the loo.

And also, it’s like a more mature, hot, drinkable version of a Solero – layers of creamy vanilla with lashings of orange and mango. A perennial favourite, K-9. He’s a good boy. Yes he is. Yes he is. Affirmative!

ALSO, I’m at a loose end in London for most of tomorrow, and as such need recommendations as to what things I might blow some little wodges of cash on at the Mariage Freres counter in Selfridges, and possibly also T2 as I think I pass it on the way to Broadcasting House anyway, which is dangerous and great. Thinky thoughts? Help Kelsh!

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100

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to try this as a latte.

OH MY GOD YES YES YES GOOD.

Smoky chocolate mint, only creamier. Exactly the kind of thing I want to funnel down me in huge quantities as soon as leaves start falling off the trees.

Feeling so properly autumnal now. I’ve got my arsenal of plaid flannel shirts out, and my Halloween costume’s almost ready to go (so dorky, so good). I think this is my favourite time of year. Except that time this morning somebody bashed into me turning a corner, spilling hot tea all over me, leaving a rather painful burn mark on my right boob. So grateful my shirt buttons up to cover it, as it looks a lit-tle like a bite mark…

And I’m not THAT into vampires.

Sil

hahaha awesome on the latte front, not so great on the bumping front.

Sami Kelsh

For reals. I’ve still got a burn mark :( And I lost a third of my tea!

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78
drank Konami Code Tea by Adagio Teas
313 tasting notes

I am a total doof and forgot that we have no milk. Therefore, I am, for the first time, taking this without milk.

I thought this would be a minor disappointment, but actually, it’s better? Kind of sad this is almost the last of the tin (there was a teensy sprinkle that I’ve left for fear of overleafing and will probably chuck in with something fruity to make it silly) because I’ve just discovered it’s much nicer without milk! You can properly taste a bit of the base tea under it now, a little suggestion of pleasantly figgy flavour, enhanced by the vanilla. I don’t get chocolate, but I don’t mind, really. This is the way to drink it. I really must remember to enter the konami code again next time I put in an Adagio order.

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78

I’ve had this a few times now, and it’s got a really nice strawberry flavour – I’m not sure where the kiwi comes in, mind you, apart from the usual tartness that you get from anything that includes hibiscus.

It doesn’t bang you over the head with it, though, as evidenced by the fact that I didn’t feel compelled to overload it with sugar to compensate. That’s a good thing. I’m drinking it hot because I’m special like that, and I miss my usual morning pu erh or oolong or whatever. It’s really hard limiting oneself to, like, one or two caffeinated things a day. Life is unfair.

I am so inundated with deadlines at the moment, and kind of not really able to get started on anything. Was invited to send in a pitch for something, but am now waiting for a more detailed brief before getting on with it and possibly making more work for myself if I then need to rewrite, I’ve got an article to get done in the next couple days which involves commenting on a DVD I haven’t had the chance to watch yet, expecting another set of DVDs in the post for a series of reviews, and an article and a short story, respectively, for two other publications I ought to get on with as soon as I’ve done all that. And all I can do right now is sit and feel restless and AERGH because I know I’m going to be massively stressed when I can actually start properly working on everything. tries not to cry

Sil

deep breath. you can get through this.

Fjellrev

Aww, you can do this. You’re Sami freaking Kelsh!

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80
drank Fruitalicious by T2
313 tasting notes

This is one that my delightful spouse tried in the T2 shop on Regent Street and actually liked! So we, like, couldn’t not get a box of it. That’s just so unusual.

I’m giving it a test run as a warm brew this morning, having sampled it iced in-store, and it’s still lovely. It’s got a good punchy fruit flavour without being obnoxiously tart, which I’m not always in the mood for. It’s absolutely not the season to be brewing up a big pitcher of this cold, but I probably will anyway.

