56 Tasting Notes
I had almost forgotten about a tin of this Nilgiri at the back of the cabinet. I found it behind the hibiscus flowers and allspice berries.
I sought something a little different this morning, but didn’t have time for a major presentation. I used a gaiwan, water boiled with a piece of bamboo charcoal, and didn’t add anything else. It’s balanced in flavor, and has good texture. It’s also remarkably not stale, and I know I have had this on hand for over a year.
This is soothing. Can be somewhat complex, if prepared in a gaiwan and not over-steeped. Many small cups may be prepared from the leaves. It’s better than average.
I had a recent volunteer gig in a hot and humid spot. I knew I’d be on my feet a lot, so I brewed up a batch of two parts of this tea, and then added 1 part each spearmint and peppermint to the liquor, and steeped that overnight in the fridge. Added a little agave, ice, and lemon; and had an all-day pick-me-up that saw me through some challenging work.
Ooh, just found another use for this herbal candy cup. Ever take a long drive, especially in Summer, when it’s hot?
Recently I read some advice for staying alert on long drives. Drinking plenty of fluids, though not too much caffeine, and keep slightly sour flavors going, while you suck on ice cubes. It’s supposed to keep you alert, and grounded in your body. Plus help you stop more often.
So in prep for a long drive, I threw some bags of Lemon Zinger in the bottom of a big cup of ice. Added just a bit of water, and yum. Long-Drive Liquid.
Yummy – and not much work.
I know I spend a lot of time with some teas, making sure they are ready just as we drink them, and appreciating the brewing method, the subtle nuances in each carefully timed brew, the water, the …..you get it. This can be prepared this way, however, I prefer to use it as an anti-sipping tea.
This is a background to your day. A delightful backdrop for low-caffiene chai, enjoyed iced with fruit juice, etc. It’s great with many kinds of foods, and lends itself well to a low temp simmer on the stove, through coversations with friends.
I had made this a daily drinker. Then for a while, I went with a Genmaicha, as I wanted the soothing nature of roasted grain. But Genmaicha can be greener, grassy, and I wanted a roasted tea with a roasted grain.
What’s a girl to do? Re-invent. I found some organic hull-less barley at the natural foods store, in bulk. I roast about two-days worth at a time on the stove top, in a frying pan. And then combine with the tea for a rich, soothing, roasty-toasty cup.
I admit I find it a bit heavy in warm weather, and move to tea or tea and fuit combos. But it hasn’t been that hot, and I find a morning and an evening cup of this keeps me gently alert and happy.
So I don’t do tea bags much these days. I happened to get a chance to request a sample, from the company, and decided to try a “tea sachet” of the same stuff I drink hearty, strong, thick mug-fulls on a regualar basis.
I tried a cup of this at work. The tea has qualities that I don’t have a chance to savor when I overwhelm the flavor with lots of tea in the cup. This is a good reminder to explore, and not be so rigid with my brewing style.
So today I was a little testy. You know, not quite in a good mood, and trying to get through to Friday, smiling. About mid-morning, I needed a pick-me-up, without a lot of caffeine. I dumped a small heap of this in a mug, and it saw me through a rough patch.
Something about drinking tea flowers is uplifting. It’s not overly sweet tasting, but you feel a little sweeter afterward.
I always really enjoy this. It’s wonderful, and the people I share it with agree. It’s not hard to brew, either. Good to the last possible sip, and the aroma in the cup is still something I linger over, when it’s done.
I use a Brita filter on my faucet, and for many things, it’s fine. But for the oolongs I have been exploring, the water seemed to be getting in the way. I’m so over bottled water, and I don’t live by a stream……So lately I have been using a piece of bamboo charcoal in the kettle, when I boil water for tea or miso soup. It seems to act as a filter, and also mineralize the water, to some extent. It’s made a huge difference, with the results being amazing pots of tea. Should have tried this long ago.