2339 Tasting Notes
Confounded blood pressure. Had to do an unwelcome run to urgent care for a nasty ear infection last week and got spoken to very crisply about the need for follow up with my regular doc. (Yes, I listened. Yes, I have an appointment scheduled.)
In the meantime, I understand that hibiscus is a good natural catalyst for BP reduction. That’d be great, if I liked hibiscus. So if I’m going to imbibe it, I’ll have to disguise it.
I tried a cup of this fruity stuff last night—another Tuesday Morning impulse grab—and it wasn’t bad. More raspberry than strawberry, still more tart than I prefer, but not so much that it makes your eyebrows sweat. It’s finally warming up to ice tea weather—I have learned that hibiscus is a little mellower when you cold steep it, so we may give that a go as well.
Belated and unexpected birthday surprise from a dear friend! (We used to honor the “two weeks either way and it still counts” rule; now it’s been extended to six months either way. Sometimes Christmas packages get mailed in September.)
Physical properties: Normally, I steep my go-to-work tea in a Tervis tumbler, and leave the leaves at home. But this ToasTEA thing is the bees’ knees, in that it has a steeping basket that screws into the lid. Since the tumbler is tall, you aren’t stewing your brew, and there’s a sipping filter that keeps you from swallowing leaves and allows you to re-steep at will. Add new hot water, flip it upside down, and there you go.
Thermal properties: I’ve been sipping at mine for an hour and a half, and it’s still fresh-cup warm.
Visibility properties: The flippy push-button lid, helpful for maintaining the thermal properties described above, gets in the way a bit when I’m driving. Guess I’ll have to take the route that has more stoplights.
Yeah, I’m a sucker for clearance sales—but this was $1.75 at our Natural Grocers. You would’ve bought it, too!
And I’m glad I did … the whole bundle of ingredients together make a wonderful, soft, mellow, peachy cup. It leads with the peach and rooibos, nothing gingery or “pie-y” about it. Just good ripe fruit.
Isn’t it funny that maple is generally considered to be a fall flavor, but the sap actually starts running in the early spring? Thus, I was actually a little seasonally late trying this one.
Even with sloppy steeping and work water, this was very good. I oversteeped, so the black base was a little stiffer than I intended, but the maple is maple-y without being cloyingly sweet. Looking forward to a better-supervised rerun!
I think if you were to fish for Steepster reviews of flavored cherry teas of any kind, the most common denominator would be that you just can’t replicate cherries straight off the tree. I concur. I spent most of third and fourth grade sitting in our cherry tree with a book and my transistor radio. Some things only God can do, and cherries appears to be one of them :)
This is, however, a pleasant second-best. Not cherry cough syrup…think Cherry Life Savers, or maybe maraschinos. The scent is as good as the flavor as you sip. This is one my fifth and sixth graders would love.
OK, experts: here’s the closest online picture I can find of a gift originating from Chinatown in Chicago. This is from a Kazakhstani source; mine’s in Chinese, otherwise it’s identical. Leaves are rolled thin, close to an inch long. I don’t have gongfu gear, so no doubt improper steeping isn’t helping…but even so, it has a really nice, bready scent and flavor. What do we have here?
Of late, convenience trumps elegance, so I have been swigging away at bagged teas. Found this Darjeeling at my sister’s house when we were cleaning (more on that in a minute). I’ve had Darjeelings that are so dry they shrivel your tongue, which is why they don’t get much airplay at my house. This one doesn’t fit that pattern. It’s got that fruity grape peel thing happening, but it’s round instead of sharp and squiggly. (I’ll let you figure that analogy out yourselves :) Incidentally, Choice does a great bagged kukicha as well.
Sister’s house. I mentioned elsewhere that she passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly last month. It’s been a hard loss; it has taken a while to even want to handle the words aloud. However, my brother pointed out that her piano had been recently played and the hymnbook was open to “I Know Whom I Have Believed.” She did, and I do, so all will be well. I brought home a carload of her recipe boxes (priceless), exquisitely appliqued quilts (even more so), her Pillsbury Doughboy t-shirt, and several boxes of tea to sip in her honor.