2553 Tasting Notes
My May ParTea bundle arrived today! Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh! (Insert flailing Muppet arms meme here.) It arrived minutes before my students, so I had to wait to make my tea. (Sad noises!)
I started with the blend that I was most excited about – Tropical Vibes. It says it has a pina colada twist but honestly I have never had a pina colada so I have no idea what they taste like. I thought they were mostly just pineapple juice but apparently there is an outrageous amount of coconut and I am SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW.
When I was younger I did not care for coconut but in the right place, I love it now. This is the right place.
This steeps up a really pretty, clear red color from the rose hips, but it is not tart. I made three steeps and poured it into a large jar with about a tablespoon of sugar and put it in the fridge to chill. Tonight I poured it over a bit of ice and….ah, this is nice. The coconut is at least as strong as the fruit to me and between the color and the incredible aroma I am in summer tea heaven.
I have already practiced folding and unfolding my farmer’s market tote several times and demonstrated it for Ashman who watched with good humor because I was so excited. It’s the little things. :)
Well, this is bizarre. A while back I saw a review of this here, probably the one by Mastress Alita, and thought it sounded delicious. The more I thought about it, the more convinced I was that I had tried it, possibly as a sample that came with an order.
Later I was going through my tins of The Odor looking for Perseus when I saw that I have a whole tin of this and it is nearly full, but it must be a few years old now.
Youngest thinks we had this together last March but I am not sure because when I came on here tonight, it still wasn’t even listed in my cupboard!
So here we go!
This is Chinese green tea with ginger and mandarin and you need it right now because it is delicious. I am not a fan of ginger. I use it sparingly in cooking and there a few dishes that I feel really really need it, but I don’t like it when hot ginger bites my tongue and makes my mouth burn. Ashman did ask me if there was mint in this so I guess he noticed the ginger tingle, but he didn’t seem bothered by it.
This is tingly but not hot, and overall it is just a perfectly balanced flavored green tea.
Served tonight with Asian buffet style mushrooms that were so good I am saving up for a ring so I can propose to myself.
My usual prep for big pots – steeped it twice and combined the two in a large tetsubin. All 36 ounces gone bu end of supper.
I was positive I had reviewed this but it wasn’t even in the database!
I am trying to get in the habit of going to bed early and getting up earlier. Successful so far for three weeks! One habit I have adopted to help is avoiding caffeine and large snacks at night. Honestly, most herbals just didn’t excite me. Chamomile and mint are all well and good but I didn’t look forward to them.
Cuppageek to the rescue! I have found a number of blends that I really do look forward to. Spiced Fall Evenings, Baked Apple pie (with a dash of rum) – and that’s the name, I don’t mean I am adding rum to it!, Jaffa Cakes (oh my goodness!), and now this one!
This steeps up a pale yellow. I rather dislike red rooibos but I like green rooibos a lot. I don’t love hibiscus but there is so little in this it doesn’t even turn pink. This is a sweet and soft berry flavored cuppa. Imagine the tart sweetness of a strawberry pie, then imagine the bites where you get some whipped cream on the fork with it, and THAT is what I get here. The berry flavor is there but it is softened and sweetened by the marshmallow.
It just happens that we had it last night with just such a strawberry pie made by my friend Melissa here on Steepster and dropped off yesterday. It was nice with that before bed, and we had it again this morning with bagels for breakfast.
So delightful, and it would perfect for a tea party or picnic with children.
Ashman liked it, too!
A very sad sipdown.
One of my favorite things to do as a rare treat was go to A Southern Season and browse the tea. It was so hard to pick what I wanted! There was the fine tea wall, and the loose leaf daily drinkers display, and a whole section of loose and bagged tea of brands from Lipton to Steven Smith and everything in between and sideways.
Gradually the selection got smaller and smaller but there was still always something good to try. And this was one of their best teas. It is flavorful and hearty, mild enough for me and my dodgy tummy but satisfying to the coffee drinkers who came over.
A Southern Season was billed as a gourmet grocery and had everything from a huge wine and craft beer section, to grocery items, small appliances that you don’t see just anywhere, china, candy, a deli, a restaurant, a cooking school, fine handcrafted chocolates, kitchen linens, and a gift basket department. They carried tea from a local woman who had successfully grown tea bushes in their town! Very limited quantity, of course. They were definitely expensive.
Another Steepsterite, Sandy, was the person who introduced me to the place and it was where we bought our first ever puerh (a low quality mini tuo that smelled of shrimp but tasted okay) and where I started building my loose leaf stash.
And now they are gone. Not because of Covid. They closed before quarantine.
But how I will miss the smells of that place. Walking in at the coffee department and being enveloped in the aroma of the coffee beans they were grinding and knowing that my beloved tea section was just up ahead. If I close my eyes and imagine the smell, the feeling of excitement of all the possibilities of lovely tea discoveries floods my memory. I don’t know of any other place that has made me feel that way!
Now my Zhen Quo is gone, and I must eventually try to find another source. I will miss the light bitterness, the way it paired beautifully with desserts.
This is my second ever linden tisane, the first being from Martin.
When I was feeling poorly about my vaccine, I drank a cup of his and rallied enough to eat.
This time my issue is sinus. We have had hot weather, and last night it dropped to the 40’s, and by morning the upper 30’s, pretty fast. We sleep with the window open when it isn8t raging hot and when I woke up the left side of my head was fully stopped up.