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84

This tastes almost exactly like another chocolate almond tea that I have, so I probably don’t need both, but I really like that tea, so I’m by no means complaining. I wouldn’t call this nutella (which is good, because I’m not as enamoured of it as the rest of the world) but I just really like it. Somehow the chocolate and nut flavours together make each other taste more true than they might otherwise be. It’s a solid combo.

Today was credit card bills day, so I’m trying not to cry at my desk. Have I ever mentioned that I take art commissions? Tell your friends!

Also properly sad today because husband has gone to Dublin for a week of funless work and no time to explore Ireland anyway while I’m stuck in Oxford all by my lonesome. I miss him already and his flight hasn’t even departed yet. Sad Kelsh is sad. How did I get by for like 30 years without this person? I miss him so much it’s gross. :(

Fjellrev

Aww, let’s hope the week will go by fast for the both of you then.

Sami Kelsh

Thanks! For now I’m just grateful for unlimited texts and data :)

Fjellrev

Hell yeah, and Skype always helps too!

Sami Kelsh

Completely. I’ve told him to bring me back something nice from Dublin, but I’m pretty sure he’s basically just ferrying back and forth between the hotel and office so I hope at least he steals me some hotel shampoo and maybe a couple sachets of tea from the breakfast buffet if they’re individually wrapped…

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90
drank Strawberries and Cream by T2
313 tasting notes

We initially bought this one for my husband, who only likes standard Tea and fruity things you can serve on ice, but as it’s edging further and further away from iced-drink season, I feel justified in serving this hot and liberally sweetened.

Is it weird that I rather like hot fruit teas? I have a friend who drinks hot Vimto, so at least I’m drinking something that, under most circumstances, is meant to be consumed warm. This one’s really nice: I think the bit of creaminess – and there is a bit of it – around the very pretty taste of strawberry takes the edge off of any hibiscus-tart that would otherwise threaten to dominate. This is good.

I noticed last time I visited the Westgate in London that T2 now has an outpost there, which has robbed me of my only excuse to go to Shoreditch and pretend I’m cool.

(Which is probably for the best, because I am not cool enough to be in Shoreditch.)

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82
drank Sleep by Twinings
313 tasting notes

You can probably guess based on my tasting notes of late that I did a little supermarket teabag binge when I started my new job, so I’d have a stash of hopefully decent things to hand in my desk drawer, without alarming the colleague I share an office with by constantly measuring loose-leaf into an infuser.

I’m also currently watching what I eat and drink to try and solve a lingering health issue, which sadly means I’m restricting myself to one caffeinated drink per day. This means a TON of herbals at work, and while Sleep seems a counterintuitive choice for when I’m meant to be getting stuff done, I’m figuring that I’ll be better off if its calming properties help keep stress at bay anyway.

And it’s not like I was falling asleep at my desk today. In fact, I was standing for most of the day, shimmying about to Radio 6 with my headphones on. That’s how I roll when I have an office to myself.

As for the tea – OH, YOU JEWEL! I mean, it was delicious, but I’m mainly really excited to have found an herbal blend with absolutely no licorice root at all! It’s ruined so many otherwise potentially nice teas for me! THANK YOU FOR NOT BEING IN THIS TEA, LICORICE ROOT! The first taste is definitely chamomile, but the other gentle herbal and floral tastes definitely get a look in, for which I’m also grateful. It’s got a lovely, pillowy soft texture and subtle sweetness. I’ll be keeping this in heavy rotation in the desk drawer, I reckon.

Fjellrev

I hope you’ll be able to tackle those health issues. Must be rough having to be that strict.

Sami Kelsh

It’s annoying, but on the other hand it’s forcing me to be sensible about all the food choices I make, without actually being too restrictive? I’m just hoping that it’s enough to heal me and I can be a little bit more free with tea-drinking again soon :)

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My Time Lord name is the Brewmaster. Currently working on People Of Who, an exhibition of portraits of the people who made Doctor Who happen. Professional dilettante. Literary enthusiast, frustrated sometime writer. Knitter of things.

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Probably a small grey sofa in Oxford

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http://samikelsh.com

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