2127 Tasting Notes
Note to those of you contemplating buying a house: Make absolutely sure you are UPHILL from the neighbors, and not vice versa. Otherwise, you will be dealing with fallen leaves from your trees and those of three additional back yards above you.
After Round One of the Annual Autumn Foliage Offensive (more skirmishes to follow), I was done with loose leaves for the day. Bagged tea for me, thank you!
Hubby brought this one home on a whim. Reviews here on Steepster aren’t particularly complementary, but based on the review dates, it’s been a Stash regular for at least 10 years, so somebody’s drinking it.
On its own, it’s a little thin, but the chocolate and hazelnut flavors are sweet and not chemically-tasting. With milk, it is gentle and creamy and suitable for evening sipping.
Made the time to steep this before bedtime. It is! It does! It was as indigo-blue as my old flannel bathrobe. I forgot to check to see if it turns your tongue blue. Besides being lovely to ponder in the cup, it is gently and pleasantly blueberry/lemon flavored. Smooth, not tart. Evidently there’s some extra alchemy that happens if you add lemon; we’ll have to leave that for the next time.
This is not normally a breakfast standard for me, but after a weary week on the road with nothing but bagged stuff, after I slept off the jet lag, this is what I woke up craving. Rich and chocolatey with a wonderfully cockeyed bourbon whang. I savored two large pottery mugs full while I watched yellow leaves turn our back yard into a shag rug.
I posted elsewhere that, having been on the road for a week, the hotel tea was just not doing the job. Bigelow English Teatime, while perfectly acceptable, was not countering the long conference days and nights without my own tea in my own cup in my own jammies.
This kept me upright. Nashville is growing crazy fast—we counted nine high-rise cranes at work at once; mostly apartments. The completed buildings have nifty little trails and green space and parks behind them—and one full-size Publix underneath them! A friend and I just walked up and down the aisles to gawk and see what the city folks buy. (Cut me some slack. My little hometown is population 1,051). At any rate, they had Twinings, it was strong enough to counteract the Styrofoam-and-plastic cups and lids, I am one little plane ride away from home, and I am TIRED.
I have said kind things about this tea in the past. And it is a reasonably good, no-frills, no-fuss bagged tea. Smooth and non-acidic. However, this was the strongest offering at the hotel at which I was posted for a writers’ conference—far too gentle for my a.m. alertness needs. It is November and daylight savings season. I need slap-yer-face, wakey-uppy unleaded. (Fortunately, a kind friend ran me by a Publix and I am now amply and appropriately stocked.)
I allowed myself to be talked into some rather pricey yellow tea on my last shopping extravaganza — no branding, no name; it was one that the owner of TeaMaze had encountered at an expo over the summer and she had not yet put on her shelves.
Y’all know that I am a sloppy steeper; I don’t own a gaiwan (don’t judge :) and sometimes even grandpa style is a little too much work for me. I just want to throw and go. And this whatever-it-is variety has cheerfully taken whatever abuse I have thrown at it so far.
With conventional green tea parameters, it is lightly buttery—like buttermilk biscuits with a hint of honey. Second steep, same leaves, longer steep time, the buttered greens flavor intensifies a bit, and the texture is like heavy satin. And when I couldn’t stand to waste the rest of the pot and poured it in a tumbler to refrigerate overnight, it turned a beautiful golden brunette color with that same silky biscuit-y texture.
So, experts … tell me what I need to know about yellow tea. Other prep recommendations?
I went overboard. We were in our happy place (the Ozarks) and stopped at our happy place in our happy place (TeaMaze) and, well, I was so happy that I just over-happified and pretty much blew my tea budget until spring.
I was persuaded by the sample that the purveyors had all cozied up in a hot pot. It was fruity and sweet with just a tiny bit of tang in the sip. I just finished my first cup at home and concluded that they must have sugared the sample a bit to up the apple-tude. I’ll have to do that next time. However, even straight up, I think the natural sweetness will make this a good and gentle nightcap.
When we went to bed, it was still pushing 80 and unpleasantly dry; woke up to a delicious gentle rain, low-hanging clouds, low 60’s. Ahhhhhhh….ctober. Office windows are wide open and I would swear that the tree tips across the street started to turn bittersweet red overnight.
Nothing else would do for a mid-morning treat. Black tea with maple. Have to be careful with the steep time—three minutes is plenty; four is close to the edge—but today it tastes real maple syrup maple-y; not Mrs. Butterworth’s.