This has the honey sweetness and smoothness of the last linden, but I feel like this one had a camphor quality to it. I do believe it did me some good! Both sides of the snoot appear to be taking in air now.
I think I need to scout out some linden to keep on hand for my frequent stuffy episodes from my allergies.
I am excited to announce that I have a new padawan! That is what my family calls it when I meet someone who wants to get into tea so I shower them with tea and info. My padawan is a co-worker of my daughter’s and I think he is about to start college. I haven’t met him in person but we have texted and I have sent tea via my daughter.
He went to a local tea shop and bought orange spice, lapsang, and forest berry teas. I sent an assortment from my stash and he liked them all, even Bai Mu Dan which I thought might be too subtle after the flavored teas he started with, and he really enjoyed Premium Jasmine Dragon Pearls from Teavivre. I also sent Paris and unsmoked lapsang.
Last night I ordered the sampler from Cuppageek for him. You get six teas for $5 and I chose my six favorites in hopes they would appeal to him, too. I can’t wait for them to get here!
With that on my mind, I chose Parker’s Blend for breakfast today. I had transferred it to a tin since I have purchased rather a bit of it, and it smelled sooo good today when I popped that double lid open. I know the description says there is a touch of cream flavor, but really it was SUCH a creamy and fruity aroma that hit me that I just had to go “mmmmmmmm” right then and there. I still don’t understand how Nichole makes tea that steeps three times but she does. I steeped one teaspoon thrice and put it all together for a good sized eighteen ounce pot.
Check out the May ParTea on Cuppageek! I ordered the first two fruity blends and am super excited for the caffeine free version of Pina Colada. I have never had a Pina Colada but it sounds delicious!
Before haiku day is over -
Covid Vaccine Two
Why are you kicking my butt?
Time to have some tea.
So Thursday I decided it would be a great idea to exercise extra and ended up with really sore pecs and shoulders. Friday I got my second vaccine. Friday night I am feeling great. Saturday morning, arm is sore but feel good so I make breakfast, clean the bathtub, fold and store the winter linens…
Right before lunch was the uh-oh. Aching, headachy, so cooooooold.
A long time ago I read the linden is good for fevers but only recently found out from derk’s note it is good for the old schnozzola, the schnoz, the snoot, the stuffy nose. And I am having issues with stuffiness today which could be from the shot and could be from the gallons of pollen dumped on us lately.
I put on sweats and laid in the sun trying to get warm and took a cup of this out with me.
I didn’t know it was going to taste good. I expected medicinal and maybe something akin to chamomile, but it was really sweet and smooth and had a distinct light honey taste.
I don’t know if it was the tea or I was just starting to get better, but I felt like eating at last after I drank it.
Thank you, Martin, for sending it to derk, and thank you, derk, for sending it to me!
I signed on, excited that I get to remove something from cupboard. Except that I not only never added to cupboard, but there is no tasting note here, so I guess if I ever wrote one it was just for Sororitea Sisters? And here I am finishing it off.
While you have all been doing your amazing sipdowns and I am cheering you on because you are amazing, I have managed to finish off a few sample packs and swaps as well as a small tin or two. The problem is that I never added them to cupboard to begin with, so I don’t really count them.
I got this one around Christmas time, maybe a little before? I am not a chai lover, so it was going to be either latte or iced and sweetened for me, and in respect for the name I chose iced. And I actually really like it! It has great sparkle and the spices make it seem extra cold somehow. I do resteep it and mix the two steeps together with sugar and then chill it in a glass carafe. After working outside in the yard most of the day, it was very refreshing on the patio with supper.
This one is currently out of stock and I am not sure if it was seasonal for Easter or if it is coming back.
Since it lists black tea first, I expected it to be very black tea-ish, but my first taste of this was as a hot tea with no additions for breakfast one morning and it tasted like a lovely and light sweet herbal instead of a flavored black tea. With tons of ingredients like this tea has, that could have been the draw of the scoop.
I made it next (twice) as a pitcher of sweet iced tea. I can not emphasize enough how strongly I feel that ALL iced tea needs a day in the fridge to meld! (At least that is what my mother called it, and she made sure her iced tea was made well in advance of being served.)
After a day in the fridge, this was a really nice fresh and fruity tea with hints of candy taste. It seems much more like black tea now, too. After TWO days in the fridge, this had really come together as a special sweet treat for the hot hot days we have been having. (We are hitting the mid-80’s already but since the mosquitos are not bad yet I am outside doing lots of yard work and getting hot and tired!) The flavors have mixed with each other and settled in comfortably and the cream and vanilla are coming out more. It really does have a fluffy lightness!
This one will be iced for me from here on out!
This tea sounded really good and Cameron B graciously offered to send me some!
I tried it first with Ashman as a huge pot with bagels for breakfast. Since it was brand new to me I didn’t do my usual two steeps put together thing, but drank it full strength.
It was very good, but neither of us got fruit or flowers. I asked Ashman if he tasted fruit and he said not at all. I thought I tasted burnt caramel and he agreed that was spot on.
But we were supposed to taste something else, something fruity, so I tried it again the next day for breakfast when I was alone. I used 205F water instead of 212F and took the steep time down just a tad. And there it is! Baked apricot!
It was ever bit as good as I thought it would be! Thank you so much, Cameron B! It was a great tea and fun to try!