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Tea and music pairing take two, courtesy of my awesome tea twin Roswell Strange! Thank you, Ros!!!

So my first thoughts going into this today…how does one brew purple tea? What is purple tea? Wtf is this going to be like? I ended up going with the whole sample in a 16 oz mug for 2 min at 200, aka my brewing method for black teas I haven’t figured out yet lol. Turns out purple tea, to me at least, is like a hybrid of green and blacks. Now this could be an incredibly incorrect analysis but to me it had the vegetal flavoring of a green while it had the fuller body of a black. Personally, I enjoyed the combination.

Once I figured that out, my next conundrum was “what makes this dragon blood?” For that, unfortunately, I have no answer because to me, this just didn’t seem to fit that bill.

Finally, it was on to the song pairing. The selection for this tea was: https://youtu.be/S0BDS0-ZwOw.

Unlike yesterday, this is a band I have heard before. I mean, who doesn’t know Chasing Cars? Though prior to opening YouTube, I thought this was a new song for me. Then it started playing and I realized this is one I have heard many times before but never quite placed as a Snow Patrol song. So as it played, I sipped, this time managing not to burn myself, and thought about why Ros picked this pair…

The song starts off kind of unsettling and almost a bit striking with its sharper high notes but there is also an ethereal quality to it. To me, the background music is almost trying to pull you into a search where something is lost and there is a bit of an urgency to find it. I can imagine this playing in a movie where someone is running through a forest or the wilderness trying to get to someone or something and I think that plays off the vegetal, almost peas and spinach notes, of this tea. The urgency reflects the fullness behind that vegetal quality that I am getting here, one I doubt I would ever find in a more light and mellow green base. As the singing starts, the song continues and actually remains rather consistent for most of the four minutes, however, nearing the end it begins to build and then tapers off, just as the flavors of the tea build in your mouth while you sip and mellows in the aftertaste. All in all, both the tea and song felt a little exposed and raw, sort of like “this is what you get, no surprises, just this”.

So that was my experience today. Tbh, I had to listen to this one a couple of times to really start drawing parallels. At first I was like “I don’t get it”, as opposed to yesterday where the connection was instantly apparent. This took imagination and concentration which made for a nice peaceful break from all the stresses of the day but also might have made for a tasting note that sounds a bit like bullshit. I swear though, if you compare the two for a while, you’ll get what I mean :P

Thanks again, Roswell Strange! I look forward to the next one.

Roswell Strange

I love your interpretation! :) We definitely both drew on the feeling of “being somewhere” based on the pacing of the song, it’s lyrics, and then the notes of the tea itself. For me, I picked this one out because of some of the more fantastical and elemental imagery; the slow build up and pacing combined with the focus on weather in the lyrics makes me feel like I’m right in the eye of the storm – but in some sort of fantasy world perhaps with big smoke breathing purple dragons? where the storm has all the elements (lightening, hail, rain, fire, wind) featured in some way. The flavour I connected that with in the tea was the smoke note that I found really prominent.

Regardless of how you interpret it though, I think one thing everyone can agree on is that Snow Patrol does love songs well.

VariaTEA

Haha I definitely got the storm element. Alas, not so much the smoke, though perhaps I was picking that up as the “fullness” I talked about that made this tea super hearty for me, as smoke would have done as well.

Helena

I don’t know but maybe they used the dragon’s blood plant? or because the dragon’s blood plant is purple maybe they just named it after the plant? Just a thought.

Bitterleaf

Some of our teas’ names have a lot to do with the tea, and some are just names… I wouldn’t read too far into the ones that aren’t obviously apparent ;)

Helena

But what fun would that be?

Bitterleaf

Haha true… I enjoy seeing people speculate about the names. Sometimes they come up with better reasons than we had!

Helena

shhh! don’t tell anyone and pretend it was all your idea.

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Roswell Strange

I love your interpretation! :) We definitely both drew on the feeling of “being somewhere” based on the pacing of the song, it’s lyrics, and then the notes of the tea itself. For me, I picked this one out because of some of the more fantastical and elemental imagery; the slow build up and pacing combined with the focus on weather in the lyrics makes me feel like I’m right in the eye of the storm – but in some sort of fantasy world perhaps with big smoke breathing purple dragons? where the storm has all the elements (lightening, hail, rain, fire, wind) featured in some way. The flavour I connected that with in the tea was the smoke note that I found really prominent.

Regardless of how you interpret it though, I think one thing everyone can agree on is that Snow Patrol does love songs well.

VariaTEA

Haha I definitely got the storm element. Alas, not so much the smoke, though perhaps I was picking that up as the “fullness” I talked about that made this tea super hearty for me, as smoke would have done as well.

Helena

I don’t know but maybe they used the dragon’s blood plant? or because the dragon’s blood plant is purple maybe they just named it after the plant? Just a thought.

Bitterleaf

Some of our teas’ names have a lot to do with the tea, and some are just names… I wouldn’t read too far into the ones that aren’t obviously apparent ;)

Helena

But what fun would that be?

Bitterleaf

Haha true… I enjoy seeing people speculate about the names. Sometimes they come up with better reasons than we had!

Helena

shhh! don’t tell anyone and pretend it was all your idea.

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My cupboard has grown exponentially since joining this site and I have a lot to share. Feel free to snoop through my cupboard and message me if anything interests you – I am always happy to swap!

For me, flavored teas are definitely my sweet spot. I will most often reach for black teas and rooibos or honeybush blends but I do keep some flavored whites and greens around for when the mood strikes. I have a few herbals/tisanes but most of the time I find myself disappointed by them as they often smell deliciously sweet and then end up tasting tart/sour. I have a little bit of an aversion to pu’erh and oolong teas. I am also wary of florals, earl greys, and chai teas. I do not like overpowering citrus flavors nor do I usually like hibiscus, licorice or chamomile. I love dessert teas – caramel, vanilla, toffee, cookie, cream, and other sweet flavors make me smile. Fruits like strawberry, peach, mango, and pineapples will often catch my attention as well.

I have also realized that although I really enjoy adding frothed milk to some of my teas, if I do not like the tea with zero additives (just in plain water without milk or sugar), I probably won’t drink it. The one exception is flavored matchas which I will happily drink in cold milk if I do not like it mixed with hot water. My theory is if the tea can’t stand on its own then it is not for me and I will more than likely try to swap it out for something else.

Tea Ratings Guide (as of December 10, 2017)
90-100 Teas I NEED on hand at all times
80-89 Teas I want to keep around for a cup every now and then
70-79 Teas I am glad I have around and can experiment with but probably don’t need more than what’s in my cupboard
60-69 Teas I would not turn down a cup of from a friend but that would probably be enough
50-59 Teas I can see why someone would enjoy but are not for me
Under 50 Teas I really did not like and most likely got dumped

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Thornhill, Ontario

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