545 Tasting Notes
This morning I had a cup of Vanilla Bean with milk with my 10 grain “oatmeal” with milk and honey. I think I could taste the vanilla today, or maybe something that reminded me of vanilla. Still not a favorite, but drinkable. Sometimes I just reach for a bagged tea when tired.
Last night I was heading into my bed to read before sleeping, when I absolutely had to have a cup of tea to take with me. Now, sometimes I thinking about it before hand and make a cup of tea to drink while I read while I’m getting ready to shut down for the night and head into the bedroom. But no, last night I already had the lights off, the heat lowered, the computers sleeping, book, cel phone, and water in hand, heading into the bedroom, when I realized I had to have tea, that I would be preoccupied wanting tea while I read if I did not make some. So I put down my stuff and headed back into the kitchen, prepared to out of bed a bit longer while I made tea.
This brings me to a problem I keeping meaning to query my fellow Steepsterians about. What do you drink when you want tea late at night?
I’m talking 9/10pm when you’ll likely only drink a cup or two. I don’t want to drink a black tea because even though I’ll occasionally have one while making dinner, with dinner, or right after dinner, it’s just too late to have one that late. I don’t want a green or white tea because I’m likely to drink only one cup and feel like I’m wasting the multiple steeps I could have had from those leaves and I personally am not comfortable leaving wet tea leaves over night. Which leaves me with herbals. I like rooibos but I’m low on it and often don’t feel like it that late at night. I tend not to like chamomile straight or in blends where it’s a dominate taste, but I don’t mind being able to taste it in blends so long as it isn’t the strongest flavor. I don’t mind hibiscus cause I like tart things so I wouldn’t avoid it but I wouldn’t go out of my way to find it either. So far I’ve had a hard time finding non-rooibos herbals that I like and want to drink, not just this is okay and I can finish the box/tin ones.
So part two of my query, Steepsterians, is to ask for your herbal recommendations. I will also take good rooibos recommendations, since not many of you drink it, and I’m open to them, but I’m looking for mainly herbals to consider.
Now back to my regularly scheduled late night tea story. Barbara, my mom, brought back a ton of teas from the Celestrial Seasonings plant in Denver, CO, when my dad, my sister, and she were visiting my sister’s boyfriend who was stationed there with the Air Force. One box that she gave me was a sampler of their fruity herbals.
As someone who also readings “junk food” romances, I’m also embarrassed to admit that I kind of like these teas. I enjoy fruity teas and herbals, when I’m in the mood for one. And while these aren’t as good as others I’ve had, they are decent and I don’t mind the tartness from the hibiscus.
I did steep this tea less than the recommended four to six minutes and with water below boiling. It could probably be steeped less time and with cooler water. It was still a dark purple-red. It tasted fruity and tart with a general berryness. It filled my late night need for tea.
Slightly sick for the past few day, I’ve had a bit of an upset stomach in addition to the dry, scratchy throat and the runny, sniffy nose. I haven’t wanted to eat much and haven’t had any tea.
Today marks my return to tea. A nice, simple cup of Ceylon. (2nd steep: 5 min. Pinch of fresh leaves.)
I wanted to try the Yunnan again today even though I was quite unsure of how it would go with breakfast. It went surprisingly well. I wasn’t able to really taste this cup as well as the previous ones due to some slight nasal-throat things I have going on due to the cold dry weather and heat running a lot. Don’t worry, I haven’t gotten sick.
I have a bit of a dry scratchy throat and a bit of a dry sniffy nose today. I am hoping it’s from not sleeping well and not from getting sick. I thought some warm tea would be soothing and picked this out at the last minute from the cupboard. It tastes exactly like you might think a lemon and ginger tea would taste. I’m not super fond of it though. I had originally thought I’d like it more than I did. I did steep it for less time and liked it better this way. I believe this one was a gift from mom, who sometimes buys me tea when she buys herself some.
The eagerly awaited A&D DFT Yunnan arrived today!
The husband brought it up. We didn’t wait until I’d rescheduled his eye dr appointment tomorrow. We didn’t wait for the husband to take a shower. We didn’t wait until we were ready to drink it. We opened it up within moments of it entering the apartment.
The tin was wrapped in brown paper instead of in a bed of shredded zig-zags. I liked the art better on this tin than tins from Series 1. This tin opens like a mini paint can lid. I had to open it with a flat screw driver and bang it closed with it. I do not like that about it but am hoping it becomes easier to open and close with time. In the meantime, I’m keeping a screwdriver over the stove in the misc. cabinet. Oh, and we got two Series 4 stickers in our box. Anyone else get two?
The tea leaves were dark brown with golden yellow brown and ash gray mixed in. They smelled smokey and like something else that I can quite put my finger on right now but am hoping will come to mind when I’ve smelt the tea more. It smelled strong, bold, and good but not what I was expecting.
After putting a huge pot of chilli on to cook, the husband pushed to try the new tea tonight even though it was after 7pm at the time and it’s a black tea. So we steeped up a pot. The wet leaves were a dark brown of two shades and smelled smokey, like burning paper in a good way if that is possible. The tea was deep brown in color. It smelled smokey, rich, and full.
Sip sip. Sip sip.
It tastes smokey, no surprise there. But yummy smokey. I thought I wouldn’t like a smokey tasting tea. It also tasted ashy, non-cigarette ashy though, unctuous, and bold. The surprise was no bitterness or dryness. More notes on taste will comes as I drink more of this tea I’m sure. It’s unlike any other tea I’ve had. The husband also liked it but wasn’t as surprise he liked it or as into it as I was.
We steeped a second pot for 5 min. I was expecting it to be watery and need a pinch of fresh leaves to keep the taste strong enough. It was not at all. It was as full of flavor as the first steep but muted, less smokey. I think I liked this steep better. I also drank the end of this steep as I started to eat my chilli and was surprised that it held up to the chilli and complimented it well.
I decided to steep the leaves a third time to see what happen since the second steep went well. I steeped for 6 min this time. It was watery with nearly no tea taste. I threw it down the drain.
In conclusion, A&D’s Yunnan is a damn fine tea, I look forward to drinking it again quite soon, and it’s possibly better than Series 1’s black teas.