2115 Tasting Notes
Continuing to enjoy this one—it’s not often you can find a plain black morning tea that can give you two good unleaded, caffeinated steeps. Just a tiny bite to it, but this morning I need bit. (Prepping to teach my high octane 10 and 11 year olds.) If you don’t need teeth in yours, this is great with milk.
They are easier to find around Christmas, but one of our favorite indulgent candies are little orange jelly sticks dipped in chocolate. This is the tea equivalent. The orange peels in the dry mix are sweet and pithy, not bitter, and it tastes as good as it smells, even without sweetening. Second steeps well, too—this morning, I tossed in a little no-brand looseleaf Ceylon to strengthen it back up, and it was still pretty delicious.
Back when I didn’t know any better, I ordered a whole pound of Foxtrot because I liked it so much—it took years to get through all of it, and I was a little burned out by the time I got down to the dregs.
In the years that have followed, I discovered that I could make a pretty fair homegrown version with my own mint plants and bulk-store rooibos and chamomile, even without paying careful attention to the proportions—just tossed a little of each in a steeping basket and go for it.
However, I had a cuppa the original formulation last night, and remembered why I craved it by the pound. Just the right balance of all three ingredients, with none of them pushing out the others. Smooth, sweet, and calming.
I didn’t add a picture, because the photo on the TeaMaze website looks like a full-leaf tea, and the contents of my package are little nubblins and granules, like my old faithful PG Tips.
Which is the best comparison I can provide for this strong breakfast tea. The fresh cup was deep ebony, and at first, I thought it was milder and gentler in flavor than the usual British builders’ tea. However, it strengthens as it sits, and now that it has cooled, it’s downright sharp and puckery. Not for the faint of heart.
I anticipate a perfectly acceptable second steep, and next time around, I believe this one will welcome a splash of millk.
I’ve had pretty good luck with the Loyd teas I’ve stumbled upon at our local Tuesday Morning Store and this cheerful little box was just begging to go home with me. So I let it.
The citrus tastes primarily orange-y and the ginger has quite a snap to it, especially if you drink it bag-in. Like Constant Comment with a little attitude. I’m thinking this will be great for seasonal sniffles and sinus cruds (just around the corner)!
Most Basilur black teas I’ve tried need a longer steep, but this one is just a trifle touchy. The base went a little bitter when I let it go five minutes. Even so, it smells like buckwheat pancakes with syrup and the maple scent-sation stays in your mouth after you swallow.
Can’t wait to find the sweet timing spot. When I do, this will be excellent.
We’ve been talking a bit—or I have, anyway—about ungoofables; dependable tea you can make in your sleep or in unfavorable circumstances. Hubby brought a box of Awake bags home (not sure why), and after a good strong wake-up tumbler, I think I’ll nominate this one for the short list, too. A little sharp on your tongue if you oversteep, but good and drinkable with or without milk.
This is another selection from my new favorite little purveyor in southwest Missouri. It is precisely what the package says: a classy blend of rich chocolate and tangy orange. Extra points for the orange not being tart or bitter; extra extra points for the chocolate being strong and not watery.
I tried a little milk in mine this morning; didn’t ruin it, but this is best straight up and strong.
If I were consistent and scientific enough to numerically rate what I drink, the gold standard would be 33.3% malty/bready flavor, 33.3% enough caffeine to get my eyes fully open within 10 minutes of the first sip, and 78.7% UNGOOFABLE. Can’t ruin it no matter how distracted you get trying to decide what to take to work for lunch.
We have a winner here. I accidentally let my travel tumbler stew for a good seven minutes this morning (oh, look! a bunny!) and was sure the first sip would take the skin off my tongue.
Skin is still intact and this is still tasty. Instead of three-grain wheat bread, we’ve got dark rye here (with cherry preserves?) but still sippable, even without diluting with ice.
Oh, and lunch is going to be a Lean Cuisine frozen glazed chicken entrée and lemon meringue Greek yogurt. I’m not sure that was worth almost ruining a perfectly good tumbler of tea.